Coachella 2013 Wrap Up

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

April 24 – With over 100,000 attendees, Coachella is too big to do it all. It boasts five major stages, one indoor dance tent, several DJ stages, and all sorts of art installations. I tried to get in as much as I could but became ill and was out of commission for two days. As for Sunday, here are the highlights:

The Bands

Coachella is great for bringing in a lot of up-and-coming talent and this year was no different. I found a lot of different bands that I had not previously given attention to. Chief among them was Vampire weekend — I loved their retro sound and found myself jamming to them when they dropped ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ in the photo pit. A catchy tune that left me, and the crowd, with a big wide grin as we sang along.

I was looking forward to finally seeing Grimes live. Originally from Vancouver, Grimes made a name for herself in Montreal while attending McGill. She was among a scattering of Canadian musicians making their Coachella début this year. She played all her hits and her music was great. However, I felt her performance could have been more rehearsed as her dancers were, at times, out of synch with each other. Nonetheless, she has a bright future ahead.

I shuffled over to catch the opening of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Nick Cave, as always, is a consummate professional and it was a nice touch to include a children’s choir as his backup singers. He sang his dark ballad style which was good but did not draw much of a crowd as compared to other acts on the Coachella stage.

The highlight of the night though was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I had never seen them live so this was a must see for me. They are amazing musicians and performed flawlessly. They drew a massive crowd and when they sang Dani California the crowd went off. The crowd was so big that getting out of it took 10 minutes.

Yuma Tent

Joris Voorn plays at Coachella

Joris Voorn plays at Coachella

I tried to spend as much time as I could in the Yuma tent. Firstly, because I loved the music, but secondly, it was air-conditioned. My DJ highlights for the weekend were of course: Richie Hawtin, Pete Tong, and Maya Jane Coles.

I also managed to hear some new DJ’s that really blew me away. Joris Voorn was chief among them, but I would also mention Cassy, and Four Tet. All in all, the Yuma Tent provided a brilliant refuge this year from both the heat and candy pop “EDM” that took over the Sahara Tent.  It was a welcome addition to the rest of the Coachella stages.


All in all, I had a great Coachella experience and although most of my time  was spent running between stages trying to take photos and report, it was worth it. Indio is a beautiful venue and Coachella draws people from all over the world. I met so many people from all over including Australia, Japan, Holland, England, to name a few. I look forward to reporting from the next big festival.

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April 2013
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