WEDNESDAY // Wednesday marked the beginning of the Coachella vaca. Steve and I hopped on a plane to LAX, stocked up at Target, and drove on out to Palm Springs. We stayed at the wonderful and glorious Ace Hotel Palm Springs— read more on that here if ya missed it earlier this week. We stopped by the Palm Springs Block Party to catch Passion Pit's pre-Coachella show and then hit up Ace Hotel's lobby bar, The Amigo Room, for a night cap.
THURSDAY // First things first, we hit up the Coachella campgrounds to claim our teepee right up next to Lake Eldorado. That's right, we slept in a teepee. And it made the Coachella experience all that more captivating. After staking claim, we went back to the Ace Hotel for some serious pool-side lounging. In the evening, we hit up FILTER magazine's Coachella Kickoff Party with hosted drinks, grub, a bit of music, and free swag! I gotta say, The Counter's mini burgers tasted mighty fine on our way out!
FRIDAY // We started off the festival strong with a jam-packed day of music, music, and more music. We walked on over to the festival grounds just after it opened and meandered around the tents and stages to get the low-down. We kicked things off on the Outdoor stage with The Neighbourhood, who are interestingly categorized in the "dark pop" genre (who knew that existed?), and then hopped on over to listen to Poliça under the Gobi tent. I give mad props to Minneapolis for brewing Channy Leaneagh, who presents with such a unique and cool vibe. The Outdoor stage proved to be our stage because we packed in five straight bands a bit later in the day there: Divine Fits, Of Monsters and Men, Local Natives, Beach House, and Band of Horses. And somehow, we managed to get right up in there to the FRONT fence for the first three! Hands down, Divine Fits and Of Monsters and Men stole the show for me. The Divine Fits surprised me with their superb rock sound, old-school rock-star style, can't-help-but-bob-my-head beats, and edgy lead vocals. Seriously, Britt Daniel killed it on the vocals. Next up, Of Monsters and Men. Wow! I had no idea what to expect from them, and they knocked it out of the park. This six-piece, indie folk/pop band from Iceland captivated my attention for their entire set! They are such an unexpected group of individuals— each are unique and interesting in their own way. I was particularly enthralled with the trumpeter, Ragnhildur Gunnarsdóttir, although ironically she is not technically a member of the band. She definitely adds a fun dynamic to the stage, and I hope they bring her into the band officially. I've got to say too that the drummer, Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, and lead singer/guitarist, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, have superb stage presence and definitely know how to get a crowd excited. And Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson hits in on that harmonizing just perfectly. We wrapped up with evening with a bit of Tegan and Sara too. All in all, super rad day of music!
SATURDAY // After spending many-a-hours on the festival grounds on Friday, we were ready for some pool time. Steve tracked down some crazy pool party hosted by HUF at the Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort in Desert Hot Springs. I read about the natural mineral springs and said "sign me up!" Unfortunately, pool party guests were only allowed in the pool— not the mineral springs. What's up with that?! The highlight of the party was most definitely the mega blow-up waterslide. In Steve's words, he dominated that slide like a 10-year-old. With better music calling our names from the polo grounds, we headed back to Coachella after only an hour or so and made it just in time for Ben Howard, whom I am loving these days. Grizzly Bear jazzed up the Mojave tent later in the evening, and although I wasn't too fond of the guy in front of me that was sans pantalones (aka without pants) or the smokers to my left or the guy with major B.O. packed in closely to my right... the guy behind me (aka Steve) kept me parked and focused on the tunes. And I'm so glad he did, because Grizzly Bears put on an excellent show! We wrapped up the evening chilling on a blanket with a combo of Two Door Cinema Club, The xx, and Phoenix. Perfection.
SUNDAY // We decided to hit up another pool party on Sunday morning, and boy am I glad we did! The Do Over party at the Ace Hotel Commune was unlike anything I've ever been to! I was expecting we would stay for a couple hours and ditch out like we did the day before so that we could catch The Lumineers, DIIV, Alex Clare, and James Blake in the early afternoon. But alas, The Do Over was infinitely cooler than HUF's party and roped us in to staying pool-side until around 6p. I'm not gonna lie, I felt a little bit like I was chilling at one of those ridiculous MTV pool parties from the 90s that I never thought were real. Yeesh, that's so Midwestern of me. At any rate, we made it back to Coachella in time to dance around like fools with La Roux, check out Red Bull's "Speakeasy", munch on some solid food, sing along to Red Hot Chili Pepper classics, and bust a move in the electronica Sahara tent.
MONDAY // We woke up in our teepee on Monday a bit melancholy that the escapades were over. But alas, the trip back home proved interesting nonetheless. I mean, the wind farms along the freeway between Palm Springs and LA are impressive. Those things are BIG and MESMERIZING! Of course, no rode trip is complete without one of those ridiculous highway-exit tourist photo ops so you can imagine our excitement when we stumbled upon Mr. T Rex. Steve rocked the perfect Rex impersonation, and I failed miserably at a repeat performance since I couldn't keep a straight face. Go figure. Anywho, there are a few bands I'm bummed we missed: The Lumineers, Alex Clare, James Blake, Tame Impala, Wild Belle, DIIV, Foals, and Alt-J, but I guess ya can't win 'em all, right? There's always next year! Wink. On a more serious note though, THANK YOU, Steve, for an awesome vacation! I had a blast!