Weather on the third and final day Coachella, Weekend 1, was perfect. Eighty-two degrees and I barely needed a sweater after the sun set. Got to the polo fields by mid-afternoon to catch Brooklyn-based Santigold. A logistical disaster at the pat-down security station prevented us from seeing the first five songs of her set, but what I did see I loved. In fact, I immediately bought tickets to her upcoming show in New York. She was performing “Gifted” when we arrived and then she went into “Disparate Youth,” her latest single from her forthcoming album Master of My Make-Believe, then “Freak Like Me,” which featured horse nays and galloping. Her dancers appeared in a two-person horse costume. “That cow follows us from New York wherever we go,” she teased. A fun song, “Brooklyn (We Go Hard)” followed and was dedicated to all the Brooklynites in attendance. She closed with her recent single “Big Mouth.”
Stuck around the main stage for Fitz & The Tantrums, an LA-based indie soul pop group led by Michael Fitzpatrick, who sports an awesome skunk stripe in his hair, and the sassy and brassy Noelle Scaggs. Great vibe and a lot of fun, Fitz and friends played songs off their debut album including “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” and “Pickin’ Up the Pieces.” I want to know what Fitz has against Gs?
The big meet up and the one act everyone could agree to see together was Gotye. We speculated that he has blown up since he signed on to be at Coachella. He was cool, but he gravitated to a lot of the slower songs on his new album, which didn’t bode well for a fiesty crowd. Still, “Eyes Wide Open,” “Easy Way Out” and “I Feel Better” did the trick, but it was monster hit “Somebody That I Used To Know” that got all those damn girls around me screaming at the top of their lungs. We got a pleasant surprise in the form of Kimbra, who appeared just for her one line. Amazing. Even though every girl was singing so loud you couldn’t hear her. Oh well, I’m lucky I saw them both a couple weeks ago. I love Kimbra!
Girl Talk or Calvin Harris? That was the dilemma. These are not big problems really, unless you’re a die hard music fan. My friends wanted to see Calvin because there was rumor on the polo fields all weekend that a certain Barbadian may make an appearance. Mr. Harris, the Scottish producer and DJ has made a big name for himself this year. He’s worked with all my favorites — Kylie, Kelis, Sophie. But it’s his collaboration with Rihanna on “We Found Love” that has propelled him into the dance pop stratosphere. His set was great, and so were the lights. I wisely witnessed the euphoria from the Heineken beer garden. And for once, the rumors were true. “eh, eh, eh… RiRi’s in da tent!” It was actually very, very cool for her to show up. Rumors swirled that she’d been around the festival all weekend with bestie Katy Perry. Never saw them of course. Heard Jared Leto was around too. But I digress.
While I technically stuck around for headliners Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog and special guest Eminem, I was tired, sitting on the lawn, and letting my friends squeeze the last minutes out of Coachella 2012. My Coachella ended with the great Florence & The Machine. The highlight of my weekend. I love Florence and I have since Lungs. About to tour to support Ceremonials, I was excited to see her perform new songs. She slayed the night. Bewitching and beguiling as ever, she opened with “Only If For A Night,” the lead track off the new album, and then went on to play the beautiful “What the Water Gave Me,” “Cosmic Love” off Lungs, “Spectrum,” “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up),” the soaring “Never Let Me Go,” the resilient “Shake it Off” and her big one, “Dog Days Are Over.” The best part of Coachella is that after an artist has performed their biggest hit, the non-loyalists bolt. Happened again here, and it opened up the field and let us get up and personal for “No Light, No Light.” Perfect ending to a perfect weekend. I cannot wait to do it all again next year.