The Visual Stimulations for People Who Were High
Coachella's art installations -- the ones designed to impress you while you're high, aka all of them -- were particularly impressive this year. There was the tesla coil, the crane that was formerly a flower but now a praying mantis, the giant florescent snail, the golf cart that looks like a jellyfish, as well as remote controlled sharks and butterflys (above). There was also a structure designed to look like a mid-century, Palm Springs modernist mansion, called the Mirage. Projections onto the house created the illusion of a swimming pool, and a swinging cocktail party. Then there was the "Coachella Power Station," at which guys in hippo masks and white lab coats stood in a glassed room, like mad scientists, playing around with computer, video, and stereo equipment. Occasionally, they danced to Ricki Martin. -Ben Westhoff
LP Hastings Butterfly?!
The Amnesty Box
About to head into the festival? Afraid you won't successfully make it past security? Well, free your paranoid little mind by depositing your stash in the amnesty box. Then again, it's not a very 4/20 thing to do. -Ryan Cox
Letting Go of Inhibitions at the Sahara Tent I'd previously only been to the Sahara tent once, back in 2008 -- and laughed at all of the odd people dancing in funny costumes to "techno." This time I saw Moby on Saturday, and felt something like a mom at a middle school dance trying to fit in with the kids, I stood there with my arms crossed, bobbing my head a bit. But a few minutes in, a man grabbed my arms from behind me, uncrossed them and held them to the sky. He swayed them just long enough to get me in the groove of how things were done around here. He then left me alone. I decided to embrace it and dance along with the chest-thumping beats and iris-stretching flashing lights. It was an intense, freeing set with more life than I had seen at any set that day. -Taylor Hamby
Cafe Tacuba Mexico's Cafe Tacuba all but upstaged their following act Hot Chip on the main stage Saturday. Their robust, synth- and bass-laden sound filled the grass field in a way Hot Chip's hollow electronics failed to. Further, they inspired a mass dance pit akin to an indie rock version of the madness at Major Lazer's set. The coolest part, however, was hearing the crowd singing along in Spanish, which might have been a first for a main stage act at Coachella. -Andrea Domanick
Skrillex and Boys Noize are Dog Blood, a duo that's arguably greater than the sum of its parts. They brought down the Sahara Tent on Friday night with a relentlessly aggressive set during which Boys Noize's Alex Ridha manned the drops and Skrillex nob turned while smoking cigarettes and intermittently screaming out how "fuckin' rad" the audience in the Sahara was. Hero status, those guys. -Katie Bain
Timothy Norris Dog Blood
Let's be done with the bro hating. Most of the dude guys we encountered were enthusiastic sweethearts who just wanted to party with their shirts off and pecs out. No harm no foul. -Katie Bain
Holding the Balloon Chain Supporting 100 balloons at once is an exhilarating feeling! The wind sways and you get a small adrenaline rush at the thought of accidentally letting go of the chain. -Taylor Hamby
Puberty FTW There was a 15-year-old boy (with braces!) jumping up and down to Major Lazer with a mile wide smile on his face. His eyes were wide enough to suggest that he'd never seen anything quite like the island raunch dance party bleeding out of the Mojave tent. (Turns out it was his first concert). Major life memories created. High fives all around. -Katie Bain
The Postal Service
Ben Gibbard was on top of his frontman game during The Postal Service's fantastic Saturday night set. A trimmed down, tres healthy looking Gibbard owned the mainstage, displaying more charisma and swagger during this single show than seen during entire Death Cab tours. Jenny Lewis, who had always seemed a sort of phantom member of the group, was a badass presence, holding her own with Gibbard and creating a compelling dynamic of sweet flirtation during much-beloved jams like "Nothing Better" and "Clark Gable." The singalong show was an expertly executed reminder that the Postal Service's lone album, 2003's seminal Give Up, was a watershed moment for electro-pop. -Katie Bain
Timothy Norris Jenny Lewis of the Postal Service
The Visual Aesthetic Coachella is a feast for the eyes, from the multicolored lighting on the palm trees to the art installations, the snail car, the DoLab's teepee towers, the omnipresent ferris wheel silhouette and the desert mountains landscapes in the distance. Add to that tens of thousands of gorgeous, immaculately dressed and often nearly nearly naked people in mostly excellent moods and you've got loads of visual stimulation. "This is the most gorgeous festival guys," Jamie xx noted during his group's Saturday night main stage set. "You should see the view from here." Wish we could. -Katie Bain
There's nothing more frustrating at a festival than getting separated from your friend. This happened to me and my friend Drew before Blur's headlining set Friday night, unleashing a flurry of texts, calls and photos between us in a futile attempt to meet up in the middle of a tightly-packed crowd. But then he drew the above map on his phone, and it worked like a charm. -Andrea Domanick
Guy Throwing Up in the Parking Lot On Friday night in the parking lot, after all of the shows were over, we encountered a brave young man hurling his guts out. We were briefly grossed out, but then grew compassionate. "Would you like any help?" we asked. Nah, man, he told us, before pumping his fist in the air and proclaiming his love for Coachella. "I wouldn't have it any other way." -Ben Westhoff
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