One of our team members, Rachel was sent to Coachella to check out some new music and the festival, read her insightful review below!
People always talk about Coachella as this crazy beast of a music festival. Being involved in the music industry for the past four years, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into – boy was I wrong! Once we stepped off the shuttle from our hotel, the Coachella vibe hit me. Everyone was so excited walking up to the gates, and once I scanned my wristband to gain entry, I immediately felt nothing but joy and excitement.
We were greeted by signs of festival posters from the past, showcasing the legends that have graced Coachella Valley with their presence. Instantly surrounded by food and pop-up shops selling boutique items that are oh so boho, it’s hard at first to get the lay of the land. There were eight different venues, each placed far enough apart that you couldn’t hear music being played on any other stage. There were lots of cool different art pieces as well, although locals will tell you that this year, the art wasn’t as extravagant as it has been in years past.
Despite the blazing dry heat making it feel like you were the most dehydrated you have ever been in your life, and the dust and dry grass that was blowing everywhere was unreal, we were ultimately there for the music – and the music was awesome. Day One sent me to see The xx and Dillon Francis. The xx were incredible! So sensual but the lights and graphics made the music come to life. Dillon Francis killed it. He was by far my favorite act I saw throughout the festival. His energy was contagious and all of the graphics that were playing behind him were hilarious, intriguing, and so fitting for his personality. The tracks he was playing were all fan favorites and it was a great way to close out the first day.
We were a little more prepared for what we had to tackle on Day Two. Lots of water and sports drinks were consumed in the morning so we weren’t so dehydrated. Upon arrival, we headed straight to the stage to watch Bastille. Thee was a nice mix of old and new tracks from the British band. We caught glimpses of Two Door Cinema Club while eating delicious orange chicken and a quesadilla. Schoolboy Q was the next full act, and for performing for a bunch of people standing in a field, he engaged the entire crowd. “Man of the Year” was his closing song, and everyone left in a party mood, as we patiently awaited the arrival of DJ Snake. DJ Snake played all of his current, radio chart topping tunes, and apart from being disappointed that he didn’t bring out any surprise guests, the sound was good and the laser show was mind-blowing. To close out the second day, Lady Gaga’s performance was beyond words. She did an emotional version of “Edge Of Glory” dedicated to her friend who is battling cancer, did a fun dance version of “A Million Reasons” and absolutely slayed her performance of her new track “The Cure”.
For our final day, we arrived and headed straight to the beer garden to get Cupcake Winery’s signature ‘poptails’ – a popsicle that sits delicately in your choice of wine or prosecco. Conveniently, said beer garden was located by one of the stages, so while we enjoyed these adorable summer treats, we got to listen to Grouplove’s set. Grouplove’s vibrant music was a perfect backtrack to sitting on the grass sipping cold wine. After we finished our popsicles, we headed over to see Jack Garratt. I happen to love Jack Garratt, but I was mildly annoyed that in his venue, they didn’t do a better job of making sure his electronic equipment was working as it should. In true artistry, Jack played through all of his technological miscues; and while he was visibly upset by it, it didn’t stop him from completely shredding a guitar solo to round out his set. We hung out and watched Porter Robinson & Madeon for a while before heading over to watch DJ Khaled. Unfortunately, DJ Khaled did not live up to his hype. He would start a track that was well known, and then scratch it out and start talking. There was no sort of fluidity to his set at all. We left about ten minutes in and got food prior to watching Tove Lo. Let me just say, if you haven’t had a chance to see this Swedish stunner live, I HIGHLY suggest you do so. Her show was so much fun and she played both old and new tracks. After her fantastic set, we made a little pit stop at the Lorde show, where we sat down and relaxed while she played her latest release “Green Light” and previewed tracks from her upcoming album ‘Melodrama’. To get ourselves amped up again, we moseyed over to watch everyone’s favorite candy-related DJ, Marshmello. His lights and sound were impressive, even from the very back of the venue. To finalize our Coachella music experience, we watched Kendrick Lamar absolutely crush every doubt people have of rappers performing live. His visual effects were themed around martial arts and ninjas, and his vocal stylings were incredible. Although I don’t frequently listen to him, his show was one for the books.
For those that have never been to Coachella, be warned – that dust is no joke. It’s been a week and I still have a lingering cough which is my body’s way of telling me that I ingested so many allergens that it doesn’t know what to do. But once you get past the desert sun and crazy amounts of glitter and rhinestones, Coachella is an amazing experience and I’ll definitely go back next year.