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The 10 Best Things I Saw at Coachella

Posted on April 28 2013

1. Pharell…
Didn’t talk to him and didn’t even really go near him… But seeing a legend in both music and fashion in person still has my heart racing!

2. Janelle Monae
I always say there are certain artists that you should never cover. One big one in my opinion is Michael Jackson, but Janelle Monae proved me wrong by performing “I Want You Back” so well I am sure Michael himself would have been impressed. Her energy and chemistry with her bandmates was incredible. The entire show was the perfect mixture of choreography and improvisation between musicians.

3. Action Bronson rapping in the crowd with Crowd Surfing, Cocaine seeking, wheelchair bound, Australian named Dan
Bam Bam Baklava came out with a very clear mission for his set: Prove he is the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of rap music today. By unanimous decision, the judges deemed this no contest! Bronsalino stormed the crowd right out of the gates, literally, as he dragged his large, Albanian frame into the frantic crowd of the Outdoor stage. Rhyming the whole way out and through the barrage of fans jumping on him, and tearing his clothes off. While all of this is happening, a crowd member in a wheelchair gets hoisted to the sky by the pit and paraded around. Action didn’t miss a step, but after the track made sure to have the wheeled-wonder tell the crowd “who [he was] and where the fuck [he was] from”. To which he replied “My name is Dan and I am from Australia. Now somebody get me some Coke!” I still have no idea if he ever found that Coke or not…

4. Redman on stage with Wu performing “Da Rockwilder”
Obviously, seeing the Wu-Tang Clan was up there for me personally going into this past weekend. In fact, when I ranked all the artists in the Coachella lineup in the order I wanted to see them, Wu sat alone on the list at numero uno. To see everyone (with the exception of ODB, of course) on stage together was absolutely surreal. On top of that, watching RZA conduct the orchestra they brought on stage with them nearly made my cum in my pants. The straw that broke the camel’s back on this one for me though, was Redman coming out (on his birthday) to perform “Da Rockwilder” with Meth and the rest of the Clan!

5. Local Natives
This one was a bit of a surprise for me, to be completely honest. I was familiar with a few of the Local Natives’ songs, but they did not sit high on my list of acts to see for the weekend. In fact, if my friend Lisa Bandura didn’t suggest that we go see them then I very likely would have been sitting in the beer gardens during this set instead. But that would have been an incredible mistake, because next to Janelle Monae, this was the best set I saw all weekend. Incredibly tight musically, great energy, and their song choices were perfect. On top of that, the crowd response to this band was incredible! I wish I knew every word to every song for this set, because I would have loved to be singing along with everyone else!

6. Milo
If you don’t understand this, then I feel like I would be wasting my breath explaining it… So, I won’t!

7. Jurassic 5 with Cut Chemist & DJ Numark
I did not have a doubt in my mind that Jurassic 5 was going to be incredible. I’ve seen them twice before and both times they were so impressive. To actually hear 4 MCs sound like one is pretty fucking cool if you ask me. What I did not expect, was that J5 would bring Cut Chemist and DJ Numark out with them! Again, if you don’t understand this, then I feel like blah, blah, blah… So, I won’t. But definitely watch the video, because these guys are legends!

8. Theophilus London
It was pretty strange how many strange coincidences there were between this year and last year. For example, last year A$AP Rocky headlined the Gobi stage and went out with the whole A$AP crew and they were incredibly disappointing. This year Earl Sweatshirt headlined the Gobi stage and went out with a bunch of members of Odd Future and they were disappointing. Secondly, last year Chilish Gambino played early afternoon on the Coachella stage and blew fucking minds. This year, TL shuffled his way out to the main stage early afternoon and BLEW FUCKING MINDS!!! His stage presence was awesome, his band were awesome, the crowd loved him, and so did I.

9. La Roux
Last year, La Roux was a late cancellation from the Coachella lineup. This was a huge disappointment to me and I briefly considered skipping their set out of spite. I didn’t though and thank fucking Christ! They came out like they knew they had to impress for dropping off last year. Every song sounded perfect and the set felt architecturally engineered it was so perfect.

10. The 3 songs I saw by the Japandroids, followed by the 3 songs I saw by Alt-J, followed by Of Monsters & Men
This was a very difficult part of the festival for me, because these 3 bands were very high on my list of bands to see for the weekend. I have to be honest, I have regrets. The Japandroids are quickly becoming my favourite band around right now and if I were to redo that list today they would probably sit in my top 5 for the weekend to see. Regardless, I did get to see about 20 minutes of their set and most importantly I saw them play “The House That Heaven Built”, which I cannot stop listening to. After that I saw about 15 minutes of Alt-J, who were also really great. I assumed they would either be really good live or really, really fucking bad. I am happy to say it was the former. Of Monsters & Men were very high on my list for the weekend and they did not disappoint either. This Icelandic group actually blew my mind. Very impressive vocalists and great sing-alongs, made this a very exciting set.

Honourable mentions:
-Postal Service
-Aesop Rock (especially because he ripped “Big Bang”)
-The Shouting Matches (Justin Vernon of Bon Iver)
-Karen O’s 12 costume changes during the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s set
-Purity Ring and their percussion pieces that lit up when struck
-Ben Howard
-The Violent Femmes performing their self-titled album from front to back
-R. Kelly coming out with Phoenix
-The enormous crowd the Lumineers drew on the main stage in the middle of the afternoon (Amazing set as well)

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