for those of you who have been following along for a bit, you might remember my post about all things coachella, what my favorite acts have been over the years and what to do to prepare. well, if you follow me on instagram, you know that i went to coachella weekend one this year and it. was. everything.
first, i have to give a shout out to my girl, hillary.
this was my first year going to coachella where i was not in charge of renting the house, organizing travel, doing grocery shopping, etc. it was strange to relinquish control but i knew if there was anyone that i could trust, it was my fellow type-a aquarian. when i walked in and saw this charcuterie spread while being handed a glass of prosecco, i knew i was in the right place.
there were all of these cute touches that let me know our weekend was off to a great start even with it only being thursday. one of our housemates (jackie) got us all custom cups which were perfect for to-go drinks or time spent in the pool/hot tub.
thursday night, we kept it low-key (getting turnt in pajamas) and did a family dinner in. naturally, i had to bake my mac and cheese. there were some first timers and it went over well. the next morning, we did a family style breakfast with another beautiful platter prepared by hillary before heading out to the festival.
something we did differently this year was get a vip parking pass. instead of using a driver and having to walk forever through dust and gravel to get to a driver or a lyft/uber situation, we drove my suv. it worked out perfectly because preston (my infiniti suv – yes, i name my cars) seats eight people and there were eight of us in the house. this was an absolute game changer and if you go to coachella and do vip tickets for the weekend, this is well worth it. the pass is $150 for the weekend which is more than what our group would spend in one day during previous years. now, let’s get to the music, food and fashion.
on friday, we started off in one of the tents to see walker and royce. it was the perfect set to get our energy going for the weekend.
after that, my girl roni and i were on the hunt for something to eat since it was well after 4pm and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
we found our way over to sweetfin for a super fresh and tasty poke bowl + tacos 1986 for ultra authentic, made to order street tacos. for sweetfin, i would highly recommend the salmon or the spicy tuna (i just asked them to hold the ginger). at tacos 1986, the carne asada and al pastor did not disappoint.
*both of these are located to the left of the main stage in vip
with it being a warm day, we pitstopped at one of the cupcake tents for a glass of sparkling rosé with a fresh strawberry lemonade fruit pop. there were multiple wines and fresh fruit pops to choose from but on a sunny day, nothing compares to rosé.
*the velvet dad hat is from forever 21, the denim shirt and romper are both from asos and my little purple marc jacobs crossbody (my go to festival bag) is from nordstrom. i love a romper at a festival because you aren’t impacted by wind, you can dance and sit on the ground without flashing anyone and you don’t have to worry about chaffing if you have juicy thighs like me
we reunited with the group to take a quick group shot before catching the second half of kacey musgraves. she really had this way of connecting with the crowd and her voice was angelic.
both roni and dre recommended the group go together to see gorgon city. i enjoyed it because even though it had an edm feel, their vocals were out of this world. it really softened it (which i greatly appreciated).
roni and i stayed at that stage to see ella mai. if the only song you’ve heard of hers is boo’d up, trust me, you are missing out. whether you are madly in love, experiencing heartbreak, rebuilding your confidence or totally aware of your self-worth, she has a song for you.
from there, we made our way over to the main stage because our next three acts would be there – the 1975, janelle monáe and childish gambino. i listen to the 1975 a ton at work so seeing them live was surreal. janelle monáe completely embodied black girl magic – her performance was soulful and exhilarating. i am always impressed by how well she uses her platform to bring awareness to marginalized communities whether it be people of color or members of the lgbtq community. not only does she have pipes, but she has the biggest brain and heart packed in this tiny package. childish gambino is someone i have followed since undergrad – first, in his comedic endeavors and later, musically. between his hit show ‘atlanta’ and his provocative music that truly has a message, it was cool to see those elements combined on stage. he truly does not give a fuck about what people think and had decided to do his set his way. he even told people that if they were looking for something cool to put on instagram, they should probably go to a different stage. i respect that.
*pictured with dre, lauren and hilly – their energy is unreal
i truly don’t know what i would do without this girl
on saturday, i was completely blown away by every single act we saw. sabrina claudio was our first act at main stage – so sensual and melodic. next was bazzi – he was super catchy and high energy + he brought out ty dolla $ign which was the perfect thing to really pump up the crowd. let me say this – the rest of saturday was completely nostalgic.
next, we went to the heineken tent to see the roots. you guys – i was not ready.
first of all, i listen to you got me with the roots and erykah badu every single day so being able to see them live and then see them perform that song live nearly took me out. you forget how many songs they are affiliated with or just how talented they are. their cover of sweet child of mine gave me goosebumps. they were totally engaged with the crowd and being that i was close enough to see the beads of sweat on their foreheads, it was truly the experience of a lifetime. diplo happened to be sitting right in front of us enjoying the set and was super friendly with people in the audience as well.
we skipped over to main stage to see weezer. 1 – they still have it. when they sang say it ain’t so and the sweater song, i lost it. 2 – they brought out tears for fears and did a duet of everybody wants to rule the world. 3 – they brought out tlc to do a duet of no scrubs. what did i do to even deserve this greatness? i have no idea.
we stayed at this stage to see tame impala. so i discovered tame impala during my first coachella in 2015 and my friend jason and i have been hooked ever since. i felt like a proud mama bear seeing them go from being one of the openers versus being the headliner of the night, not only have they sounded flawless during every live performance i have seen them in, but the light show and array of colors just creates a totally different experience than anything else i have ever seen.
the group reunited at the end of the night for major lazer and danced until the very last second of their performance. you would think that we would be exhausted by that point but ending with such an exciting set really just left me with a ton of energy. we had to continue the party back at the house with music, cocktails and hot tubbing.
two of my favorite souls – it is an added bonus that we create a human oreo
so we get to the festival and it was the hottest day by far. before we could even get inside, i thought dying of heat stroke might occur. luckily, dre took care of me and had me chugging ice water in the shade as though my life depended on it. i literally call him dad now. he took care of the group, maneuvered us through crowds and would do checkins to be sure we were each accounted for. every coachella group needs a dre. i love that kid.
we started off with pusha t. people sleep on pusha but i have been riding with him since clipse dropped grindin’ with pharrell back in the early 2000s. i saw him at treasure island in oakland back in october and couldn’t resist seeing him again. it definitely was the right move. we stayed at main stage to see bad bunny and i was impressed – i now get the hype.
my friend stephanie put me on lizzo last year so in january when the lineup was released and i saw she was on it, i made it my mission to see her. roni hadn’t heard of her but was down. when i tell you that she stole the fucking show, believe it! she exudes confidence, is unapologetic and is the perfect representation of a big black girl who is killing the game. i was able to link up with two friends from scu at this set and it made me ridiculously happy. by the way, lizzo’s album dropped today and the only thing above it on iTunes is beyonce – let that shit sink in.
we reconnected with the group for yg and he did a beautiful tribute to nipsey. the way the sky looked at that moment is how i envision heaven looking.
i don’t think people realized how impacted he was by nipsey’s death until yg opened up about being so submerged in grief that he had been in bed until 4pm pretty much daily since his passing. i honestly believe that he felt he owed it to nipsey and his fans to do coachella. this was the most high energy set of the day. it was not just because of his guests (tyga, 2chainz and big sean), it is because he has hit after hit after hit. everything from toot it and boot it to fuck donald trump to big bank, the crowd went wild. it is also insane to see so many gang affiliated people from different sets put their differences aside for the sake of good music. made me wish my little brother was with me. yg is one of his top three favorite rappers of all time. if he is ever in your area, make it your mission to go to his show.
i sat in the rose garden with auntie reyna and sipped rosé while listening to sofi tukker – an act that was not even on my radar but is now on multiple playlists of mine. that is one of the things i love about coachella – discovering new music.
i caught a couple of khalid’s songs in passing while heading over to see h.e.r. i saw h.e.r. last year when she came out for her song with daniel caesar and proceeded to do a song solo. since then, i was hooked. not only did she sing the song that put her on the map, best part, but she did this amazing fusion of that song that led into nothing even matters (by lauryn hill and d’angelo) – it sent chills down my spine.
for the finale, we went to the main stage to catch ariana grande. she opened with god is a woman which was flawless. we were taken aback in the best way when *nsync came out – i have always loved jc chasez (i think he is the most underrated boy band member of all time – fight me) so my childhood dreams were fulfilled. the rest of ariana’s set wasn’t really thrilling us, even her bringing out nicki minaj. i couldn’t tell if there were audio issues or what but our group decided to leave. just as we were exiting vip, i heard the beat to mo’ money, mo’ problems drop and had a little regret about leaving early because i am such a diddy fan. luckily, i could still hear him on the walk to the parking lot.
all in all, it was an amazing weekend with even more amazing people. i am already excited for next year. presale tickets go on sale in june – don’t forget to get yours.
if you went weekend one, who was your favorite act? if you are going this weekend, who are you most excited to see?