In Jamaica we’re no strangers to outdoor music events. I grew up going to (stage)shows like Fully Loaded, St. Mary Mi Come From and Reggae Sumfest, so I kind of knew what to expect at Coachella. Since being in LA I always wanted to go to the annual three day music festival, now held over two consecutive weekends, but never really got around to it.
This year we headed there to celebrate KingstontoLA’s one year anniversary and enjoyed every minute of our time in the desert! Mad up up up. There’s honestly nothing like it. It’s a global gathering of music lovers, dressed scantily, covered in flash tattoos and flower garland headpieces. Now, this may annoy some of you, but when there, it just works.
The Uber system is set up so effeciently it’s alien like. As if the Uber was a silent hybrid spaceship dropping us off on Mars. Coming and going there’s an unrivaled Uber experience tent with ample charging stations and several information kiosks with people actually in them. When in the middle of the polo grounds, we found this to be quite comforting actually.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
Since Sat was our fav day this covers the highlights from #weekend2s Sat evening’s lineup.
Run The Jewels was a surprise favorite. They jammed out by remixing one of their most well-known political verses “Lie, cheat, steal, kill, win, do it like a winner (winner). The church steals, rapes, kills and they call you a sinner (sinner).” They sang that out over several different beats while fans jammed out EDM style with glow sticks, wide eyes and clenched jaws.
Jack White performed one of the most energetic sets we seen. White made some pretty substantial annoucements while on stage. One, he stated his Coachella performance would be his last electric show “for a while” and let the crowd know he’s heading into acoustic territory. Two, he let us know why we were all there; music. He asked us to respect musicians as we respect actors and other artists. An obvious statement about the state of music, and the streaming services that dominate the output of music today. I was saddened to hear that White wouldn’t be performing with his ensemble any time soon. Mad UP.
The Gaslamp Killer Experience was just that, a total experience. I have seen him around LA, initially at the HVW8 art gallery. Yet, none of this prepared me for the Experience. A full band, horns, drums, etc. plus the Gaslamp Killer’s sonics, WHOA. He also gave the crowd an intimate look into his struggles as an artist, and how he felt vindicated on a Coachella stage. “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t be something…not your parole officer, not your teacher(s).” This message got the crowd going as he ended his journey with us for the night.
FKA Twigs. What can we say? What an impressive performer/singer/songstress/minx. Wow. I mean, we love her music at Kingston2LA, but her live performance just amazed me. The crowd and myself were blown away. She literally massaged the crowd with her dancing. She is a fantastic live performer. Mad up up up.
The Weeknd. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from him and his band, but the setup, the screens, it was like being on a ride. The Weeknd went through his hits, and then … “La la la wait till I get my money right” … Yeezus blessed the crowd. It took all of us a few seconds to realize what had happened. Then a stampede towards the main stage amongst screams. Kanye ran through four songs, ending on his new single “All Day.” Then The Weeknd ended with his two most recent hits, and whoa. What a Weeknd.
All in all we were skeptical of the Coachella experience. I have heard the good, the bad, and the ugly about the festival. Yet, after these performances, the accessability, the uber experience, the hippo art installation, I was impressed. You can scan KingstontoLA’s wristband for next year! Mad up di ting.
Jam out to FKA Twigs’ “Video Girl” video here: