I understand why, around this time every year, half of my social feed is basically dedicated to sneers and all-out assaults on the Coachella Valley Music Festival and its attendees. Lots of annoying posts from the grounds, the headliners can sometimes be eyeroll-inducing, it’s cost-prohibitive, and of course, the obscene amounts of dubstep.
All I can say is that I’ve gone to seven of the last eight festivals and can not imagine an April without it. Feel free to hate it, I have come to love it—sandstorms and all. I will spare you the long, glowing version of the recap and give it to you in interwebs-friendly list form with some photos. Enjoy! Or don’t.
Notable Coachella 2013:
Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, decked out in distorted pope regalia, shoved the microphone down her pants.
IO Echo thanked the crowd at 12:30pm on Friday for their attendance. Ioanna Gika proclaimed, “You guys are the real music fans. You’re not having a beer at some fancy mansion and cruising in at 6pm.”
The new and improved Sahara tent towered over the crowd with massive overhead and stage lighting rigs.
U.K. beatboxer extraordinaire Beardyman managed to incorporate both Elton John and his fictitious mother from Staten Island into his set on the Outdoor Theater.
Helix Poeticus, an enormous art piece modeled to look like a snail, somehow made its way around the field and left a snail trail of bubbles. Paintings and quotes slowly appeared on its shell throughout the weekend.
Japandroids were phenomenal.
Los Angeles-based Local Natives took the first sundown set of the weekend on Outdoor Theater for a beautiful performance.
How to Destroy Angels, featuring Trent Reznor of NIN and his wife, performed in a massive glowing cube in the Mojave tent.
Blur closed with one of my favorite songs, “The Universal.” I felt like a seventh grader all over again.
As a shuttle rider, I was on the “Yellow Path” in and out of the festival entrance, which was marked by an audio loop of the munchkins and Dorothy chiming, “Follow the yellow brick road.”
Ian Brown of The Stone Roses was painfully flat, or as Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times put it, Brown exercised “an extremely casual relationship with pitch.”
Jehnny Beth, lead singer of British all-female punk outfit Savages, wore classy red shoes during their brilliant set on Saturday. Also notable, bassist Ayse Hassan wore a turtle necklace.
I couldn’t even get in the tent for 2 Chainz, but I did get some kettle corn.
Bat for Lashes experience technical issues early on but Ms. Khan handled it with grace and a shimmering rainbow cape.
Second sunset set on the Outdoor Theater belonged to Portugal. The Man from Alaska, which consisted of well-constructed medleys and ended with a massive sing along to “Hey Jude.”
The Postal Service.
As per usual, Daft Punk was rumored to play, this time with Phoenix during their headlining slot on Saturday. We got R. Kelly instead.
DIIV announced their name and their place of origin (New York City) in between every song. Loved it.
Final sunset set of the weekend was Tame Impala on the Outdoor Theater, and by this point, the winds were whipping up enough dust to cover the sky in an eerie haze.
La Roux‘s Elly Jackson sounds exactly the same live as she does on recording. Not a bad thing at all.
An art installation titled Mirage was fashioned after a mid-century Palm Springs mansion with its facade and residents projected on the all-white structure after dark.
Dance-punk legends The Faint delivered one of the best sets of the weekend to a packed Mojave tent.
Wu-Tang Clan named the punishing sandstorm that had picked up by Sunday night’s end “Hurricane Wu.”
Source: Under the Radar Magazine