After a year of planning and saving money, the time had come. It was time to make way to little Indio, CA and bask in everything that is the awesome… Coachella!
DAY 1: Travel
We planned on making the trip to Coachella a day early. Early Thursday in San Antonio, the weather was rainy and murky…I didnt give it shit. It was flip flops and sun glasses everywhere, I was already in Cali mode. Leaving a day early proved to be the best measure given the amount of travel it took to get there. We flew from San Antonio to El Paso, then from El Paso to LAX. You really can get in some good people watching at airports. While waiting for our flight, this old dude proved that we werent the only ones ready to go hard this weekend. This dude had a beer cowboy hat at the airport. My vote…definitely not a terrorist.
Once in LAX, we had to run to the charter bus area to jump on the bus to the resort.
We had one of the coolest drivers I had ever seen. He was a 70 yr old Mexican man rocking a fedora and gold everything…chains, rings, and watch. He also had his shirt buttoned up 3 buttons too low. This guy was swangin’ through traffic like he was in a small Honda. No telling how many maneuvers he made to make this exit, but we made it.
He cut through the Los Angeles traffic like butter with this big ass charter bus. The other interesting thing about LAX is it is located in the heart of LA. On the way out, we saw exits for some of the craziest areas of Los Angeles: Crenshaw, Inglewood, and Compton. It was like we were in Boyz n the Hood (Rickkkyyyyy). Looking out that window, I really wondered how much crazy shit was going to happen once that sun had set. The bus passed all the traffic of the city and we started cutting through the mountains on its way to the dessert. The further we got out, the mountains got bigger, the sky got darker, and the cars got fewer. I was really starting to think we were getting set up to get robbed.
After 3 1/2 hours of the bus ride, we finally landed at the hotel. We were starving, sober, and tired. I was quick to get my bag and get checked in to figure out the food situation and forgot to get a pic with our bus driver home boy. Still pissed about that. We hustled in to find out the next steps and were in aww of the hotel.
After taking it all in for a bit, we made our way to the front desk. The rep behind the desk advised that we were on another side of the resort and would have a shuttle come get us in 30 minutes. Brodie said a joke to the girl and she offered to call them to get us now. Don’t know if that means the joke was good or bad… After a quick phone call, the shuttle driver advised he wouldn’t be able to get us for at least 20 minutes. What the hell are we supposed to do… hit the bar! We downed 2 whiskey cokes while we talked to the bartender about what there is to eat at 10 at night in little Palm Desert, CA. Well apparently, not much. There was a new Applebee’s which had opened and they stayed open late. I jumped on the Lyft app and got us a ride.
Anyone who knows who I am knows, I talk to everybody, which also includes our Lyft driver. His name was Amin and hadn’t lived in Palm Desert for too long. He was married with a couple of daughters and had moved from Orange County, where he said the scenery was a lot better then the old people who take over Palm Desert. He was a nice dude who told us about the city and ended up becoming extra clutch later on in our trip.
We arrived at Applebee’s and were ready to go beast on some drinks and food. Brodie and I went ultra fat boy’s and ordered a full rack of ribs each (dont judge). We also started tackling the happy hour specials they had while we waited for what felt like an eternity. They must of had to find, kill, and cook the pig which we were about to feast on. When it finally showed up, we straight up devoured it. I am confident I looked like a little kid with sauce all over my face, hands, and shirt and didn’t give a shit who saw.
At this point in time, we have our belly’s full of food and ready to bail out of the Applebee’s spot. We finish our drink and are about to bail when two guys sit next to us at the bar and we all start joking around. Their names were Hector and George. They were in town for the festival from the Bay area. We started joking and sharing stories and then… the shots started pouring. They had some liquor and beer at their hotel, which shared a parking lot with the restaurant. They also had a car. We rolled with them back to the hotel and kept drinking and joking. These guys were super cool and opened up their fridge as if we all had known each other for years. Their set up was a little better with a pool view from their balcony and they also brought their own speaker set up to play some tunes. And like every party, the more we drank… the louder the music got.
The plan was to go to the bar scene in the city, but we kept partying through and kept seeing more and more Coachella people arriving at the hotel. We would talk with everyone and continue to party. Before we knew it, it was 3 in the morning and we hadn’t even made it to the festival yet. We hit up Lyft and waited for our ride. Low and behold, it is Amin again picking us up. We were his first ride of the day and in the end, his last ride for that day as well. We got dropped off and made our way in. Shortly after making our way in, drunk ass Brodie (who will deny it to this day) realizes he left his phone in the Lyft car. At this point, I have already finished the transaction so the only thing I can do is send him an email to let him know about the phone. After that…nothing but a waiting game.
DAY 2: Enter Coachella
Of course, my sleeping schedule sucks and I cant ever adjust to whatever city I visit. I am the first to wake up…it is 7:30 Cali time. Solid 4 hours of sleep before the festival. Great. I open up our patio to see what the grounds look like. We are next to one of the holes in the golf course which runs through the resort. Also in checking out everything, I see there is a family of ducks wandering around everywhere. I attempted to get one in the room so I could throw it on Brodie’s bed, but the duck said no. I chased the duck to snatch it and the duck flew away. Damn.
Since I lost the duck and couldn’t go back to sleep, I started checking out the line-up and began plotting who would be awesome to see. I also hit up another Lyft so I could pick up some booze for the room. This driver didn’t speak very good english nor did he know the city that well. He also wasn’t a drinker so I quickly learned we didn’t have much in common. I hadn’t seen the city while it was sunny outside yet. This Lyft allowed me to check out the sites. The little city was perfect little town. Looking around, I saw nothing but old people but still a beautiful city.
At noon, it was time to hit the streets. What was cool was the way we planned our travel for the trip. We had a shuttle that would take us to and from the festival, so no worries about getting Lyft’s or renting a car. We waited in line with a group of people and started getting excited. The shuttle company also had sunscreen and water while we waited.
After a small wait, a charter bus rolled up and we jumped on. There wasn’t a lot of seats available so I had to make a new friend on the bus. I met a dude named Ian. He grew up in Palm Desert and also worked at the resort where we were staying. He bought a ticket off a friend who couldn’t make it. With the ticket, he landed a shuttle pass and his work let him park his car at the resort. He was able to play it safe too.
On the 20 min ride to the festival, he broke down a little about growing up and how the city life was there. He pointed out the historic area by the mountains and talked a little about the high school. Pretty much a chill tour guide.
With every minute that passed, I was getting more and more amped. I still didnt know what to expect. After a couple more lights we finally had hit the festival. We passed the car camping area and saw where a lot of people were crashing out.
Finally, we had arrived. The bus loading area was huge! Props to Coachella because they have the whole festival travel down to a science. Getting to the festival and leaving the festival was very easy. Once off the bus, we started the walk that we would be making a bunch of times through the weekend. From the bus to the festival was about a mile walk one way. We passed two check points and one security check point.
Like every festival, you have your bike taxi’s for those of us not looking to make the walk. I felt bad for this dude because a group of about 10 girls jumped into his one taxi. The guy pushed his way back to the front of the festival. I hope they gave him a fat tip.
Also on the walk, we were able to see more of the tent life. There was a sea of tents every where. They also had “street” names so that when the party was over it would be easy to find your tent.
After clearing the last security point, we finally had made it to the grounds. Right by the entrance is a huge ferris wheel.
Right as you walk it, it is nothing but food/drink/merch booths. They are ready to booze and fill you up right on the jump.
At this point, we are just taking in at how big this place is. The place is about the size of a theme park. It holds six stages with multiple shows running at the same time.
Just to give an idea of how big this place is, here is a video I took when we first got there. This is about only 1/8th of the size of this place. At this time we were walking to the main stage to see Vic Mensa. We also began looking at our app to determine where we needed to be for the rest of the people we wanted to see.
Vic Mensa came out hard and put on a good show. We were really close and I didnt think there was a lot of people on the grounds as of yet. What quickly happened was after every song he played, more and more people were coming to the stage. By the time the show was over, there was easily twice the amount of people there than when it started.
Vic’s show was also loud. Some people must of went to hard the night before. As we were jumping to the music, we saw this girl in a black hat that kept dozing off in the crowd. I have no idea how she could possible doze off with that bass bumping but this girl found a way to do it. Take a look at the third girl from the left in the video with the black hat on. LOL! Whoever she is, I hope she got home ok… and awake.
Beyond the awesome shows, there is some unique artwork on the grounds. The first day, they had this huge caterpillar out. Brodie started freaking out because after shows it would be in a different place. They had personnel who would inch the caterpillar around the grounds. Gave an additional unique touch to the festival.
Here is some additional art that is placed throughout the grounds
After Vic Mensa, we checked out Action Bronson. I was excited to see him after checking out his album, the music video we previously wrote about, and the fact it is one of my brothers favorite artists for the last couple of years. Action came out strong, playing some mariachi music to get the crowd ready!
After the Bronson set, it was time to check out some other artist and get some shade. We walked to the Gobi tent to check out Ab-Soul. He put on a awesome show and also gave us some rest from the sun.
Part of the beauty of Coachella is to check out some music you may not have heard of or even types of music you thought you might not like. Checking out different artist in the morning, I wanted to check out a DJ named Alvin Risk. Some of this dub step/EDM music is alright, but sometimes I get tired of it. We strolled over and for a DJ with an early day set, he put on a good show.
Some of the other cool stuff at Coachella is the sponsors tents. They offer ability to get out of the sun, get some A/C, and usually have some type of new technology and/or free stuff. One of the tents was sponsored by H&M. Inside, they had clothes for sell along with some big fans and a water refill station. A surprising thing they had was a oculus rift station. For those who don’t know, this is the future for home entertainment. It is a complete 3D virtual reality headset that also has headphones, so your hearing and viewing senses and completely engulfed in the virtual world. If you are ever anywhere with a system on display, be sure to check it out.
There is a lot to check out on the grounds and when you thought you saw it all, there would be something you had missed. Here was a picture station that we stopped for a quick pic.
The sun was finally coming down and we still hadn’t had anything to eat. We headed over to the food booth stations which are all over the place. I snagged up some wheat pizza with jalapenos and a coke. That was a quick $15. Everything at the festival is expensive. The number of people had grew a ton as well.
As night fell, the number in attendance was still growing. The view of the sun falling behind the ferris wheel was sick. A perfect Cali sun set.
With the sun down, it seemed like more of the festival became alive. Areas which were shade station started lighting up.
At this point in time, we still hadnt seen all the stages on the grounds. That is how big this place is. It was only about 8 pm and we were wandering around checking out different shows. We wandered into the Heineken tent which had cold A/C and was serving ice cold beer. The tent was pretty packed.
We finished the Keys N Krates set and snagged a booth right next to the DJ. We finally had some time to sit down and chill. We never heard of the DJ coming up next but we decided to give it a song or two before heading out. Well a song quickly became the whole set. As we were chillin in the booth, Brodie invited a group of girls up who were eyeing the additional seats we had there. It was a group of beautiful girls who made the trip to Coachella from Australia.
After a couple of introductions and jokes, DJ Hot Dub Time Machine began his set. His concept was different and he put on an awesome show. He started with music from the 50’s and made his way through history, adding his own jokes and mixes to historic music in every era. I would say it was about the 60’s time frame when Brodie got up with the girls and started dancing with all of them.
Our booth was having a blast. We were getting up and down in different era’s, enjoying all the music.
Of course once the hip-hop era hit, Brodie was set off rapping word-for-word with Jay-Z.
We gave props to the DJ after his set. There was moments his computer froze and messed up a couple of songs but he worked through it. We said bye to the girls in the tent and made way for AC/DC. I still need to check on Brodie because I am confident he bought a one-way for Australia this weekend.
As we made way to the main stage for AC/DC, we were scoping out where the best place to enjoy the classic rock band. We found an area by a handicapped section that gave us enough room to enjoy the concert without having to fight with people. While waiting for the concert, we started joking with the people around us. We made friends with two guys who we would end up partying with at the end of the festival. While we were all joking and laughing, a young kid snuck into the handicapped section, unfolded a chair, and kept his act up as if he belonged there. We were all impressed he was able to complete this James Bond feat. Eventually, someone came from the other side and snitched out the kid who wasnt supposed to be there. Here is where things got interesting.
After being notified, the security guard went over and let him know he had to go. The kid started mouthing off and the guard called in the real cops. Now, if it were me I would have chalked it up as a loss and bailed. This is the first day and I have spent too much money to get to Coachella and spend it in jail. This kid thought otherwise. He started mouthing off to the cops and thats when I busted out the phone. I figured it was possible that me and the site could go viral, at the very least on World Star. They muscled the kid and got him out. I yelled for them to play AC/DC in the cop car on the way to jail…it’s the least they could do.
AC/DC put on a sick show. They played for well over an hour. All the hits and a couple of the songs from their new album. I was also surprised to see how many people showed up for just the AC/DC concert. As we were getting into the afternoon, I started seeing more and more AC/DC shirts.
After the AC/DC concert, there was only one more show on. We started making our way to that stage to check it out. At this point in time, it is almost pitch black outside. Their isnt a lot of light out there and you really cant see anyone till your about face to face with them. I took a quick shot to show how crazy dark it is. A lot of people turned on the flashlight on their phone so their group could stay together. Other people also wore glow neon bands so no one could get lost. Lesson learned.
We made our way and checked out Alesso for a bit. By this time, we had been at the festival for about 11 hours straight. I was also running off the little sleep I could get. We checked out a couple of songs and then started making our way to our shuttle. We really had no idea what to expect on the way out. We knew to go the way we came, but didn’t know what the process would be or how hectic it could get. Again, Coachella has this down to a science. They had plenty of people towards the exit guiding people to their correct area. All the areas are split up by color. Camping is green. Shuttle was yellow. Parking was red. Once you made your way towards the exit, you just had to zombie walk to the color of the area you needed to be. They also had guys on loud speakers letting everyone know where to go and if you didnt have an idea, they would help you figure it out. It was a very easy experience.
We made it to the shuttle and back to the resort. We were tired and sore. We still had a solid two more days of this and of course a even crazier Saturday and Sunday.
Artists watched: Vic Mensa, Action Bronson, Ab-Soul, Alvin Risk, Azealia Banks, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, Alabama Shakes, Keys N Krates, Hot Dub Time Machine, AC/DC, Alesso
Day 3: Welcome to London
Saturday I slept in…was able to go till 8 am. Great. I woke up and started doing some more research for who we would want to see today. Luckily I wasnt too bored, since I stopped at the liqour store the day before. I figured I would get started a little early and made my self a breakfast Crown and Coke. This is MY vacation, don’t judge. Plus it was past 10 in Texas time so I was good.
Eventually, Brodie woke up peacefully (I threw ice at him). We learned the day before that staying at the festival for that long made for a super long day and a lot of sun. It kicked our ass. This time we decided to keep it chill and show up a little later in the day. To help us relax, we loaded up a Budlight bag I brought and headed to the pool with our drinking goods.
The pool was perfect. The pool had plenty of chairs and umbrellas (ella-ella) with more than enough room for everyone. Brodie had to feed the stereotype and not get in the pool.
After chillin and joking around for a bit, we met an engaged couple from London, Joel and Lauren. We shared some stories and were making each other laugh in the pool. It was a lot of fun and really made you understand how big this world is and how small us as individuals really are. This music festival brought us all together here and lead us to some good times and great stories. They posed for a quick pic, with Joel rocking Brodie’s glasses.
What was even more surprising was the old people we met that day. They jumped in on our stories and shared some of their own. They were no way annoyed by the “young punks” in the pool and were excited to hear everything we experienced the first day. After a couple of hours in the sun and even more hours drinking on an empty stomach, it was time to grub up. We went ultimate fat boy and ordered a pizza to be dropped off.
The pizza came clutch! By the time our fat selves topped off the pizza, it was finally time to hit the festival. We changed and headed up the hill for the shuttle pick-up spot. This time we were able to pace ourselves a lot better at the festival. We showed up a little late and with more people showing up, it took a little longer to get into the festival. There wasn’t anyone we really wanted to see so we walked around the grounds and checked out all the areas we hadn’t seen before. Yes, after two days we still hadn’t seen everything available. A buddy from work had let me know that there was a Samsung tent which would give you an opportunity to win some free stuff.
Later on in the day it is time to try out some more of the delicious food that is offered at Coachella. During a break from some of the acts, I snagged a fish taco that was really good a pretty filling.
As night feel on the busier Saturday night, things started getting even more trippy! There was way more glow sticks and more drugs consumed through the crowd. We saw a lot more neon fingers and people dancing with the their glow items.
Tyler the Creator put on a good show and had a lot of fun on stage. The stage set up was actually pretty cool.
We kind of hung back for his set instead of trying to get up close. Here are some shots of everyone around us.
We checked out half of Tyler’s set when we started making our way to the Jack White stage, who was killing it! Jack White was on for about 2 hours. Their set was good and the crowd was getting rowdy. This was the same stage that AC/DC played on and this time, somehow, it seemed like there was twice the amount of people at this show then last night. There were people everywhere. We were about a solid 30 yards from the area we were for AC/DC and there was no way for us to cut closer. We also crossed some more art in the area.
After Jack White killed it, it was time for The Weeknd. I hadn’t heard anything from him besides him and Drake colabing but was willing to give him a chance. We started joking with a girl by us who was saying the same thing. Her job was able to give some VIP passes to her and some colleagues and they had been enjoying the festival all day. She let us know she was tired and only giving The Weeknd 3 songs to impress her or she was out. We gave him 3 songs and we were out too. I wanted to check out Axwell ^ Ingrosso who were playing at a stage near by to get my energy level back up.
The process to move from one stage to another was crazy. It was just a crazy sea of people that seemed to never end. I have never been in a crowd that big, let alone trying to cut through it to get out. We finally made it to the next stage and began to enjoy Axwell ^ Ingrosso. They were playing some good music and had the crowd moving and bouncing. They actually put their whole set on YouTube so if you would like to check it out, enjoy!
By this point in time, it was about midnight and we were getting burnt out again. We started making our way towards the exit direction when… we heard a beat drop. Brodie turned his head to see his idol, Kanye West, coming on the stage and putting down some songs during The Weeknd set. Brodie busted into a straight sprint and I wasnt far behind him. Kanye did about 4 songs and ended it with his newer song “All Day”.
It was funny because on our travel day I said it would be cool if he showed up. Brodie kept saying it wasn’t possible because Kanye tweeted he was in another country. It proved to be the best surprise for Brodie the entire Coachella trip.
Artists Watched: The Gaslamp Killer Experience, Tyler the Creator, Jack White ,The Weeknd (Plus Kanye West), Axwell ^ Ingrosso
DAY 4: Final Day of Coachella
On Sunday, my body was finally adjusting a little better to the time change. I was able to sleep in till 8:30 am. At this point, I was willing to take whatever sleep I could get. I started the day with a Crown and Coke again and started doing more research for the artist line-up of Sunday. Brodie woke up pleasant again, this time like Jackass when Bam Margera would jump on his dad who was sleeping
We ordered a pizza for breakfast and topped off the Crown. Not like a noon phone call. We called at 10 in the morning and let them know to fire up everything because we were starving. They stated they had just got into the building and it would be about an hour. No problem! We hit up our friends from London and met them at the pool again for our last rendezvous. We shared some stories about what we had seen at Coachella and the differences between American and English television. Not knowing how big the show was over there, I mentioned the car show Top Gear. It comes on here in the US and has some of the craziest cars, new and old. We also talked about our love for the movie Forty Year Old Virgin, going line for line and cracking up the entire time. We said bye to couple who were going to head to the festival. We also said bye to the ducks, after I tried one last time to catch one.
Brodie got his socks wet and we were trying to think of a quick way to dry them. Everyone hates wet socks. I went for a hood dryer. I was like a Mexican Uncle Buck.
Once our “dryer” was done, we headed up the hill and back on the shuttle. There was even more people there on Sunday then any day before. I really have no idea how there is such a jump in people everyday but the festival was literally growing everyday.
Once inside, we made way to get some free stuff from the Samsung tent. We bounced over to the nearest stage to see who was playing. We came across the Desaparecidos band. For a small show they went hard and started breaking shit at the end of their set. We were pretty close put knew we were going to go even bigger later on in the night.
After they finished their set, we moved over to check out a different stage. By now, we were just checking out different spots. We made way to the Martin Solveig set. I swear everytime we made way to this tent, it was always stuffed to the gills. This time was no different. I heard this song a couple of times and knew when everyone goes crazy on it. I caught the beat drop on the phone and everyone jumping was making the ground shake!
Someone recorded the whole song and put it on Youtube. Check it out from somewhere closer, fucking amazing! The same beat drop is at about 2:30 mark.
After jumping around and getting crazy for a bit, we made our way to the main stage. We wanted to check out Kaskade and enjoy some beers. I think we were getting sad because we knew the trip was coming quickly to an end. While drinking we ran into the guys we met at the AC/DC set from our first day. This festival was so big that these were the first people we actually saw twice. I am counting everyone we met and saw. Literally I never saw the same person twice until now. They were as shocked to run into us as we were to run into them, lol. They hadn’t seen the same person twice either.
Phil let us know he was a DJ and we talked about all the DJ’s we had seen while there. Coming up soon was David Guetta on a different stage. We chugged our beers and made way to the stage. After all the drinks we were ready to go hard. For as big as this show was, we were about 7 rows of people from the front. The show was awesome and the place was extra stuffed. Here is some views from where we were at and the number of people behind us.
As the show kept going, we were all jumping and going ape on each other. I grabbed my phone tight and got a video from where we were at. Deep in the trenches!
We knew the crowd was going to get there quick for Drake so we got out early. Unfortunately, after we had split from the Guetta show, Nicki Minaj had come out.
We cut across the whole area and made way for the beer garden area. It had a direct sight to the stage and allowed us to be pretty close. We grabbed some beers and started enjoying the music while waiting for Drake. Again, chillin in the crowd we started joking with the people around us and made some more new friends.
Also over time, the clouds were growing more and more as the crowd got bigger. Walking back from a beer run, I snagged this pic of a party goer revving up for Drake.
Finally, after a bit of a wait Drake came out and started doing his thing. I think it was a mix of the sun, beer, and the festival coming to an end but it seemed like the crowd was all singing together.
At the end of the show, fireworks went off and it was official. Coachella was over. There was a couple more shows going on after but this was the festival ender for many. Phil and Nick bailed from the festival in an effort to get home early.
Brodie and I walked around for a bit, going over the best moments and talking about how crazy this whole weekend was. In the middle of our heart to heart, a girl comes over and introduces herself. Her name is Karissa and is from Australia. This girl wanted to keep the party going. Everything was closed and there was no more booze at the room.
We all walked together and continued joking to exit the festival. There was such a big crowd that it was like being corralled like cattle. The walk was a lot longer and took what felt like forever to get out. The walk was an easy 45 minutes and consistently in the middle of a large moving group. We met a group of girls from Inglewood that had us laughing the remainder of the walk. We jumped in our shuttle line and caught the next one out.
Artists Watched: Desaparecidos, Martin Solveig, Kaskade, David Guetta, Drake
Day 5: Back to reality
Morning hits and I am finally ready to sleep in. I think my body knows that it is time to go home and the little kid in me is trying to stretch the trip out for as long as possible. We throw our dirty clothes in trash bags and throw them in the suitcases. We made our way to our 10 am shuttle to head back to LA-LA-land. I snag some more pictures of the resort before leaving for the final time.
After the shuttle to LAX, we flew to Vegas and had a couple hours layover. It was my last opportunity. The very last chance to make a financial difference and not have to go back to work on Tuesday. I dropped $10 into the slot machine and gave it some rips. Nothing. Burned through my money and was put on a flight… back to reality.