Coachella 2012 Day 1 Recap

Wow, first day of Coachella, done. What an awesome and memorable experience! Despite the 100-degree weather, the venue was great, the music was great, and the people were pretty great, too!

I’ll begin with a funny story. So one of my roommates, Jay, left his wristband at Berkeley when we drove down Thursday afternoon. We were an hour-and-a-half into our trip when we realized.

But thankfully, we were able to figure things out – we knew some people at Berkeley who were also going to Coachella leaving later that evening, so they were able to pick up the wristband and bring it down with them.

Which leads me to our adventure of picking up Jay’s wristband for Day 1. Basically, people have to wear wristbands within a one-mile radius of Coachella, and there are police checkpoints all over Indio where they check.

So we had to drop Jay off at a Pizza Hut, drive into the venue, walk from parking to a line, walk from that line to another line, and find the people with the wristband in Coachella, all in 100-degree heat.

Long story short, we did get the wristband, and everything else went according to plan. Wanted to give a big thank you to Liz and company for their help in this process!

We cooled off and had lunch at Pizza Hut, planned out our day, and headed back to Coachella.

Coachella is set up in a giant field, with five stages in different areas of the venue, plus various stations, shops, and food places. There’s a main stage, outdoor stage, and three tent stages – all amazingly keep their sound within the area, a necessity because at a given time, all the stages have bands playing.

Our first band was Neon Indian. I wasn’t too familiar with their work, but I remember hearing one of their songs a while back and really enjoying it. Their set was great! A mix of electronica and indie rock, with some crazy and trippy sound effects sprinkled throughout their songs.

After that set, we cooled off at the Do Lab, where there was misty water, a DJ, and people on stage spraying giant water guns into the crowd. Pretty fun, and rehydrated for the next set.

Next up was Madeon, a 17-year-old French electropop producer. This guy was seriously talented, and his set was in Sahara, one of the tent stages. The setup rocked – four screens stretched across the ceiling with light effects, a huge screen behind Madeon, and speakers (and huge subwoofers) surrounding the tent made this a visual and aural treat.

We had some time in between our next set, so we walked around and ate a steak sandwich dinner from one of the many food places in the venue (it tasted average and was definitely overpriced).

After dinner, I split up with Jay and James to catch the Black Keys at the Main Stage. They played some hits from their recent album and also switched things up by playing some older stuff, just with the two of them, no backing band. I really liked this because I’m a fan of guitar-drum bands (think White Stripes), plus they had great chemistry and definitely rocked out!

I left a bit early to catch M83’s set at the Mojave. With hits such as “Midnight City” and a Tron remix, they had the crowd cheering and dancing. After a group of people left early, I made my way to the center of the crowd and enjoyed some awesome sound during their other songs.

Our last group of the night was Swedish House Mafia. I wasn’t expecting too much (although I’d heard good things), but they really proved their headliner status with some great house songs that got the crowd dancing, singing, and cheering. The light show was absolutely memorable – crazy lasers, real fire, and fireworks ended the night, and what an end it was.

Looking forward to Day 2!

Read about Day 2 here and Day 3 here.

Coachella 2012 at

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