The Worst of Coachella, Weekend 2

Categories: Coachella

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Timothy Norris
Death
A 24-year-old attendee from Oakland died on Thursday, after overdosing during weekend one. It's not time to be alarmist about the way Coachella runs the festival; after all, deaths happen at these types of events with alarming frequency. But the rampant, out-of-control culture surrounding the festival - drug smuggling, drunk driving, utter foolishness - needs to be addressed. Kids who think they can recklessly plow through synthetics with no consequences are mistaken, and the musicians who encourage them to do so are irresponsible. -Ben Westhoff

Drones
At the festival this year there actually were propeller crafts with camera attachments, hovering surreptitiously over the crowds for MGMT, Outkast and others. While we'd guess they're just being used to film sets and crowd footage, we were also a bit creeped out. -Andrea Domanick

See also: The Best of Coachella, Weekend 2

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Drones Were Flying Around Coachella

Categories: Coachella

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Photo by Timothy Norris
By: Andrea Domanick

Remember an April Fool's post earlier this month, about drones at Coachella? Well, it turns out it was prophetic. Those hovering propeller-powered crafts have indeed arrived at Coachella.

They could be spotted this year floating surreptitiously above the crowds, during performances by MGMT, Outkast and others. So what's the deal?


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The Best of Coachella 2014, Weekend Two

Categories: Coachella

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Timothy Norris
Billie Joe Armstrong Joins The Replacements
Early in The Replacement's Friday night set, Paul Westerberg welcomed Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong as their honorary member. Armstrong, matching the rest of the band in plaid suits, seemed beyond giddy to be onstage with his idols, joking "Dreams really do come true." Westerberg was splayed out on a couch for most of the set, letting Armstrong sing lead on several songs. No Green Day tunes were played, but who needs "Longview" when you've got "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out." -Kai Flanders


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Headhunterz Does Some #Selfie Reflection at Coachella

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Nikki Spiegel
On stage Willem Rebergen, better known as Headhunterz is revered as a hardstyle demigod who's bringing this unique genre of EDM to the masses with sets on the main stage of EDC Las Vegas to the Sahara tent these past two weekends at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. After closing out a sold out show with Adventure Club at Club Nokia in LA in-between, Willem has proven his musical talents reach much further than the walls of the hardstyle genre. We caught up with Heady (as he's known by his die hard fans) right after his set Saturday afternoon to talk about this new evolution in his sound as we explored the breath taking festival grounds.

As we walked from the backstage artist trailers to the open grass of the main stage, we made our way to the Reflection Field art instillation in the middle of the grounds to take a selfie. Heady says he's been doing a lot of reflecting lately including thinking about how he first got into hardstyle. "I grew up with hardstyle in the most important period of my youth when I was developing my personality," he says. "They played it at the local teen disco and I remember it was that kind of music you have to really know how to dance to, so I started looking at myself in the mirror to learn new moves." Though the hardstyle dance moves have changed drastically throughout the years, the sound has been perfected and stayed the same for a while now.

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High Times With Guy Gerber on Coachella's Ferris Wheel

Categories: Coachella

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Nate Jackson
Guy Gerber (center) with assistants Lauren Rolls (left) and Pao Lopez (right)
It's kind of amazing that Guy Gerber is still conscious right now. He's leaning up against his backstage trailer, minutes after a 90-minute set at the Yuma tent, sipping leisurely from a plastic glass of vodka. The DJ sports a fitted blue shirt, black skinny jeans and Beatle boots, and dark shades underscored by a gold henna lightening bolt above his cheek.

As he laughs and talks with friends and rail thin party girls, it's hard to believe that barely six hours ago, he was boarding a plane back to Indio for his second week at Coachella. The night before, he DJed for six hours straight at Marquee nightclub in New York, almost 3,000 miles away. The night before that, he was manning the decks all night at a club in San Francisco. It's a tiring schedule that sounds impervious to even the most potent party drugs. For what it's worth, the party the DJ left on the other side of the country sounded well worth the jet lag.

"I started playing and at 11:45 p.m., by 12:30 a.m. I was already drunk," Gerber says laughing. The DJ's thick, Israeli accent makes all his "Ts" sound like "Zs." "We had maybe 20 girls in the DJ booth and things got so sexual. Ze girls were all making out with each other. I've never seen something so crazy."

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Is Coachella Really That Dangerous?

Categories: Coachella

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Timothy Norris
By: Andrea Domanick
On Thursday, Coachella attendee Kimchi Truong died after an apparent overdose. It's believed to be the first death tied to the giant annual festival since 2008 - though the actual number is hard to ascertain, since the Riverside County Coroner's Office says it does not track them.

But as always happens when a young person ODs at a music festival, parents and onlookers alike are wondering: Just how safe are these bacchanals? Should they be shut down entirely? Or should we just be glad there aren't more fatalities?

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Coachella Cabbie Confessions

Categories: Coachella

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Kai Flanders
Kai Flanders Naser Herzallh and his not so yellow cab.
After the music shuts down each night, thousands flock toward Coachella's taxi-stands, located at the end of the long, winding "yellow path" - a 20 minute walk from the polo fields. (As Jeff Weiss called it: The molly trail of tears.)

Once you arrive, the wait can be almost two hours long, and the drivers are in a state of constant hustle. Considering they're picking up some of the richest, most entitled, most drugged out young people on the planet, their stories are as good as you might imagine.

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Hanging Backstage With Grouplove

Categories: Coachella

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Daniel Kohn
Since they first met on the Greek island of Crete five years ago, Grouplove have steadily become one of the fastest rising indie pop bands. The group known for songs like "Tongue Tied," "Ways to Go" and "Colours" performed a late-afternoon set on the main stage. As they've zigzagged the country and played festivals home and abroad, the band has figured out who they are sonically as well honing their live show. We had access to the band both before and after their Coachella set, and here's what happened (with photos of course).


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Outkast's Do-Over Recaptures the Spirit of '99

Categories: Coachella

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Timothy Norris
The less-than-outstanding Outkast last week were so much better for their do-over
Last weekend was supposed to mark the return of the gangster when Andre 3000 and Big Boi played the first of 40 festival shows to mark the duo's 20th anniversary. However, things didn't go according to script. Many fans were turned off, even worse, bored by their set. How was this possible, many in the media thought. Debatably one of the most important and progressive groups of their generation reformed, yet many fled the scene. Some threw the dreaded "maybe they weren't as good as we remembered" thought out there, while others questioned the longevity of their catalog. While these thoughts should be dismissed as utter foolishness, the fact that those ideas are in some festivalgoers heads begs the question about Outkast.

Having seen the duo in their native Atlanta in 1999 in the period between Aquemini and Stankonia, I can say anyone who questions Andre and Big Boi's chops as performers are dreadfully mistaken. This show at Emory University was everything the first Coachella show was not. It was dynamic, frantic and important. Many who were at that show recognized that the duo were on the cusp something special. With only a small backing band as support, and a special guest appearance by Wu-Tangs Raekwon the Chef on Aquemini's "Skew It on the Bar-B," all eyes were on Outkast and they aced the test.

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Death Will Never Kill Coachella's Drug Culture

Categories: Coachella

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LA Weekly
Coachella kids, some of whom are surely sober
Oakland resident Kimchi Truong was 24. She passed out on the Coachella grounds last weekend, likely due to an overdose. Her death, Thursday, was shocking. But what's really shocking is that this kind of thing doesn't happen more often.

This story is about very young people doing a shit-ton of drugs, but let's start with the old folks of the Coachella Valley. Fooling themselves into believing they're not going to die, they populate ticky-tacky communities behind guarded gates, with giant televisions, preposterously lush lawns and mammoth green hedges. They've bought into the illusion that this is a lush paradise, rather than a punishing desert that will remain hospitable only as long as politicians willingly waste the diminishing stash of Western water. The men, who are tan, and the women, who take walks in the morning, came from greater L.A., arriving to places like Indian Wells and Palm Springs to escape the smog, traffic, crowding and chaos.

See also: Woman Dies of an Apparent Drug Overdose at Coachella

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