Coachella 2014 Recap: Highlights, Lowlights, Dos and Don’ts

A typically action packed kickoff to the first Coachella weekend unfolded on Friday, with festivalgoers getting their footing in the fields of Indio, CA as Outkast, HAIM, Crosses, MS MR, Chromeo, Girl Talk and more set the music in motion. Check out the most important lessons we learned on Day 1 of our Coachella experience!


DO choose your Girl Power idols wisely.

The three sisters of Haim are the perfect festival rockers, with cartoonish cuteness defying their flat-out badassery, burning Zeppelin blues with Heart levels of, well, heart. “Imagine we’re all in my living room,” said Danielle before making Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” their own as the sun baked all. “We’re all sitting Indian style and there’s some weird Persian rug on the floor. My mom’s making snacks and dad’s playing basketball in the backyard…” They bring you inside their world, and you can almost see the Goonies posters on the walls. 

Countering Danielle’s Morrissette-meets-Silverman beauty-magnetics, bassist Este Haim’s magnificent scowls were immortalized in one of the best fan signs we’ve seen thus far…


DO be clever with your fan-flare. 

Nobody wants to see your friend’s stupid face blown up and glued to a stick to obstruct their view all day. That is, unless you’re rockin the Este scowl. She is an endless fountain of meme material.


DON’T show everyone the tattoo you’re about to regret.


DO buy the MS MR hype.

Something told us to make it out for MS MR‘s early-Friday performance, a real task as Day 1 kicks off and bodies get acclimated to the searing heat and blinding sunshine on the polo fields. But the duo of Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow, backing players in tow, delivered a set well worth the early arrival. The Arctic Monkeys cover, a sultry weave through the hit “Do I Wanna Know,” was only the icing on an electrifying set to kick off Coachella 2014.


DON’T get scheduled to play opposite Outkast.

Chino Moreno and Shaun Lopez’s Crosses project is a perfect slice of 80s-raised post-rock melancholy, but up against the ebullient energy of Andre and Big Boi across the way the purple-haze mood in the Mojave tent seemed painfully thin.

It wasn’t for lack of effort by the band, however, who were entirely engaged and clearly enjoying themselves as they ripped through a hugely impressive live translation of most of their eponymous debut album. That is, except for Moreno’s occasional irritation with the drummer. 


DON’T be a super-creep security guard.

The one (or two) who lecherously stares at festival girls like they’re working the pole at a strip club. Shamelessly ogling a young married woman on the field, this dynamic duo of douche was all but dripping with the kind of dude-bro charm we like to think only exists in Judd Apatow and Kevin Smith’s worlds.


DO make time for Girl Talk.

Greg Gillis is still rocking the same hit-splicing beat party formula he’s had for years, but the one-man jukebox worked in guest spots from E-40, Too $hort, Juicy J, and Busta Rhymes (especially Busta Rhymes) into a wildly celebrated mix before Outkast’s headlining set. Girl Talk still brings it. 


DON’T believe the internet hype.

Outkast hit the stage for their headlining reunion performance with a suspense-soaked intro, a backing band and an immediate run through the big-box hits that had the entire crowd going apeshit with nostalgia-soaked celebration. The sing-alongs were hilariously tongue-tied during “B.O.B.”. “Gasoline Dreams” brought out some serious white-girl twerking. “Rosa Parks” may as well have been the party-infused National Anthem, with tens of thousands of festivalgoers dancing their asses off.

By many internet reports, however, the crowd was bored, Andre was dismissive and the performance was an overall failure. Sure, the middle section was a bit indulgent, and the whippersnappers without catalogue reference couldn’t find familiar comfort in some of the deeper tracks. Yes, the sound cut out during “Ms. Jackson,” and Andre did in fact perform most of “Hey Ya” with his back to the crowd. 

..alright, maybe the criticisms are valid. But the party was most definitely brought, and the night ended in massively celebratory fashion despite the sound getting cut for the 1am curfew. Read our full review.