Coachella – An Experience of A Life Time

imageOn April 17-19, 2015 I went to the musical festival Coachella, which was totally epic!  Excuse me for my teenage verbiage above, but if you ever get the experience to go you need to make it happen.  Yes it is crazy expensive, no the VIP tickets are not worth the cost, and camping is for  chumps, because the resorts and a nice bed are where it is at.

Being from the east coast the three hour time adjustment was rough and if you are coming from a time difference give yourself more then a day to recoup your body.  Usually such a small time adjustment isn’t a big deal, but when you are going to bed at 3 AM and get up at 9 AM there is really no time for your body to reset.  Let’s talk about being a VIP at the festival.  It is seriously pointless.  You pay $800 to get better food that you pay more for, shorter bathroom lines, and more shaded areas.  If you have difficulty with hundred degree plus weather then VIP is for you, but if you are like me and heat feels like a warm blanket go for the general admission.

The great thing about a festival like Coachella is there are dozens of bands, a slue of music genres, and five stages that you can bounce around to see various acts all day and night.  The first day of the festival is the best day to really explore the venue, get your merchandise, and see the art installations.  Three of my favorite acts on the first day were AC/DC, George Ezra, and Kiesza.  For a bunch of old guys I think AC/DC rocked harder then any other band at the festival.  The long guitar solos that you never hear anymore in music is a breath of fresh air, the movement and jumping around on stage to get the crowd going, and the ability to bring various generations together with a form of music that never dies – rock n’ roll.  George Ezra is a modern day singer/ songwriter.  His voice reminds me of Don Henley with a mix of Johnny Cash.  He has an old soul when he sings.  You can tell in his voice that every lyric and note means something and he has that old school rhythm and blues sound that makes you connect with the music.  Those of you who don’t know Kiesza you need to crawl out from under that rock.  She is a dancer turned singer and her show was full of dance, music, and connecting with the audience.  She even had back up dancers for the show and she was dancing and singing with them.  She showed no signs of being fatigued or out of breath.  Her stamina and energy was something that I haven’t seen from a current century music artist in a long time.  I think the public is going to be seeing and hearing a lot more of her, especially if her live shows continue to bring such a powerful energy.  On day one we also saw DJ Snake.  I have never seen my brother so excited as when we saw DJ Snake take the stage with two old school rappers DMX and Sir Mix A Lot.  The energy in that EDM tent was busting by the end of that set as everyone was dancing and singing along.

On day two and three we took a different approach to seeing artists.  Obviously at music festivals you are dealing with large crowds, drunk and high idiots, and lack of sleep, so, the less you have to deal with too much stupidity the better.  The first day we bounce between the varios stages and saw artists at every venue there was to see, but the following two days we stayed mostly at the outdoor and main stages.  Staying between these two stages allowed us to get a better viewing spot for the people we wanted to see such as Jack White, the Weekend who brought out Kanye West, Royal Blood, Florence and the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bad Religion.  We got right on a rail and could brace ourselves with the crowd, as well as saw some other artists who were pretty amazing that we might not have otherwise heard, such as Saint Motel, The Orwells, and Circa Survive.

So what are you going to do on your next music festival excursion?  Explore artists that are unfamiliar, make sure the VIP tickets are actually worth it by talking with someone from the festival and not just online, and be sure if there is someone you really want to see camp out there all day because more then likely everyone else really wants to see them too.  You don’t want to be that jackass pushing through the crowd of people that have been there for hours.

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