Coachella 2014 is in the books!
This is Coachella No. 6 for me, and it just keeps being awesome.
Admittedly, when the 2014 lineup first came out, I was a little lukewarm about it. There weren’t a ton of acts that were totally must-sees for me, but the beauty of Coachella is discovering acts you’d never heard of before and finding all these awesome bands that maybe everyone else knows of but you don’t, or listening to bands you’ve heard of before but never really listened to closely and then find a whole new appreciation for them.
This year’s Coachella was easily the most diverse one Ed and I have gone to, seeing as we caught everything from rock to electropop to New Wave to DJ sets and all that. This year’s tally:
Dum Dum Girls
Ms Mr (partial)
Cage the Elephant
City and Colour (partial)
Kid Cudi (partial)
Queens of the Stone Age
Pet Shop Boys
The Naked and Famous (partial)
The only thing that truly, truly sucked was that Saturday was a giant dust storm. There were high winds on Friday night as well, but that wasn’t so bad. Saturday, on the other hand, was miserable at night because of the dust. The temps weren’t bad, but the dust and wind wreaked havoc with my entire respiratory system, and it made sitting out by any of the outdoor stages a brutal experience. Luckily, we learned our lesson from a few years ago when our canopy blew away, and our campsite was pretty securely staked down and we lost nothing. But I’ll be removing dust from everything I own for years.
Other than that, some things that were totally awesome:
PET SHOP BOYS!
One thing you have to understand about me: I am a New Wave kid. I love New Wave. Listened to it religiously as a kid and have a deep appreciation for the likes of New Order, OMD, Depeche Mode, the Cure. So when the set times came out and I saw that Pet Shop Boys and Muse conflicted, I cursed the Coachella gods. After much deliberation, Ed and I decided we had to see the Pet Shop Boys. We’d seen Muse six times — and most recently six months ago — plus, we’d seen them at Coachella once before. So Pet Shop Boys won out …
… and it was well worth it.
All I had to do was listen to those songs — Suburbia, especially, which I’m pretty sure my mom had on a mixtape when I was grade school — and I was instantly transported to some happy days as a kid. The costumes, the visuals, the stage show — that all just added to the experience. Huge thumbs up. Oh, and they played in a tent, which provided refuge from Saturday’s sand storm. That was just the cherry on top.
Ed does most of the advance scouting for Coachella every year, since his thing is finding new music to listen to. He was really high on Chvrches — “like St. Lucia with a female singer,” he told me — and he really liked Haim. So of course we saw both acts. HOLY. CRAP.
Both were excellent. I especially loved Haim and their kickass bassist and just their overall sound. The three-part harmony, the awesome guitar work — I’m a huge fan.
I also enjoyed seeing Grouplove, whom I’d missed at Coachella a few years ago. I’d never really given them a close listen, and when I saw them, I don’t know why I didn’t give them a close listen before. They’re really excellent live, and their multi-layered sound is best appreciated when you see them live.
Other awesome things:
- Capital Cities did a cover of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was amazing. Their whole set was also super fun (despite the wind).
- Calvin Harris kicked off his set with “Feel So Close,” and there was something about that tableau that was wonderful: the music, the sunset, the dancing with the masses and my friends. Easily one of my favorite moments of the entire weekend.
- Girl Talk. ‘Nuff said. The best dance party ever.
I made a Coachella playlist on Spotify too. Check it out: