My fourth Coachella in four years and the line-up is better than ever and Day 1 was by far the most ambitious. A 13-hour marathon of music starting with me and my friends Marianne and Thaz running and dancing from the entrance gate down the hill past the ferris wheel, merch stand and beer garden to catch Sydney-based The Preatures. Their break-out hit ‘Is This How You Feel?’ set the tone for the day because we all felt great. I’m particularly charmed by front woman Isabella Manfredi’s unique voice. Love her.
I feel so great I Iet the annoyance of fake flower crowns in every girls’ hair slip by. I met a gorgeous Southern California girl at the beer garden with just the right number of feathers in her hair to prove my point. Feathers are the new flower crowns, ladies. Take note. A couple of artisan tacos and an independent brew later, we migrated to Gobi tent to catch Canadian band Austra, featuring the haunting vocals of Kate Stelmanis. Do you remember October Project from the ’90s? Kate’s voice reminds me of Mary Faul’s, especially on tracks like ‘Home.’
Who made me most proud on Day 1? My Brooklyn honeys MS MR. I saw them first last year at the tiny Mercury Lounge in New York and now here they are playing in front of 20,000 people on the main stage. I love their chemistry on stage, like brother and sister. ‘Think of You,’ their cover of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ and a cover of Arctic Monkey’s 2013 single ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ were their best today. Nose-touch you both.
Sister act and LA natives Haim also dazzled in the hot desert sun on the Outdoor Stage jamming through hits ‘Fallen,’ ‘Save Me,’ ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ and ‘The Wire’ with hair flailing and faces famously morphing. I walked the wire by trying to catch Bastille who has clearly blown up since booking this festival. The Mojave Tent could not contain the energy of front man Dan Smith deliver hits like ‘Pompeii’ or welcome guests like Angel Haze. It was nuts so I swam through the sea of people and sweat to Gobi to catch fellow Brit Kate Nash. What a show this girl puts on — more punk than pop these days. Her all-girl group delivered angry versions of ‘Do Wah-Doo’ and classic performances of my favorites ‘Mouthwash’ and ‘Foundations.’ I still love my Kate.
As night fell on the Indio Polo Grounds, I cooled off and got comfortable in a beer garden to watch the beautiful Ellie Goulding reign as the queen of Coachella. Like MS MR, I’ve watched Ellie grow in stardom over the last 3-4 years and can only imagine how proud she must feel playing the main stage at sunset — the most coveted time slot and venue at Coachella. Powering through old hits ‘Starry-Eyed’ and ‘Lights’ to dance anthems ‘I Need Your Love’ and ‘Burn,’ the night belonged to Coachellie.
Rounding out Day 1 was another main stage performance by Montreal-based electro-funk duo Chromeo. Their current single ‘Jealous (I Ain’t With It)’ had the entire polo field grooving. Russian-German EDM impresario Zedd played the Sahara Tent (which I watched wisely and safely from the Heineken Beer Garden). While his set was dark, he did play his signatures songs featuring vocalists like Foxes, Hayley Williams and Miriam Bryant. I love their voices juxtaposed to his severe dance beats. Outkast closed Day 1 with a retrospective of their best known hits ‘Hey-Ya’ and ‘The Way You Move.’ My favorite moment was the surprise performance by Janelle Monae on her single ‘Tightrope,’ which features Outkast’s Big Boi. Just ‘another day‘ at Coachella. Check it out here on my essentials playlist recapping Day 1: