The warm weather had finally arrived – and with it the outrageous outfits and beautiful women that Coachella is so well known for. Sunday’s lineup was easily the most stacked, turning my festival experience into a marathon.
I arrived at the festival at 2pm just in time to catch Anton Zaslavski, better known as Zedd, attack the Sahara tent with a barrage of complextro remixes. In fact, most of my day was spent camping the Sahara tent, catching Flux Pavillion & Doctor P, Porter Robinson, Dada Life and Calvin Harris (I skipped Nero for The Weeknd, a regrettable truth but hey, sometimes you just need to sit down for a bit. By the way, that guy is one hell of a singer — dying to be remixed.)
Before heading to see Justice, I stopped by Gotye to see what all the fuss was about. I felt obligated to hear the most remixed track in recent memory sung live by the man himself. His melancholy voice and soft musical styling didn’t particularly pique my interest, but the moment he began singing “Somebody I Used to Know” I found myself singing along, caught in the moment with the rest of the crowd. That song is infinitely more powerful when it is sung live without artificial reverb and synthetic bass lines.
At the main stage, Justice kept fans waiting for nearly 25 minutes- frustrating many of us in the photo pit who were frantically checking our watches. We had all heard Rihanna would be performing with Calvin Harris and the Sahara tent was at the other end of the polo grounds – a decent hike that I had made too many times last weekend. When Justice finally did go on, the wait was well worth it. The wall of Marshall stacks blasted gritty, electro-rock as the Justice cross glowed ominously through the artificial fog.
Back at the Sahara tent, Calvin Harris was creating one of the best parties of the weekend. Many of us knew that Calvin would be our last experience under the massive LEDs and not a single fan in the crowd held back. Rihanna’s surprise appearance erupted the crowd into full blown hysteria. Moving left or right became impossible, the only option was to jump along with everyone as Rihanna performed “We Found Love” live.
After about 30 minutes of shoving my way out of the Sahara tent I sprinted over to the main stage to secure my place on line for the press pit at Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Avicii may be a juggernaut in the industry, but not even “Levels” can compete with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and I wanted to be front and center for their performance.
As predicted, Dre and Snoop did not disappoint. Throwing down countless classics, including “Nuthin bu a ‘G’ Thang,” “Deep Cover,” and “Who Am I.” Accompanied on stage by Wiz Khalifa, newcomer Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Eminem, the duo performed crowd pleaser after crowd pleaser. Their track selection was flawless, appealing to the most casual of Hip Hop listeners. Don’t even try to say you hate “Forgot About Dre,” nobody likes a liar.
The most talked about part of the night (as I am sure you all saw on the news) was the disturbingly realistic, Holo-Pac, who appeared on stage and stunned and baffled concertgoers. I’d imagine some of the more experimental attendees were more than just a little confused.
The California natives shut down Coachella, closing their set with the classic “Still D.R.E.” As the masses funneled out of the festival, bleary-eyed and covered in dust, I looked around me and sighed — my post Coachella depression had already begun to sink in. Only 365 more days until I spend 3 days in the desert at what is inarguably the best festival in the United States.