Pictured above: Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys
With a background of palm trees and desert heat, Coachella miraculously came back to life yesterday for another three-day round of music and mayhem . Although we're basically experiencing the same lineup as last week, this week's performances aren't available via live stream, which could be both a good thing (exclusive!) and a bad thing (no incentive to rock harder?). A few celebrities were said to be wandering around (Emma Roberts, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Alexander Skarsgard), and I found it extremely weird that equal amounts of recaps were dedicated to chatting up the performances and looking for celebrities "Where's Waldo?" style. Anyway.
Day one of California's desert pilgrimage seemed a bit mild-- perhaps because the attendees realized they were essentially seeing a rerun. But whatever hesitance was permeating throughout the day set with the sun-- once the light was gone, so was the majority of people's sobriety. And there were the bands-- Gary Clark Jr. may have won the day right out of the gate, melting people's faces with his guitar shred and making the sun look like a cold shower. Indie favs Girls and Neon Indian rocked one stage, while I drifted back and forth to chat with Other Lives in the press area. Arctic Monkey's played a solid set of fan favorites, while mumbling completely incomprehensible stage banter in what I can only assume is Alex Turner's personal accent, invented only for him. While many were pumped for Swedish House Mafia and the Black Keys, we decided to do the alternative route, soaking in some Frank Ocean (who improved 100% over last week, despite still having a few snooze-inducers, and the addition of guest guitarist Mike Einziger of Incubus), The Rapture, and M83, who absolutely dominated their marathon set. M83 played like eighteen encores. Seriously. Their set was longer than the double-disc copy of Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.
Day one was a blast, a hot blast, but worth every drop of sweat. I'd say we can't wait to go back in, but I don't have to wait long, do I? Looking forward to how many different trips I can spot, staying hydrated, and most of all, tonight's headliner. Radiohead doesn't come around often, unless you're just imagining it. Given the variety of states of consciousness yesterday, I'm sure a handful of people thought they were already seeing Radiohead. COACHELLA. See you out there, sports fans.