Coachella Recap

By Katie

Every time a foreign band liltingly professed their love for “Coachel-laaa,” I’d catch myself smiling so intensely I couldn’t stop. Artists even stopped their songs and declared that they got chills from the audience’s energy. Coachella is different from any other concert for the simple fact that it is a gathering of over 80,000 people who are all extremely happy and content to close their eyes and savor whatever music comes their way. What struck me was how easy it was to get to the front of any crowd. People’s eyes were fixed on the artists in front of them, whether swaying to Modest Mouse or jumping up and down to Dog

Blood’s intense beats. People truly felt the music and nothing else, and no one pushed or got annoyed. Ever.Coachella is simply put, unbelievable. Though many people criticized the lineup for not containing as many huge, well-known artists as in the past, Coachella 2013 showed the world an amazing experience that we all needed, not that we all knew.

After packing and debating over cute dresses and flowery headbands, the 90 degree heat by 7 AM forced the campers to resort to bikinis and shorts, as the very thought of wearing boots or makeup made one sweat. Because of this, people could easily tell who was camping and who was staying in a nice hotel—an amazing perk of being in the desert—it’s too hot for fashion and the music stays where it should be, in the spotlight!

And the performances were indeed spotlight worthy. We overdid it on EDM on Day 1, staying in the always-packed Sahara tent for Dillon Francis, Tommy Trash, Modestep, and Bassnectar—all of whom killed their sets, giving the crowd increasing energy with each drop to keep on dancing through the day and night. Surprisingly, Passion Pit and Modest Mouse weren’t mind-blowing, but they both kept the crowd happily swaying to favorites like “Take A Walk” and “Float On.” On the other hand, the Yeah YeahYeahs were one of the best acts of Day 1. Karen O proved that she is a true rock star, fueling the crowd to dance through the entire night with her wailing hit “Heads Will Roll.”

Our second day began with the distinctive smell of 4/20 in the air and the spirited, distinctive bagpipe-esque sounds of the Dropkick Murphys on the main stage. They were the only artist to reference the Boston bombings, bringing the crowd back to reality, but also reminded us how joyful reality can be as well, doing my hometown ofBoston proud. 2 Chainzunexpectedly added some Rock and Roll to his Hip Hop. Back toward the electronic music stages, Bingo Players, Benny Benassi, and Major Lazer blasted their more melodic hits, complete with laser light shows that dazed the overflowing tents. Postal Service and the xx lived up to their high expectations, but Two Door Cinema Club was by far my favorite act of Coachella (besides Phoenix). Making it to the very front row by myself, I joined everyone in jumping, completely and incredibly happy, throughout the whole setand it was hard to imagine anything better. Finally, Day 2’s headliner, Phoenix, captivated everyone with the purest voice I’ve ever heard, sounding, unbelievably, 10 times better live than on their already amazing albums.

The last day of Coachella was perfect. From Vampire Weekend to Wu-Tang Clan to James Blake, all the artists played passionate sets, with both the crowd drawing on the performers’ energy and the performers drawing on the incredible energy of Coachella. We stopped trying to go to every artist we had heard of, and discovered some awesome bands like Tanlines, as we wandered from tent to tent. Pretty Lights’ declaration at the end of his legendary “Finally Moving” described the crowd’s connection perfectly: “I do believe we just had a moment there, Coachella.” The Red Hot Chili Peppers concluded Coachella bringing back all the favorites as well as some new songs, with a very impressive “guitar/bass-off” between Flea and Josh Klinghoffer. The crowd stayed till the very end, asking for and receiving encore after encore, finally departing as a giant mass back to the campgrounds. As we passed through the gates, everyone couldn’t help but yell a collective“See you soon” to the wonderful otherworldly experience that is Coachella.