2017 Coachella Review

Lauren Case, Cartoonist

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Gilbert, AZ-With nearly 200 acts bringing their best live performing to Indio Valley in California, Coachella is one of the world’s largest music festivals.

When it comes the the Coachella Festival of Music and Arts, no effort is spared to make sure the festival grounds, along with, the musicians performing upon them, are an ethereal dream. Larger than life stage sets, scattered Tee Pees, and strange art structures spring up left and right along the valley floor. Along with this decor, the people in attendance are just as essential to the signature Coachella look. The acts and art may change from year to year, but for the most part, the Hippie-inspired, other worldly appearance stays consistent each time. This year marked some notable change, however.

The early years of Coachella were dominated by big rock bands. This slowly changed as pop artists started to join the bills. Flash forward to 2017 and it looks as if the festival was truly owned by none other than, R&B and Hip Hop. The original trifecta headliners were going to be Beyonce, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar, however due to her pregnancy, Beyonce was replaced with a fellow pop icon, Lady Gaga.

Considering Gaga’s recent Super Bowl halftime performance and semi-new album, Joanne, it was perhaps her set that was the most anticipated. She stuck to her biggest hits and brought to the stage the crazy outfits, dancers, and gaudy sets her fans have come to know and love. Rumor has it, she seemed to not be her normal self, admitting to nervousness, and seeming half-present during some songs. During one of her biggest hits, Applause, she left the stage entirely. With her new record hardly coming close to the success of her other albums “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster,” perhaps Lady Gaga is losing her touch.

Radiohead may not have called for as much excited gossip as their fellow pop headliners Gaga or Kendrick, considering they were larger in the 90’s and are from the UK. Nonetheless, they brought a phenomenal performance and made sure to include music from their latest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.” The set did not go without any flaws unfortunately. Several times during their duration on stage, there were technical difficulties especially in the sound department. Thom Yorke continued on like nothing had happened.

Last but most certainly not least, is rap icon, Kendrick Lamar. Just a few days before the enormous production of his set, Kendrick released one of the most anticipated albums of the year, “D*MN.” While his previous album, “To Pimp A Butterfly” featured a more calm and jazzy version of the rap artist, “D*MN” brought all the fire and rage in tracks such as “DNA” and “HUMBLE.” Kendrick emerged on stage wearing a profoundly all-white look, almost as if comparing himself to the God he repeatedly mentions throughout his new record. The crowd was never bored, as artist after artist joined Kendrick on stage, three of those guests being, Migos. Did you know Migos made four different appearances throughout the entire Coachella lineup? Nicely done, Kendrick.

Another performer who left her audience very satisfied was Lorde, who brought to the stage all her boundless energy and brand new music. Bon Iver left the crowd inspired, as he gave a message of not being a part of the corrupted systems within society. Many other artists gave off a contagious excitement as they announced to their audiences that it was their first time being there. Despite the sound and tech flukes that apparently sparked up all throughout the two weekends, Coachella 2017 was most definitely a success.

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2017 Coachella Review