Coachella 2015 was filled with a remarkable lineup! With artists such as Trippy Turtle, Flosstradamus, J.E.S.u.S. (aka J.E.S+S), SBTRKT, Squarepusher, A Tribe Called Red and many more, WOLFshoes and I (Ms. Indigo Jones) knew we had to venture to the festival grounds and bring you event coverage.
We attended weekend 2 of the festival. Besides the heat, it was the perfect Coachella experience. Weekend 2 was less crowded, which meant more room to dance and enjoy the music. In addition to being less crowded, artists were able to provide a better performance than weekend 1 because they were able to work out any kinks that occurred during that time. Also, this year, weekend 2 had more surprise guests than weekend 1. Due to some of these factors, I noticed that many attendees are now contemplating that weekend 2 is now the “better” weekend. Personally, I can’t tell you if one weekend is “better” than the other. I can tell you that they are different, so the “better” weekend depends on the type of experience you desire.
When we arrived onto the festival grounds, people everywhere were screaming “Happy Coachella,” and giving high fives. Everyone was excited to embark on this three-day musical desert adventure. First, we went to the Coachella stage to see Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaire. The band came out first and the extremely talented Charles Bradley came out last. He was wearing a blue bejeweled suit. Even though his outfit did add some flair to his performance, I have no idea how he was able to wear it in that heat. His set was the best start to Coachella, providing the crowd with a soulful daytime funk to dance too. His guitarist also provided the perfect blues sound to complement Bradley’s overall performance. As I looked around the crowd, the mood was laid back and cheery with people swaying with their loved ones. Charles Bradley then went on to say to the crowd, “Thank you for helping me, help myself.” It’s truly small moments like those that show you how music help all people involved.
The next stop on the agenda was Athletixx in Heineken House. There was quite a long to get in, but to my surprise it moved fast and we were inside within five minutes. When first walking inside you notice that the walls are lined with pictures of all the artists playing the Heineken House. The sound system was more than decent for the Heineken House. I think the bass shaking walls would agree as well. Athletixx drew a relatively good-sized crowd. As with most shows, the crowd in the front had the best energy, as they danced to the whole set. The crowd in the back was had a more relaxed vibe, as they hung out at the bar casually sipping their drinks. For those who are not knowledgeable of Athletixx, they are an electronic music collective consisting of Hoodboi, Falcons, Kittens, and Promnite. They were sporting their all white athletic gear, jumping around as they each took turns mixing. Their set mostly consisted of Trap and Jersey Club. Honestly, the crowd and their set were fun and I wanted to stay until the end but we also wanted to catch some of Keys N Krates’ set, so we ventured out of the Heineken House and towards the Sahara tent.
Walking towards the Sahara tent, you can hear Keys n Krates playing and see the Sahara tent completely full. We were only able to catch the last half of their set. The three members were filled with energy and feeding off the crowd’s excitement. When they played a Mercy remix, they crowd roared and the energy was raised even higher than before. Keys N Krates definitely lived up to their hype, playing a fun-filled set with a high energy crowd that dance and sang the entire time. Towards the end the three members took a picture with the crowd and played a few more songs. They asked the crowd “Are you faded?” The crowd screamed in their response, “yes, we faded!” This led into their last song of the set, “Are We Faded.”
After the Keys N Krates show, we walked over to Mojave to see Ryan Hemsworth. The entire stage was white. The tables were white, the chair on stage was white, and the makeshift clouds were white. Ryan Hemsworth eventually runs on stage in what appears to be all white track warm up suit. Blue lights illuminate the stage and the music starts to play. Everything that was once white becomes now blue. The crowd slowly starts dancing. As you look beyond Hemsworth and towards the screen, you see the interesting visuals. Three people on the side of the stage created these visuals live. All of which, were wearing all white lab coats. They brought in the props and moved the lights perfectly to give the best shadows, movements, and visuals. Overall, it was good daytime set for Coachella. The set was light, relaxing, and mixed with hip-hop as well. To pick up the crowd energy, he played a remix of Rae Sremmurd “No Type.” By this time, the tent was still not full, but everyone that was there was dancing. Hemsworth also brought out Dawn Golden to sing their song “Snow in Newark.” At first Golden seemed somewhat nervous but you could not hear his nerves in his voice. After this performance we left to see Lucent Dossier. Some time after we left, Hemsworth also brought out Tinashe.
Lucent Dossier was at the Do LaB tent. The Do LaB tent is always one of my personal favorites at Coachella. This year the Do LaB tent was bigger and it seemed to be a mini-festival on it’s own. By the time we got there, Lucent Dossier was already on. With their acrobatics, costumes, and performance, their show was absolutely mesmerizing and full of energy. They also had hula hooping acrobatics, which I found extremely fun to watch. The entire audience was captivated. Behind the performers, there was netting, which was part of the Do LaB stage. The netting made the stage look like a dream catcher. As you continued to watch Lucent Dossier in their performance, you could not help but feel like you were actually in a dream. As their performance ended, they jumped around on the stage in onesies saying, “We hope you like to get freaky like we do.” Their show was absolutely magical, as always.
Next on our list was Nero at the Outdoor stage. We have both seen Nero before and because of that we knew we had to see their show. The stage design was amazing with all of their LCD screens. As the duo came on stage, the audience knew this was going to be one of the best shows of the night. The music started off as dark, eerie, and epic. The set was steadily paced with heavy dub-step. Then, the crowd screamed when they heard the notable “Guilt” lyrics, “you keep on crying but it makes no sense at all.” Their singer was absolutely perfect and hit every note. The black dress she wore, along with her make up made her seem like a dark mysterious being from your dreams. By this time everyone watching Nero was dancing. The people in the beer garden were screaming. Their screams were followed by louder screams when “Crush On You” started to sneak its way into the set. Once the drop came for “Crush On You,” crowd roared. Nero then went from “Crush On You” to “Doomsday.” The people filled with excitement and energy. The girl in front of me started doing karate kicks and the man next to me shot up into the air and threw his sombrero. Soon after, “Promises” starts playing and the singer comes back out, this time in an all white dress. She looked like a Greek Goddess you hear about as a child. The crowd continued to sing with her from “Promises” to “Recluse.” Everyone at the Outdoor stage and even at the beer garden sang and danced to the entire Nero show. Nero proved to be one of the best shows of day 1 with an amazing set, incredible stage production, magnificent singer, and outstanding costume designs.
Back at the Coachella stage, it is packed as ACDC comes on. As a child I would listen to ACDC in the car ride to school when my father took me. Since I had been listening to their music as a child, this was a must-see show for me. The famed guitarist came on stage in his navy short suit and hat. ACDC was filled with so much energy and gave everything they had in their performance. The crowd at the ACDC set was one of my favorites. You could see a wide range of generations there singing along.
Back at the Gobi tent, which had chandeliers hanging from the top, was Squarepusher. He was wearing a fencing mask as he played. His set was dark and experimental. The avant-garde visuals matched his set and at a point, I did feel like I was at an art exhibit. When they weren’t showing visuals, and they were showing Squarepusher, there was great camera work with additional effects such as fades, blurs, and screen noise. Watching the screen at this point made you feel like you were wearing some of those 3D glasses. It had a blue visual overlaying the shot of him while drum n bass played. His set along with his visuals made me feel like I was witnessing a robot’s dream would be like (if they did dream). It was beautifully complex. In my notes I have written, “alien meets robot meets ghost at a dnb rave.” Squarepusher was an overall experience and had the most artistically interesting show of Day 1.
Article written by Dominica Murillo.
Photos taken by Lily Colovic.