Two weeks ago, we ventured into the brutal heat of the Indio desert for the second week of one of the biggest music festivals in America. Our experience was one of legendary proportions, so much so that giving you a play by play would turn this article into a miniature novel. As much fun as that would be to write, we’re going to do things a little differently this time around. After many hours of painful deliberation, we’ve put together an article detailing the very best of what Coachella 2015 had to offer. From the best stage, and the best amenities, to the Top 10 EDM performances of the festival, we’ve got you covered. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
For those who haven’t been out to Coachella yet, it’s good to know that it isn’t just about the music. The best visual artists and chefs from around the world also come out to ply their trades and be recognized. All throughout the beautiful Coachella festival grounds, huge sculptures & paintings loomed over festivals goers; some of the mobile ones parting the crowd like boulders in a river. From giant moving butterfly sculptures, to an an entire office building full of people in hippo masks, visual art was everywhere.
There was also gourmet food from some of the best food trucks around, free massages for your aching danced out body, a plethora of charging stations and (praise the Gods) a series of shockingly clean legitimate bathrooms that might have been the best new thing that they’ve added this year. Goldenvoice really knocked it out of the park with making sure everyone was taken care of; and that’s really nice to see at such a huge festival.
EDM at Coachella was huge this year, maybe a little more so than last year. Alesso premiered his new album, Kaskade drew one of the biggest crowds ever with his set on Sunday, and David Guetta decided to go full hip hop after hearing Flosstradamus’ set on Saturday. Out of the four massive main stages, every single one had at least one EDM artist on the lineup, and the three smaller stages were almost solely made up of EDM artists. With so much talent throwing down at once it was a challenge to pick out the best performances, let alone put them in order. Every artist on this list blew us away, and it really tuned into a game of inches as we made our decisions.
Top 10 Performances of Coachella Weekend 2
One of the newest additions to the OWSLA family, Mija has been absolutely killing it these past few months. Mija’s high energy take on house music brings a refreshing burst of fun into the classic genre, and is guaranteed to get anyone grooving on the dance floor. Behind the decks, this girl is a force to be reckoned with. Her mashups, & transitions take you by surprise to the point where you have absolutely no idea what’s coming next. What I really love is the thugged out twist in her performances – even though she’s DJing house music, 808s and hip hop vocals made plenty of appearances during her set, and helped to turn the energy up even higher as her set went on. Mija rocked the Do Lab to pieces, and the crowd wasn’t even close to ready for her to leave when her time was up. This definitely someone you need to see if you like to party. Check out our exclusive post-chella interview with her Here.
One of bass music’s best, Kraddy has been crushing the scene for over half a decade. As a founding member of the Glitch Mob, he is no stranger to glitch hop; but it’s his solo work that really stands out. His filthy, heavy, gritty style of bass music absolutely destroyed the Do Lab on Saturday and had the crowd going completely bonkers from start to finish. Kraddy might have had the dirtiest set of the weekend next to Gesaffelstein. If you love bass music, look no further than this west coast badman.
Friday night at the Do Lab we saw an incredible house music performance from our favorite doctor. Dr. Fresch played a flawless set of deep and future house that had everyone at dancing like there was no tomorrow. Known for his legendary remixes of classic tunes, as well as his impressive skills behind the decks, and deliciously creative originals, Dr. Fresch has become a formidable figure in the house music scene. Watching him close out the Do Lab on Friday was so much fun it’s hard to put into words. If you ever see his name on a flyer in your home town do not hesitate to go.
After Flume left the duo known as What So Not last year, the big question floating around was how was Emoh Instead going to handle this now-solo project. His performance at Coachella was the perfect answer to that question. What So Not produced some of the biggest anthems of last year, and they all made an appearance in Emoh’s set on Saturday. He had the most special guests of all our favorite artists by far, and also had one of the most diverse playlists within his genre. Have no fear, even though Flume is gone, What So Not is still very much on the rise.
At number six we have the insanity that was Skream, Seth Troxler, Jackmaster, & Eats Everything all going back to back on a ridiculous house music set for two hours in the Yuma tent on Sunday. The Yuma tent was house music central for Coachella. Its polished wooden floors, cool air, blinding lazers, and multiple fog machines turned it into the inside of some kind of alien spaceship of house music that is immensley fun to party in. J.E.S.u.S blew away everyone who played in that tent on the second weekend by a long shot; and who would expect less from such an all-star crew. I have no idea when these guys will ever play together again, but I do know that it needs to happen more often. These guys made me fall in love with house music all over again.
Coming in at number five is the legendary hip hop producer, Kaytranada. With tracks featuring rappers such as Mobb Deep & Goldlink, as well as an extensive collection of remixes as well as originals, Kay has racked up a serious following over the past few years. His incredible live set featured massively heavy hip hop tracks, grin-inducing baby makers, and full-on dance-till-you-die trap music. He even had a few rappers come out and spit over his beats. The crowd was one of the most hyped crowds I had seen all weekend; every drop or classic tune was greeted with joyful screams of approval as he demolished his closing set on Sunday. I was thoroughly impressed by his performance. He blew Drake out of the water like it was nothing.
Up next, it’s the young traplords known as Flosstradamus. These two bass music masterminds had the most ridiculous trap music set of the weekend hands down. Almost every song they dropped aside from the obligatory classics was something I had never heard before; and as a trap music enthusiast that really struck a chord with me. The energy from their performance was so electrifying I still get chills thinking about it. They had such a massive crowd you could get lost just trying to get out of there; and everyone was dancing. Not just dancing, raging their little hearts out. DJ Snake even put on a ski mask and started a giant mosh pit at the front of the stage in the middle of their set. Basically these guys turned the outdoor stage into a madhouse, easily outdoing their performance last year by a long shot. We can’t wait to see them again.
At number three it’s one of EDM’s hottest new sensations, Kygo. Kygo has rapidly earned a reputation for making some of the smoothest, most beautiful, house inspired electronica on the block. His sound is truly something special that every music fan can easily appreciate. I went into Coachella knowing only a handful of Kygo tracks, and I left with an urgent need to get my hands on everything he’s written. His set was breathtakingly beautiful, and brought more than one tear to many an eye as he closed out Sunday night. If this is considered “elevator house”, I’m never taking the stairs again.
The second best performance of the weekend goes to the bass music titans themselves: Nero. Hailing from the UK, this grammy winning group has produced some of the most iconic music to ever grace electronic dance music since its explosion in the early 2000s. Seeing them perform was an unbelievable experience. The power they brought to their set blew me and everyone else away like leaves in a hurricane. Their singer Alana Watson came come out to perform some of the new music off their upcoming album, and had everyone’s jaws on the floor with her hauntingly beautiful voice. I was so entralled by Nero’s performance that I tried to leave and catch some other artists three separate times before I successfully dragged myself away from them. These three are the stuff legends are made of.
Finally, the best performance of the weekend goes to the one and only, Gesaffelstein. He and Brodinski have been responsible for bringing the incredible world of dark gritty Euro techno stateside to the west coast, and we can’t thank them enough for it. This isn’t house, it’s mother f**king techno. Dark, loud, filthy techno. His set was just plain dangerous. Some of the dirtiest music I’ve ever heard in my life was the during this performance. I’ll remember it for the rest of my days, and that’s good because it was also his last live performance. Yes to the dismay of many a fan, Gesaffelstein announced he would no longer be doing live sets, a few months ago, so it was an honor see him headbang under the strobes with a cigarette in his mouth one last time. The world needs more music like this.
Any Coachella veteran will tell you that one of the best things to happen to Coachella in the past few years is the Do Lab stage. Every year they elevate their stage production and caliber of artists to new heights, and this year was no different. You might have noticed that a few of our favorite artists had something in common. I’ll give you a hint – it’s the Do Lab. Their lineup was easily the best of the festival; I even found some new favorites just by hanging around in between seeing artists on the main stages. From noon to midnight the Do Lab is basically one big non stop party featuring some of the very best bass music the scene has to offer. CRNKN, Goldrush, Tasty Treat, J Phlip, & Tokimonsta were only a handful of the artists that made appearances over the weekend alongside very special guests Gorgon City, Chet Faker, Thomas Jack, & Bonobo.
A good Coachella rule to live by: If you’re in between artists in your schedule, go check out the Do Lab and discover something awesome.
As you can see, one of the greatest features of this stage besides the music was the mist factor. The heat at Coachella can cook you to a crisp if you’re not careful, but thankfully the Do Lab had a solution. Unlike the air conditioned rooms of the Yuma Tent and Heineken House, The Do Lab had set up the inside of their horseshoe shaped outdoor stage with tubes that drenched the crowd with refreshingly cool water while their colorfully arrayed staff hit the front row with mist guns from the stage. This water, accompanied by some of the freshest beats of the weekend, turned the Do Lab into a wet & wild madhouse of shenanigans and awesomeness all day long, until an even crazier vibe took over as the sun set. Once it got dark, a plethora of lights & lazers painted the night sky as the DJ’s kept rocking the decks to pieces. No matter the time of day, the Do Lab was always a never ending source of good times. That stage alone was worth the trip out to Indio. We can’t wait to see what these guys have in store for Lightning in a Bottle. If you’re interested, you can read a little more about what the Do Lab is all about Here.
Coachella 2015 was one of the most intense experiences we’ve had in a while. Not only did we see some of the most legendary musicians of our time, but we also discovered new ones in the making. We discovered that we ourselves are legendary, and so is every single beautiful soul we encountered and partied with throughout the course of the festival.
While we were camping we met so many incredible people from all around the world, quickly building bonds with complete strangers over the universal truth of music. This quality of universal festival camaraderie is in my humble opinion, the cornerstone of any good festival. And Goldenvoice has done an impressively good job of reinforcing this ideal with their passionate and friendly crew of staff members.
A big shoutout and mad love to everyone in the Do Lab Crew, as well as to all the non EDM Artists that threw down over the weekend: AC/DC, Tyler the Creator, The Weeknd, Run The Jewels, Tame Impala, etc. This festival gets quite a bit of flack from the community for selling out and only repping the mainstream, but after my second year of having way too much fun in the desert I really must say I have no idea what they’re talking about. Block out the haters, because this festival has something for everyone to love. If you go, I guarantee you’ll have a blast. Just remember to camp with some friends, and always hit weekend number two.