Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Wrap Up

Day Two:

Arguably the best day, April 14, day two brought undercard acts that really made the Coachella experience a great one.

Beginning at 1 p.m., I rushed to the Gobi stage to catch power trio band Ron Gallo, fronted by the man himself, Ron Gallo. I was one of the first people to get there around five minutes before the band had taken the stage. Standing right at the barricade, I was front and center for my favorite performance of the weekend. Beginning his set with a poem, he concluded that everyone in the audience were “miracles.”

The setlist consisted of songs from album Heavy Meta and latest EP release, Really Nice Guys. The entire band were engaging and used their stage well, showing a total unison and comfort with one another, as if no one were there watching them go crazy.

“I want to be the first person to drown on stage at Coachella,” Gallo had said, gulping down some water in the hot tent. Quickly he shook his head to show he was kidding and continued playing. Towards the end, he made all of us in the crowd “ohm” with him to relax. After a few “ohms” he transitioned successfully into song “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me.”

It was there that me and the few people at the very front got our big break at Coachella: Gallo had passed us his guitar to shred on, us closing out his set. It was one for the books.

The Gobi stage was the place to camp out day two: Sudan Archives, Big Thief, Angel Olsen, Benjamin Booker, Jorja Smith and Tom Misch all gracing just one stage - it definitely made navigating the festival harder that day.

I had to limit myself sadly at the Gobi, but went over to Outdoor stage for some First Aid Kit and BORNS action followed by the one and only David Byrne. BORNS swooned the crowd with his vivacious stage presence and all Gucci attire. While he didn’t bring out Lana Del Rey or perform favorite hit Past Lives, we were mesmerized by how beautiful his performance of Electric Love was, everyone singing word for word this hit.

Finally, the moment came when David Byrne was to take the stage. The stage was empty with nothing but a desk and a brain at the center of it. He walked out and gave what seemed like some sort of monologue. After, I found myself front and center for what could be the closest thing to a Talking Heads show I’d ever get to experience in my life. There I was with people in their 50s belting out the lyrics to Speaking in Tongues songs “Burning Down the House” “Slippery People” and “This Must Be The Place.” David Byrne and co. danced, sang and played music in formation in perfect unison. Closing his set with a Janelle Monae cover of “Hell You Talmbout” that highlighted the injustices of many murdered due to police brutality.

After a moving performance, I rushed to the Mojave stage to catch some Alvvays, was disappointed to see that they had to soundcheck fifteen minutes into their set. Nonetheless, they played a solid gig with a packed house, crowded with up-beat dancing.

I decided before Beyonce went on to explore the amazing art installations. The most engaging and overall structurally beautiful of the festival was by UK-based design studio, Newbubstance, who had created SPECTRA. With a seven story cylinder-like building, there were 300 colored plexiglas windows and 6,000 LED lights that made for the perfect photos. I went up to the very top and caught a 360 degree view of the festival, definitely worth the walk up.

Lastly, it was a historic event for Coachella, with the queen herself, Beyonce ending the night. Taking more than an hour to prepare for the extravaganza after HAIM's set, it made sense: no words could possibly describe the experience that was the stage presence of Beyonce, one that involved hundreds of dancers, Solange, Jay-Z and the reunion of a lifetime, Destiny’s Child. Beyonce started with “Crazy in Love” and finished with “Love on Top,” seemingly fit for the night.

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