Story 1 – Clayton Warwick
Day one of Coachella was an interesting one for me. Coming off of a full day of food poisoning hell, sitting through twelve hours of hot sunlight was the last thing I wanted to do. None the less, I bucked up and rode down to the festival with our crew. Despite severe dehydration, an uneasy stomach, and a blinding headache, I made my way through some of my favorite artists that were playing that day.
Before I delved into performances, I had to stop off to interview the legendary Gareth Emery in the press area. Thankfully, they were fully stocked with hydrating beverages, which helped my recovery quite nicely. After a fun and engaging chat with Gareth, I was ready to take on what day one had to offer.
The highlights were too abundant to cover in great length, featuring notable sets from Ellie Goulding, Aloe Blacc, Zedd, and of course Outkast. While Outkast’s performance wasn’t my favorite musically, it was still amazing based on the sheer nostalgic appeal. I found myself belting out lyrics through a queasy stomach on multiple occasions, simply not giving a fuck at how I felt. At that moment, I knew they had something special going.
Day two was a much more enjoyable experience for me, especially given the fact that I saw the most impressive set of the entire festival, in my honest opinion. We worked our way to the very front of the Mojave tent to catch the always entertaining post-rock instrumental band Mogwai, and were absolutely blown away. In a 50 minute set of pure musical intoxication, Mogwai utilized their slow, building rhythms to provide a complete encapsulation. It was truly amazing.
There were other highlights from Day two as well, including an absolute ear-fuck from Skrillex, whose visuals essentially were the internet boiled into one 50 minute set. Other acts that impressed included Kid Cudi, Capital Cities, Head and the Heart, and City and Colour.
Day three was probably the most memorable for me, musically, as I was able to witness some acts I’ve been writing about for the past few years. Right out of the gates we caught James Vincent McMorrow, who had the best vocal talent out of any artist at the festival. His set was mesmerizing, and was then followed up nicely by his labelmate, The 1975, who displayed their up-and-coming rock god status. Matty casually flipped his mic cord around as he strutted the stage, boasting nothing but sheer swagger.
For the last few sets of the night, we were honestly so exhausted that we listened from afar, sitting with the aching-foot crowd of parents and older festival-goers. Disclosure was nothing short of stunning, even though we couldn’t see the stage from where we were at.
Once again, Coachella has proved to me that no matter how hard you try, your plans will be proved futile. It’s so easy to get caught in the moment, forgoing your well thought out plans for those of the friends you are with. It’s both a blessing, and a curse, but 100% worth every minute of it.
Story 2 – Brooke Ferguson
As I walked into the Polo Fields Campgrounds, I instantly felt like I was at home. Each and every year that I attend Coachella, I automatically know that my mind is about to enter into an entirely new dimension full of phenomenal music, abstract art, and memories to last me a lifetime. This year, I decided to change up my festival routine and experience music on an entirely new level. I ventured off into a hypnotic place where I was surrounded by some of the most enchanting people I have ever come across. Their love for music and inter-human connectivity fulfilled all of my festival cravings. There is nothing more exciting than being around a bunch of weirdo’s who love to vibe on a level that promotes the provocation of a divine synchronicity.
Every day brought forth new experiences, new people, and new music. It is nearly impossible to see everyone you plan to watch, but I guess that is what makes Coachella such an adventure in and of itself. We are given the opportunity to either solidify ourselves to a strict schedule, or we can simply allow our wandering souls to guide us towards the unknown; the only place where insurmountable beauty exists.
This year at Coachella, I decided to let the music bring me solace and peace of mind. I spent a lot of my time underneath the glorious Sahara Tent where the bass could be felt a mile away. I should have remembered to bring some diapers with me because there were plenty of sketchy moments where I could have totally lost all control of my bodily functions. When you have artists like Dillon Francis, Carnage, The Glitch Mob, Krewella, and more, the probability of crapping your pants increases with each rise in frequency. I know I wasn’t the only one who experienced moments of uncertainty as to whether or not it was the beat that dropped or my pants. I am still contemplating this to this day.
Overall, Coachella provided its attendees with a wide array of talent to please everyone’s musical inclinations. Having an eclectic taste in music made it extremely difficult to choose my top acts of the weekend. After nearly a week of battling an extreme case of cognitive dissonance, I have finally made up my mind as to who blew my mind away. The winning sets this year go to: Flight Facilities, Cage The Elephant, Kill Paris, and Adventure Club. Each of these artists evoked a different side of me, whether it be my inner diva at Flight Facilities and Kill Paris or my inner flower child at Cage The Elephant. I guess it’s safe to say that I can diagnose myself with multiple personality disorder because there were many different sides of me that made their debut that weekend. Only at Coachella is it socially acceptable to black out from being over-stimulated by your surroundings and not recall the absurdity of your behavior.
Now that my favorite festival has come to an end and the post-Coachella depression has subdued, I must endure the next 365 excruciating days of monotony until I can once again return to my Utopia.