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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Coachella more than Drake kiss

    Caren Badtke

    Attendees of Coachella walk around the giant moving butterfly that blossomed from a caterpillar on Sunday.

    Coachella 2015 was pretty balanced. Rock and EDM shared the crown, days belonged to the smaller bands and late afternoons and nights belonged to the big names. At the same time, it was a festival with tough decisions — Jack White, FKA Twigs and Tyler, the Creator at the same time? Mac DeMarco versus Panda Bear? 

    As much as Coachella champions bringing a good mix of music to the Empire Polo Club, fashion, social media and art bring a fair amount of visitors, too. For the artsy people, the campground offered a crafting tent along with EDM to accompany any creative pursuits. Art and entertainment installations, such as an office building featuring horse-masked workers exaggerating work chores, a yellow crane, a stone otter on a throne and an oriental tent, served as between-show entertainment, meeting spots or sources of shade.

    This year’s astronaut was a huge, moving caterpillar. Complaining voices were silenced on Sunday when the caterpillar transformed into a giant, colorful butterfly. 

    Celebrity sightings were rare, but in order to stay in the know about celebrities out and about in the VIP area, one could easily spend their day in the H&M tent, which was complete with air conditioning, WiFi, phone chargers and outfits from the store’s Coachella collection. The trend this year seemed to be the return of 3-D and interaction — no wonder, the 1990s are back in fashion. 

    Coachella is the festival of contrasts. Two of the most crowded shows were AC/DC and Kaskade — cult versus contemporary EDM. Smaller bands are offered afternoon slots — even main stage spots. The festival doesn’t depend on the lineup for ticket sales after all. Thus, The Orwells played the main stage mid-day before a couple hundred people; The Cribs, as expected, didn’t fill the tent; Desaparecidos, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst’s heavy rock band, surprisingly garnered quite the crowd. Parquet Courts don’t even care to engage the crowd, except for teasing, “California, we heard about your water problem.”

    Florence and The Machine must have won over many atypical fans at Coachella. Having its slot right before Drake, half of the crowd came early to assure a good spot for what should have been the highlight of the festival. Between front woman Florence Welch’s aura, her jumping around barefoot in a white suit, and her red hair fluttering behind her, no one could deny her showmanship.

    To the luck of those visitors at Weekend One, the UK singer played a highly energetic 50-minute set, running into the audience and away from security. Weekend Two will see Welch playing a considerably shorter — and probably calmer — set, as the show, which she called one of her favorite to date, brought her a broken foot.

    Showmanship was also recognizable in both Tame Impala and Jack White’s sets. The former came on stage to Phil Collin’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and played “‘Cause I’m A Man” and “Let It Happen” for what was only the second time in the prior weeks since they dropped the songs, which will be featured on their new album. Frontman Kevin Parker voiced his nervousness but played a strong show, while Jack White confidently dedicated a career-spanning show to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community. With solo songs, White Stripes and Raconteur songs and covers, White blew away the audience, prompting them to buy local artists’ records on this Saturday’s Record Store Day by saying “music is sacred.”

    This brings us to Drake’s show. The observant festivalgoer must have known about the who’s who of music bustling around backstage and in the VIP area: The Biebs, Paul McCartney, Beyoncé. Expectations were accordingly high; excitement was thick in the air long before Drake entered the stage. As expected, the Sunday night crowd was bigger than Saturday night’s headliner’s crowds. Coming on stage, Drake had a few Drake moments, talking about making his mom proud and assuring the audience that tonight will be special. 

    And it was, kind of. 

    Two-minute snippets of hits entertained the crowd until Drake was joined by Madonna, who performed a mini medley. Then, the kiss happened and she left. Unfortunately, despite the shortness of Drake’s show, it then seemed to drag endlessly, the crowd waiting for something else to happen, though it never did. Many people even left before the show was over, which is unheard of for the last night of a festival when everybody usually wants to linger as long as possible. Anyway, Drake and Madonna accomplished one of the most talked about moments of the week — let’s see what breaks the Internet after weekend two.


    Follow Caren Badtke on Twitter.

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