Do you like to jump around around a mosh pit while colored laser beams and strobe lights flash in time to speakers blasting ground-shaking dubstep? Or do you prefer to sit in a circle on the grass and sway back and forth to familiar folk rock ballads? Either way, there is plenty for you at Coachella. Make sure you don’t miss these sets.
1. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Yes, I know they are headlining (for the third time), so this might seem obvious. But I was still surprised and thrilled by their energy and enthusiasm, and they closed the weekend with a bang. These guys are total pros.
People could not stop gushing about Moby’s intense set. “Life changing,” “best set I’ve ever seen at Coachella, hands down,” were common sentiments. However, if you’re new to EDM, start with something a little more digestible (like Tommy Trash) first.
3. Postal Service
Talk about nostalgia. Since most of the crowd at Coachella is between 20 and 30, the Postal Service is synonymous with all that is high school, from first loves (and first heartbreaks), to all-nighters, from late night AIM conversations to studying Salinger. Songs like “Such Great Heights” evoked memories of my high school self, despite the fact that I was standing in the middle of the California desert and not in my dorm room in snowy Massachusetts.
4. Pretty Lights
Because lasers, lights and video screens are essential to EDM “performances,” most of these acts take place on the tented stages. However, laser king Derek Vincent Smith (aka Pretty Lights) took to the Outdoor Theater and lit up the night sky with the prettiest of lights.
*Tip: Stand in the back so you can see the full effect of the lasers, light up balloons, glowing palm trees, and bright Ferris Wheel against the dark sky.
5. Of Monsters and Men
I was somewhat shocked but totally thrilled to see how many people piled onto the lawn by the Outdoor Theater for Of Monsters and Men. I’ve had their album on repeat for the last few months, and was particularly looking forward to seeing the Icelandic band live. They did not disappoint. In the age of synthesizers and dubstep, it’s refreshing to see people rocking out to actual instruments on a lawn.