Coachella Week 2: A Dozen Suggestions To Improve Your Experience

With the benefit of hindsight – it’s a lot easier to opine on the do’s and don’ts of Coachella 2014.  For those catching the acts for the first time, or even for those making a return trek, we thought we’d dish out a few #SUPERGOOD pointers.

1.  Ignore What You’ve Heard and See Outkast:  Critics who claimed the set was a disappointment or that EDM ruined Outkast’s set were just hit mongers oblivious to the passion of real Outkast fans and/or authors trying to get some virility to their articles by using a sensational titling or inflammatory accusations.   Outkast’s set was not perfect — but it was well worthy of attendance.    For any fan of Aquemini the album, it is a must see and for fans who want to hear hits – they did perform “B.O.B.”, “Ms. Jackson”, “Hey Ya” and “Rosa Parks” plus “I Like The Way You Move” and Big Boi’s “Shutterbug.”  They dropped ATLiens, they brought out Sleepy Brown and they were even fixing to bring out Killer Mike before the plug got pulled.  The only true disappointment of the set was the fact that they kept hyping Future and his forthcoming record and they gave him 3 tracks of stage time — something that no Outkast fan or Coachella attendee really wanted to see.  With a set time bumped up 30 minutes – you can expect even more material to be performed and certainly “The Whole World.”   I can only imagine that fans who seemed disappointed in the lack of material from their first two albums will be rewarded by the additional time…

2.  Go To The Heineken House:  It is a new addition to Coachella and many may be unaware that the house looking structure is an air conditioned tent.   Perfect for a day time cool down – it also features an array of unlisted hit makers and stellar emerging artists.  First weekend saw producers from L.A.’s Team Supreme and Low End Theory mastermind Gaslamp Killer, who was joined by Thundercat to square off for about twenty minutes of live J Dilla beats that segued into the GZA doing cuts from Liquid Swords.  Sunday afternoon brought the NOLA vibes of Preservation Hall Brass Band with Fishbone and more.  You can expect more top notch talent this weekend – including a return of members of Team Supreme, including LION KNGS – who just dropped a supergood remix of Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” with co-production from saxophonist Dominic “DOM” Lalli from another Coachella act, Big Gigantic.  On top of seeing LION KNGS and other excellent producers and artists, the cool air is refreshing, the Heineken is ice cold and the music is certainly excellent.



3.  Check Out The Food Options:  Goldenvoice/AEG/Coachella really stepped up their game with food and beverage offerings this year.  The food trucks are back (there is even 2 Kogi trucks!) – but now there is a craft beer oasis with about 40 different choice choice drafts, a series of restaurant installations that includes Baco Mercat, a stand operated by the people from Sugarfish, and a place where you can get fresh pressed cold Clover juices!   The impressive away of sweets and high end ice cream also provides a smattering of options for those with sweet teeth.  Nic Adler and his crew definitely recruited some choice L.A. tastemakers and established a new high standard for Coachella festival dining and drinking.

4.  Don’t Miss Rudimental:  While everyone has their own musical proclivities and tastes – and you should pursue whatever your heart and ears desire – I urge you not to miss Rudimental.   The British breakout brought massive energy and eclectic vibes to the stage.  Not only did they smash their single “Waiting All Night” – but they paid homage to Outkast with a tease of “Spottieottiedopaliscious,” amped up the entire tent with their enthusiasm and persuaded casual walker-bys to stop dead in their tracks and listen.

5.   Flosstradamus Is The Most Ratchet Set At Coachella:   For the uninitiated – Flosstradamus are the true kings of getting things turnt the fuck up.  They bust out trap and massive bass drops on twisted mixes of familiar music to get crowds twerking, jerking and generally letting all body parts shake.  Their first weekend Coachella set was easily the most ratchet of the weekend – with people marrying their faces to dirt hundreds off feet outside the tent because everyone was getting down so hard.   It arguably had the biggest mosh pit of the weekend (see below).   TTFU.  The Flosstradamus is NOT TO BE MISSED unless you can’t handle funky dance moves, massive energy build ups and break downs and the literally dopest stage drop for the stoner set.  Featuring smoking LED blunts and fake cannabis plants accompanied by wild Strangeloop designed chronic themed visuals — Flosstradamus on 4/20 at Coachella will be the envy of heady kids who didn’t get to make it.

6.   Hope You Get The Same Guests for Disclosure:  To close out the Outdoor Stage, British nu-house upstarts Disclosure brought out Mary J. Blige and Sam Smith for accompanying vocals.  They were the highlights of an already stellar live performance that included digital flames for “When a Fire Starts To Burn” and awesome Disclosure-face themed visuals.  Attendance will be worth it whether the same guests appear or not — but with back to back sell outs for Sam Smith at Belasco Theater on Tuesday and Wednesday, I think it is likely he will at least be back to sing “Latch.”


7.   Bring a Bandana and Eye Protection:   The desert wind and Coachella dust are brutal.  You’ll be sneezing dirt for days whether you have protection or not — but less if you carry and wear a bandana.  It can be a fashion accessory and/or a functional tool.  At Coachella – its both.  The same can be said of sunglasses and/or goggles.  For high winds – goggles are not unreasonable, but big frames are effective at blocking some of the wind and dust that inevitably gets blown in your face.


8.    Visit Sahara Tent At Least Once:  Per usual, the Sahara tent is the home of most things electronic and features the dopest visual possibilities available.   Martin Garrix’s lasers were epic, Dillon Francis‘ beamed visit from DJ Hanzel,  Skrillex‘s new stage set-up, Duck Sauce‘s Barbara Streisand performance with dancing nose faces and the actual Barbara clips, and so many more highlights.  Just make sure you go at some point during the night to experience the lasers and visuals in their prime.  Embrace the madness for at least one set — because it gets packed, crowded and people are not so aware of maintaining body control.   Preferably go at night or twilight when you can enjoy full effects and lighting.

9.    Is Banks Actually Singing Live?:  If you were there week 1 – you know she sounded perfect.  Like flawless.  I know that some main stage artists and performers don’t actually sing the vocals live…like maybe they did once, but that was recorded and now its played over so it sounds good.  But in the smaller tents I thought the vocals were not just mailed in — I’ve witnessed them not be mailed in by the likes of The Gossip and LCD Soundsystem, amongst many others.  But – she sounded perfect.  Can she just execute like that?  Or are those vocals recorded?  No matter what…spoiler alert, she f’ing crushes that Aaliyah cover.


10.   Electronic Music Fans Must Visit The Do Lab and Yuma:   The Do Lab has moved to a not main area of the festival : ( – the relocation may mean more privacy for The Do Lab crew, but it also means less exposure to uninitiated crowds and more of an inconvenience to fans of The Do Lab experience that also want to enjoy some mainstream parts of the festival.  The beats and bass still dropped rather hard, there was still a guy with a water gun dousing people at the front of the stage and its still the place to see some of the more wild Coachella costumes.  Two Fresh delivered a pretty raucous set to jump off Sunday of Week 1 and word was Gorgon City and TEED also crushed The Do Lab too.   Yuma appears to have expanded and become more of a focus of the Coachella planners.  It features its own secluded set of bathrooms as well as a closely placed food truck.  Inside the conveniently cooled tent, there are a healthy amount of disco lights (including a disco shark) to accompany the deep house and other jams pulsing through the speakers.   Lee Burridge, Aeroplane and Duke Dumont all had pretty enjoyable sets at Yuma week 1 – so make sure to give them a peep weekend 2.  There are even couchesThe Do Lab and Yuma are both located in the newly named “Terrace” area that also features the previously mentioned craft beer and high-er end sustenance offerings.


11.  Visit the Pool Parties:  Unfortunately some parties do not repeat weekend 2 (like SoHo Desert House — which had a star studded premier party weekend 1 that included a set from Flight Facilities or KROQ House – which included free flowing beverages and live sets from CHVRCHES and Chromeo), but there is still the Saguaro Hotel, The Do Over (on Sunday) and the LED Day Party at Hard Rock Hotel with G Pen and Heineken featuring Tiesto, Showtek and more weekend 2.   Cool down by a pool while enjoying some of the party people — even some of whom Nochella…


12.  Bring a water bottle:   It is good for the environment to bring your own bottle and use it — and its good for your health to stay hydrated.  It gets hot, it is dry and you may just be drinking.   There are lots of accessible water fill up spots — more than I can remember, including a rarely used one by The Do Lab.  Take advantage.  Or just buy water if you’re too lazy to carry a bottle.  Its $2 a bottle — which is not as bad as some LA venues that charge as much as $5 on the night of a show.

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