Back on the East Coast in my beloved Brooklyn, I am happy to say that I survived Coachella 2013, weekend one! I survived extreme temperatures and a lovely sandstorm on Sunday night, along with my feet surviving the hours of standing. This year was a treat for me as it hosted some of my favorite acts right now, a large number of them hailing from across the pond.
In total, I counted via my snazzy Coachella 2013 iPhone app that I viewed over twenty acts in the three-day festival, so on average, I watched approximately seven shows a day. Not for the faint of heart, patience, or those that insist on wearing heels; it ain’t gon’ work boo. All tents are named after deserts, Mojave (hosting the majority of UK acts) and Sahara (EDM acts) being the largest, Gobi hosting an eclectic mix of acts, and Yuma, the newest addition to the festival, hosting smaller international DJs. The two headlining stages are the Outdoor (which hosted Wu-Tang on the final night), and Main (which hosted the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the final night).
Food at Coachella is as exciting as the musical acts. There is a mix of famous food trucks including Coolhaus, Border Grill, Green Truck, LA staples like Pink’s Chili Dogs, a good array of vegetarian options, full bars, and more taco variations than I have ever seen in my adult life. The grounds are huge, but food facilities are nestled in each corner so you never go hungry. New this year is the Red Bull Speakeasy; a 1920s themed air-conditioned lounge that serves cocktails and hosts live dueling piano players, and a photo booth.
The famed ferris wheel is a must! For 8 bucks, you get one of the best views one can imagine of the festival grounds. Definitely worth it.
With that said, I bring to you some of my musical and scenic highlights of the weekend, from the perspective of Andrea the music & nature lover/ people watcher. Get ready for weekend two!
The man behind the hugest dance craze in recent history to sweep the world, “Harlem Shake”, rocked the crowd with a a set of booty-shaking down south tracks. My friends and I were right up front for this, and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. I unfortunately missed “Harlem Shake” as I had to run to another stage, but it’s all good, another act re-enacted this. Read on.
Despite being twenty minutes late for his set and having a semi-exhausted crowd boo in spurts, Titty Boi AKA 2 Chainz performed a memorable set for his first Coachella experience. I was caught somewhere in the mid-front of the crowd of this set. I thought I was going to be trampled numerous times, water was thrown on me, and I was pushed, BUT I sang every lyric at the top of my lungs like I was on stage. His performance of “Crack” was definitely the climax of his set. #TurnUp.
Never in my life would I believe that I would actually find Waldo, but I was this lucky at Coachella! Not only did I find Waldo, but I also found his twin. Who even knew Waldo had a twin? This was a splendid outfit idea for this pair. I’m sure they easily spotted each other in the troves of bare-chested bros and bikini-clad gals.
What do you get when you mix an electro rave with a dancehall-reggae bashment party? You get the goodness that is Major Lazer. Comprised of djs Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire (of Black Chiney), Major Lazer gets the party started with bass-heavy dance tunes. Although I was further back in the crowd during this set, it was one of my faves as they played a good amount of reggae and soca tunes to titillate my Caribbean roots. Whine it up gyal! Also, picking up from where Baauer left, they staged a massive “Harlem Shake”.
The Venue Rules.
I love to take photos of the venue rules for two reasons:
- To show that I was there
- To show how ridiculous some of the rules are
One of my favorite rules is “No Camelpacks”, you know, those backpacks you fill with water with the straw attached? This rule was enforced so well that I can say approximately one out of ten attendees was sporting none other than, you guessed it, a Camelpack. The most ridiculous item on what you cannot bring in to the festival is “No Portable Generators”. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
To me, there is no wrong that my personal super-heroine Janelle Monae can do, except for begin her Coachella set 15 minutes late. I’m a die-hard fan, and her performance did not disappoint, but I was a bit bummed that I had to leave a bit early to go to a headlining stage. If you are attending weekend two, please fill me in on the rest of her performance!
I’m a sucker for good scenery. I lost track of how many times I took photos of the mountains and palm trees, they are so beautiful to me. Coachella has made me build an appreciation for the desert and its vast, minimal beauty.
I love this British-soul songstress so much! I listen to her music daily and I was super excited to see her perform. She put her all into her performance, and even had the shirtless bros dancing along. One of my favorite moments was when she performed an older track entitled “Valentine” (originally sung alongside Sampha) with her drummer.
Perfect Natural Light for Photos.
I still call myself a bit of a novice in regards to photography as I am still learning to take great photos in dim light. I prefer natural light as I feel it shows the best side of the subject, whether it be a person or a thing. I took the photo above on my iPhone, and I love it because the color and shadows are perfect to me.
James Blake is my musical husband. He is expressive, spontaneous, and has a sound that I can never get tired of. His performance best presented his full musicality, superb vocals, keys, live sampling, and usage of a drum machine. He was so poised, yet intense at the same time, creating sounds with his voice that I still do not believe are of this earth. His performances of “Retrograde” and “Digital Lion” from his latest LP were to die for. Musical perfection.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Disclosure. Their set was the ultimate last of the festival, and rightfully so. They put on a show that would be the envy of 90s supermodel and dancer-filled nightclub parties. When I say I was jamming in the front right behind the barricade, I mean it. I. WAS. JAMMING. The only other set I had consistently danced that much to was Major Lazer, but that was more whining. This was two-stepping, hands in the air, and shimmying. The duo did not disappoint in any way, shape, or form.
A treat for you below. My slightly shaky iPhone video of their performance of single “White Noise”.
And there you have it. Coachella weekend one in a nutshell through the eyes of Andrea. 🙂