Coachella By The Minute: Weekend 1

A Coachanimal in the wild (Credit: Christopher Victorio)

Friday, April 13

4:35 p.m. Coachanimal spotted in near the Outdoor Theater wearing a rainbow-colored fur cape and a pink, sparkly, full-body banana hammock unitard. Comfort means different things to different people at Coachella. (Niyaz Pirani)


5:02 Rolling into the parking lot and within a minute I roll past a girl in a sparkly sequined tube top and fake blond wig GULPING from a bottle of Jameson. Something tells me she’s not gonna make it to The Weeknd. (Nate Jackson)


5:27 Someone walks by eating lobsert mac and cheese out of a bread bowl. Why would you do this to yourself here?! (NP)


5:30 The Spectra tower in the middle of the field is a cross between Fantasia and a parking garage with no stairs. Looks cool from the outside, but I don’t think you can convince me to wait in line for another 3 minutes of walking. (NJ)


6:17 Daniel Ceasar has the crowd transfixed during his song “Take Me Away,”  dressed in a green track suit with his ever-growing dreads and round sunglasses that reflect a view of the palm trees in the sunlight–the epitome of Coachella cool that will only be surpassed by H.E.R., who makes a cameo during his song “Sweetest Thing” a few minutes later. (NJ)


8:21 This chick in the Absolut Open House doing the “Knuck If You Buck” dance giving me all the life I’ll ever need. (Nick Nuk’em)

Vince Staples (Credit: Chris Victorio)

7:13 Vince Staples is clearly a big fish these days judging by his mainstage slot at 7 p.m. Even though I believe he’s truly deserved a sundown slot, in a scenario like this his show falls flat. The stage and backdrop aquarium blue visuals seems to swallow him whole. Can we get this man some backup dancers or something? (NJ)


7:20 Last year Coachella became BIGCHELLA. This year, it’s EVENBIGGERCHELLA. Nate and I have both been here 12 times, and somehow we just got lost AF for 20 min. (NP)


8:35 Rapper Nav makes a surprise cameo during his XO labelmate Belly’s set at Mojave and immediately crowds rush the stage just the way they did when Nav brought out The Weeknd in 2017. If there’s one thing these Canadians do, it’s stick together, aye? (NJ)


8:45 I’m carpooling in way too late with some friends, and two police officers guiding traffic into the blue parking lot stop our car. One of them checks our wristbands. The other one is holding a drug-dog on a leash. The cop and the dog start making their way around our vehicle. There’s wine in the car. I don’t know if I have weed on me. I don’t remember if I smoked earlier in the day (can drug-dogs smell that?). They went around once. I grabbed my backpack and held it between my feet. They went around twice.

“What are you guys looking for? Or what have you been finding?,” my friend asks the cop who made us stop. “Everything,” he says. “Lots of people hide things in the headlights of their cars or taped up in their tire wheel.”

The cop and the dog made it around the car a third time. Apparently, what they were looking for we didn’t have. They let us into the parking lot. All the blood in my body rushed to my cheeks. I’m already exhausted from Coachella, and I’m not even in yet. (Mary Carreon)

8:51 Jamie Foxx just cameo’d at Kygo’s set and they’re tropifying “Sexual Healing”. This is why you can’t put a price on this festival. (NN)

Credit: Chris Victorio

9:00 Hanging around the outside of Coachella on day-one at night is a show in itself. A guy with a buzz cut wearing a white cut off t-shirt and tattoo sleeves walks over to a security guard with his girlfriend, who’s wearing a purple sequined bra, booty shorts and platform boots. “Hey, man, my friend works for Staff Pro and I need to talk to him,” the buzzed cut guy says to the security guard, as he point to his girlfriend. “I’ve been coming to Coachella for the last 19 years and this is her first Coachella. She spent $600 on a wristband and the security chip was taken out.” Oh you don’t say?

The security guard looked at the half naked girl and the guy who sounded like he was oddly asking to let them in without wristbands. The security guard said no. They both turned around and moped back toward the street. (MC)

9:07 DREAMS, the new band by Daniel Johns of Silverchair and Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun plays its first show ever in the Mojave tent. Most of the crowd is watching SZA, so they miss the dance-rock weirdness, an equal combination of goth and glam. (NP)

Credit: Niyaz Pirani

9:21 Friday: First time ever checking out the Do Lab and I just walked into a secret set by RL Grime! HOLLLLAAAAAA!!!!! (NP)

9:40 A security guard is telling another security guard about the madness he’s endured today. “I told the guy to swipe his wrist band, and I looked down and he had a $100 bill in his hand,” the security guard said. “And I was like ‘UGH it’s not like that bro!’ And he was like ‘come on’ and I told him to get the fuck outta here.” (MC)

10:05 After a rocky start to her set, SZA is reaching her stride. She is effortless and imperfect in all the right ways that show she is a star of this generation. Her nervous, one-sided conversations with the audience belie the strength of her vocals on “Broken Clocks” and “Supermodel”. The show needs polish and a her voice a little more control overall. But damn, girl can saaang when she wants to. (NJ)

10:25 – One of Soulwax’s three drummers told me to tell Neil Peart “Wassup?”  (NN)


10:35  A girl just dove head first into the trashcan near the main stage set times sign. She’s puking her brains out. SZA just brought out Kendrick Lamar. She’s watching from the inside the barf filled receptacle. I think I’m standing in the splash zone. (MC)


10:44 I just Milly Rocked to Soulwax. I think I’ve peaked in life. (NN)

Credit: Niyaz Pirani

10:56 Friday: Somehow Siri can call my friends out here, but I can’t get her to work on my own home wi-fi most of the time. #Illuminati (NP)


11:03 The New (unbelievably massive) Sahara Tent is my church in the desert. REZZ breaks in the sparkly, new sound system and video screens with a mind-melting mix that includes an amazing Rage Against the Machine drop! Don’t miss her if you’re headed to W2. (NP)


11:44 “She go Lo Mein”…. Just realized how hungry and thirsty I am. (NN)

The Weeknd (Credit: Chris Victorio)

12:01 The Weeknd’s evolution since his debut is comparable to none other than Kendrick in that span of time. (NN)


12:09 “This nigga can sing…” says some nimrod behind at The Weeknd. Yeah, bro, what the fuck you think? (NN)


12:15 Jamiroquai+Snoop cameo=Snoop-aquai!?!?! I don’t know how this is happening but my favorite ‘90s funk act and my favorite ‘90s rapper from the LBC are sharing the same space at the same time. Anyone who missed out on this for the Weeknd is a fool. (NJ)

Jamiroquai (Credit: Chris Victorio)

12:37 JayKay of Jamiroquai dances like John Leguizamo in The Pest. (NN)


12:44 Disregarding my high school test scores, I think this  Jamiroquai funk is the closest I’ll ever get to the ‘70s. (NN)


1:27 a.m. Saturday: The Turn Down Tent has wood floors instead of grass this year, killing the vibe. I planned all year to turn down hard, but hardly turned down at all instead. (NP)


Saturday, April 14

3:17 p.m. Following a tip from my 14-year-old little sister, I go to check out Declan McKenna. He’s an up-and-coming English singer-songwriter who, with his band of clearly young adults, tore down the Mojave tent. The crowd knew all the words to his hit “Brazil,” but it was the heavier songs that had the crowd spellbound. (NP)


3:30 pm: There is an assortment of nug jugs on the ground right near security. It’s a shame they don’t let you take weed into Coachella. It would save so much hassle. I got my tincture taken away, which is heartbreaking. I told the security guard to keep it but… No such luck she slammed it in the amnesty box – – the collection unknown confiscated objects. If I could guess what’s in there I’d say lots of weed, beer bottles, drugs and Jerry Garcia’s ashes.
3:37pm: Someone left their toothpaste and toothbrush on the hood of their car – – bristles down. Yikes.
Credit: Christopher Victorio

4:00 If you go to the Coachella campgrounds at night, you’re going to be disappointed. They’re as tame as a college library on a Tuesday eve, which is fascinating because most festivals—like Lightning in a Bottle, Bonnaroo, Dirty Bird, Burning Man (is that considered a festival?) etc.—thrive on the late night campground parties. Coachella is the opposite. Coachella campgrounds are about the day rage. It’s frat house heaven. It’s everything a college person dreams of and more: Cases on cases of Bud Light, beer pong tables, beach balls, corn hole, sorority girls taking posed group photos together—and shirtless frat bros with bandanas around their heads taking the exact same picture. (MC)


4:14 “I have the best day job in the world. I get to write hits for Diana Ross, Madonna, David Bowie, Daft Punk,” says Nile Rogers before going into a medley of all the bangers he’s written and produced. (NN)


4:17 There’s a guy yakking his brains out between the cars in the campgrounds. His friend walks over to him to see if he’s good. “Bro, are you okay?” he says to his friend blowing chunks. “Bro, are you going to be okay?”


Chic (Credit: Chris Victorio)

4:19 Chic was scheduled way too early. Not mad at a day time disco though. (NN)


4:20 It’s that time again. I search for people celebrating the plant. I hear the Fugees from a distance. I follow the sound the way a dog follows the scent of meat. I see a hippie den with Grateful Dead tapestries neatly strewn with fairy lights hanging from a shade structure. The sound of “Fu-Gee-La” is getting closer. To my pleasant surprise I find a group of fairly sober girls, chilling hard and passing three joints around. They were lounging on beanbags, had fans hooked up to generators and were juicing fresh orange juice.

“Happy 420,” one of them says in a cough/laugh to her friends. “I LOVE YOU GUYS!”

“Dude, we’re not guys,” says the friend she passed a joint to.

I think I found my people. (MC)


4:26 Kim Davis of Chic easily takes home the award for Best Vocal Performance of the weekend. (NN)


4:31 Saturday Nile Rogers finally plays Coachella after announcing he’d be here two years ago. The crowd gets David Bowie, Madonna, Sister Sledge and more, plus Chic classics that were unfortunately lost on some of the up-close and impatiently-waiting Beyonce fans. The history weighed heavy on me. My eyes teared up. #CoachellaMagic (NP)


5:00 Someone is getting taken away on a stretcher and just threw up all over a security guard. I’m sure that’s not in the job description. (MC)


5:15 The water-spraying utility trucks are fighting a losing battle of keeping the dust down on the roads, but occasionally they get an unintentional win. I watch one douse a stuck-up, boho chic couple preemptively walking through a crosswalk with their headphones on at music festival. There is a God. And he’s a funny motherfucker. (NJ)


6:10 A dude wearing pink sunglasses asked me who I was most excited to see this weekend. I told him that I came for David Byrne. He looked at me and said “Oh.” I told him the Talking Heads are one of my favorite bands. He had a confused expression twisted across his face. His immediate follow up question was, “How old are you?” I told him it was rude to ask a woman her age, and then asked him who he was most excited to see. He said Post Malone. I guess 19-year-olds don’t know who the Talking Heads are these days. (MC)

BROCKHAMPTON (Credit: Chris Victorio)

6:20  Brockhampton got an orchestra on stage dressed like muhfuckin O Brother, Where Art Thou? And heir sound reminds me of a reincarnation of D12 (NN)


6:30 Say what you will about the music of BROCKHAMPTON, write it off as mindless kid stuff ginned up from the bowels of the internet. But you’d be missing the point of the group’s relevance. Putting on one of the most intense, crowd-inspired sets of the day, the 14-member group filled the stage sporting flak jackets, each branded with words like “Nigger”, “Faggot” and “Fiend” behind a giant military helicopter. Given all the more “mature” music on the bill that failed to impress so far, I’ll the energy from this group of young guns over entitled old-school rockers any day. (NJ)


7:06 David Byrne sits at an empty desk on an empty stage holding a model of the human brain. What unravels for the next hour is part Broadway show, all muscle, as this entirely wireless troupe of 12 players gets down to Byrne’s new album and Talking Heads originals. Highlights: “Once In A Lifetime” and “The Great Curve.” (NP)

David Byrne (Credit: Chris Victorio)

7:10 David Byrne is my favorite artist on the line up. He’s opening with “This Must Be The Place.” My whole heart is exploding and might fly out of my mouth right now. I also just ran into my friends, like divine intervention. I don’t know if I could be happier. This is what life is all about. Nothing else matters. (MC)


7:30 The crowd at David Byrne are scream singing his songs. Everyone is enthusiastic, hugging each other and as happy as children on Christmas morning. But there’s literally no one here—and David Byrne is KILLING it on stage. There are maybe 400-500 people here—if that. Coachella has 125,000 attendees. It honestly blows my fucking MIND that people are at other sets right now. We need to work together to raise the music intelligence of the younger Coachella generation, because this is unacceptable. Is Alina Baraz, MØ,  or Tash Sultana truly better than David Byrne? I’m sorry but no. Everyone who wasn’t there fucked up. Kids, get your shit together. (MC)


8:46 I see a couple to the right of me acting peculiar and staring down at a puddle. Moments later they mosey near me and I inquire about their odd behavior. Dude tells me that a chick walked out of the venue pissing, spraying on his girlfriend’s feet. I look over to find her mortified. Rough. (NN)


8:48 Busta Rhymes implores us to throw fruits at rappers lacking technical skill before effortlessly rapping his “Look At Me Now” verse with precision. (NN)


9:30 Diddy’s currently on stage with Ma$e and Busta Rhymes promoting Ciroc in the Heineken house. He truly is a savage. (NN)


9:45 There is a girl who looks like Britney Spears running around by herself taking selfies with her nipple out. Congratulations, you have just won Coachella. (MC)

Haim (Credit: Chris Victorio)

10:00 Haim is charging through a convincing (opening) set (for Beyonce) that is more pop spectacle than their roots-rockish showing at the Outdoor Theater 3 years back. Give them a couple more albums and let some time pass … it wouldn’t be surprising to see them headline a night of their own within the next decade. (NP)


10:01 I arrive at the Sahara stage right as Post Malone is set to go on to find the crowd pouring way out of the newly renovated, enlarged space. Post Mania ain’t nothin’ to fuck with. (NN)

Post Malone (Credit: Chris Victorio)

10:11 Holy shit! Post Malone has the crowd backed up past the stage. The nearest beer garden is full to the brim with folks trying to get a peep. (NN)


10:15 A group of three waif-like dudes are brushing annoyed people aside in the impossibly full Post Malone crowd telling them semi-politely “Excuse me, guys! Three best friends coming through.” One guy claps back “Move aside guys, let the ‘best friends’ through!”  (NJ)


10:20 During “Fall Apart” it’s clear by his crowd size that Post deserves to be on the main stage, but this show is super boring. People on the outer edge of the crowd are leaving in droves–a perfect illustration that it takes more than just hits to make a festival set. (NJ)

Beyoncé (Credit: Chris Victorio)

11:07 I love men who like to dance to (or like) Beyoncé. Shake it, duuuudes. (MC)


11:10  My phone is dead but Beyoncé is delivering the biggest, blackest show I’ve ever seen in my life. Slight Michael Jackson vibes if I might  add. (NN)


11:34 Beyonce to the crowd: “Suck on my balls.” I am dead…until she brought out the surprise Destiny’s Child which immediately brought me back to life. (NJ)


12:20 a.m. HOLY FUCK. BEYONCE. The scale of this performance changes everything in terms of what is achievable on the Coachella main stage. (NP)


Cardi B (Credit: Chris Victorio)

Sunday, April 15

6:05 p.m. Pregnant or not, Cardi B is this generation’s Lil’ Kim. She also said she spent $300,000 on her Coachella set. I did the math: $1,000 for white risers and metal poles; $299,000 for exotic dancers and $1 bills. Also, Chance the Rapper showed up, which was nice. (NP)


6:07 Wanted to party with Cardi, got thwarted by parking instead. (NN)

Portugal. The Man (Crdit: Chris Victorio)

7:08 Portugal. The Man gets the main stage slot they’ve deserved for sometime, but could only garner with the kind of attention a smash like “Feel It Still” can bring. They threw in a Beatles medley, and were at best when transitioning from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2” into their own “Purple, Yellow, Red & Blue.” (NP)


7:10 I waltzed into the VIP, and am now sitting at the Outstanding In The Field dinner in the Rose Garden. How this happened, I’m not too sure, but the food is incredible. There’s locally farmed lacinato and Russian kale quinoa, roasted concord grapes, flying disc ranch dates, Riesling-soaked raisins and a 2015 Trail Marker Wine Co. Chardonnay, that has buttery undertones on the front of the tongue and finishes with a citrusy, crisp touch. Outcomes a plate of milk-braised Salt Meadow Spring lamb with buckwheat gnocchi and paired with another Trail Marker Wine Co. pinot noir. I have literally died and gone to heaven. I have officially met the Coachella gods. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m not supposed to be here, and yet, I am. Praise Mount Olympus. Thank you, Buddha. Hallelujah! (MC)


7:53 Portugal. The Man definitely love their cover songs. The whole set, inspired by their breakthrough album Woodstock, is littered with classic rock tunes from the ’60s and ’70s. At the height of their set, the band breaks into “Hey Jude” and a group of girls next to me immediately start ho-downing with each other, raising their arms up to the sky for the “Naaaa-na-na-na-na-na-naaah” at the end.  (NJ)

Credit: Chris Victorio

8:08 Standing in line for this big rainbow tower for 30 minutes listening to couples argue is my idea of a good time. (NN)


8:11 Van Leeuwen Ice Cream’s pop-up between the Sahara and Main Stages makes the perfect sundae snack on a Sunday. My favorite item at the festival considering I was served a burger where they forgot the secret sauce one night and an ice cold slice of Spicy Pie another. (NP)


8:48 Every group of culturally diverse dudes in this festival  is BROCKHAMPTON to me. (NN)

Miguel (Credit: Chris Victorio)

8:50 Miguel might be the Marviny Gaye of our generation. The way he lets go of those falsetto notes on “Adore” definitely conjures up some “Sexual Healing” vibes in the crowd. (NJ)


9:55 Migos DJ just took the stage 20 minutes after they were scheduled to be on and these speakers at Sahara tent sound like absolute shit. (NN)


10:00 Migos are either late just cause, or late for sound issues, at Sahara. The DJ is stalling and the crowd is booing. Apparently they did make it out, but it killed the momentum for what should have been a crowning-achievement for the trio. (NP)


10:18 Quavo got a spinning chain like G-Unit in 2002. (NN)

A Perfect Circle (Credit: Chris Victorio)

10:34 I’m on the rail for A Perfect Circle because there’s hardly anyone here. Their loss! Billy, Maynard & the gang crush the crowd with walloping riffs that leaned heavy on new cuts from “Eat the Elephant,” out next week. (NP)


10:37 Dressed in an all-white tracksuit and sporting a beard, Eminem comes out swinging to the Nate Dog’s chorus on “Till I Collapse”. Sounds like the Em-zilla of old has returned. His new songs on Revival may not be very listenable, but you can’t say the dude doesn’t have bars. (NJ)

10:45 “I don’t like rolling and listening to this,”  a girl turns to tell her boyfriend after Eminem performs “Kill You”. (NN)


10:50 There’s a guy in the beer garden with his head in the trash can. He is dancing around the trashcan barfing his brains out. He is scream barfing. WHERE ARE HIS FRIENDS!? DON’T LEAVE YOUR FRIENDS PEOPLE! (MC)


11:03 Barclay Crenshaw, who I stumbled upon trying to delay may walk over to Eminem on the main stage, delivers the last great electronic set of Coachella 2018. The music is glitchy and alien, and the graphics and lasers aggressive but awesome. The perfect way to end the party. (NP)


11:05 I fucked up not seeing A Perfect Circle. I don’t even want to see Eminem anymore. (MC)


11:11 A chick is bent over twerking to “Stan,” getting her ass slapped by her friends. Can we hurry up with this apocalypse? (NN)

Eminem (Credit: Chris Victorio)

11:15 “I wish Beyoncé was here,” a girl with a sequined hat says as Eminem is about to take the stage. I do, too. (MC)


11:34 Real shit, these Revival songs are way better live than on the album. (NN)


11:40 50 Cent, Dre and Slim Shady sharing the stage at one time. Have I died and gone back to 1998? (NJ)


11:45 Fact: If she’s never heard “Still D.R.E,” she’s too young for you bro. (NN)


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