Idolator was shivering and shaking to the music on the first day of the first weekend of 2012′s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Not only is this the first time in the festival’s 13-year history that they’ve booked two weekends of performances — it’s the first time it’s rained. Thankfully, the Polo Fields didn’t turn to Woodstock-esque levels of mud (or a Glastonbury amount of flooding), but the chills and winds kept coming all through the day and into the dreary night. (It was particularly unbearable for those whose Coachella-style of dress involves booty shorts, bikini tops, and not much else. I saw quite a number of these types spend inordinate amounts of money for sweatshirts at the souvenir stand. And yes, I was buying a t-shirt for another layer of warmth myself.)
Perhaps due to the rain showers and lowered temps, the grounds were much less crowded (at first, anyway) than previous years. (The dance tent was filled to the brim at all times, though – EDM enthusiasts know how to keep the party going despite inclement weather.) Even if I was searching for shelter for most of the day, I still managed to have quite an eventful Coachella experience. Head below for the details on the Weekend 1′s kick-off day.
MOST DESERVED: The Black Keys, headlining Friday night on the Coachella stage. This duo has performed at their fair share of Coachella fests in the past, and now they’re finally the main attraction (as well as one of the hottest rock groups around). A slow clap for band members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney! Fortunately, their good luck continues, as they were recently announced as the headliners for 2012 Lollapalooza. Couldn’t be more delighted they’re finally getting their due.
BEST CAMEO: Tyler the Creator popping on stage at Frank Ocean’s set in the Gobi tent, offering up his Odd Future track “Analog 2″. The smooth singer himself was at the top of the game, making the crowd go crazy for him. (You don’t have to miss the fun: watch Frank Ocean’s entire set right here!)
MOST CONVENIENT: Watching Jarvis Cocker and Pulp rock it out on the main stage… while inside the Beats Be Dre lounge. Don’t judge me! It was FREEZING. Plus, they were streaming the performance on giant TVs in 3-D! Wow, it’s like I’m really there at Coachella!
BEST EXAMPLE OF HOW COLD IT WAS: The line for coffee and espresso was the longest I’ve ever seen it. More people were lined up for coffee/hot beverage goods than booze. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started serving Hot Toddys for the rest of the weekend.
BEST MULTI-TASKING: Me, skanking away during ska-reggae-jazz outfit Madness while simultaneously eating a gyro.
SO IS THIS WHY IT’S RAINING?: “I heard there was a rumor going around that the reason it was gray and muggy earlier is because there were two Sheffield [England] bands on,” joked Jarvis Cocker, referring to earlier performers Arctic Monkeys.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Me, at Coachella, wearing this:
A winter hat! WTF! I’m in the middle of the desert! And yet I still wasn’t warm enough.
MOST APPROPRIATE MUSIC: The Coachella PAs playing rain-related songs between sets, like “Blame It On The Rain” and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.” Even Coachella Stage performer Jimmy Cliff sang “I Can See Clearly Now”, making us all wish it was a bright, sunshiny day.
OKAY, ENOUGH REFERENCES TO THE RAIN: An LCD screen before Pulp’s set flashed the following: “Got Your Thermals On?” Unfortunately for us, most of us didn’t.
BEST OUTFITS: A group of friends were all wearing black t-shirts with “WEEKEND 1″, and the name of the act they’re most excited to see. (One guy had the Swedish flag, a pictogram house, and then “Mafia” underneath. Somewhat clever!)
NEVERMIND, THIS WAS THE BEST OUTFIT: There were a ton of weirdo, crazy costumes going on, but I think this guy’s wins. (Though I am a little afraid that is is NOT a costume and is just his typical style of dress.)
BEST LATE TO THE PARTY APP: I finally downloaded instagram! Wee! Modern things look old-timey!
Okay, time to search Palm Desert for a Burlington Coat Factory so I can buy a winter coat and be more prepared for today’s still-chilly festivities. Come back tomorrow to hear the news on performances by Radiohead, Miike Snow, Feist, David Guetta, Martin Solveig, Azealia Banks, and more.