Coachella 2012 Day 3 Recap

The past 36 hours have been intense. As I write this, I’m back at Berkeley, still thinking about the pure bliss that was Coachella. This was my first Coachella, and it’s definitely not my last – in three days alone, I’ve experienced enough good music and memories to last for a long time to come.

Since we had planned to do an all-nighter drive back to Berkeley, we slept in until noon on Sunday and took it easy our last day at Coachella. Enjoyed a wonderful birthday lunch for Jay at Papa’s BBQ & Smokehouse – ribs, brisket, thigh, pulled pork – slathered in BBQ-sauce goodness.

Our first band of the day was Fitz & the Tantrums, a soul/indie-pop band that had very energetic and catchy music. The lead singer definitely had the crowd going, and the funky bass line and infectious beats made for an enjoyable listen.

Next up was a producer named araabMUZIK. His specialty was instrumental hip hop music, particularly with the MPC drum machine, or three, to be precise. This guy was seriously skilled – he was making danceable music using only the drum machines, resulting in some heavy, heavy beats.

From there, we headed over to the next tent to catch Nero’s performance. Dubstep music, blasted all the way up to volume 11, with a crazy crowd and the most amazing bass drops I’ve heard. The bass shook the entire venue, and everyone was bobbing with the music. I realized just how important it was to experience electronic music live. Definitely made a new fan of me.

Finally, my most anticipated artist of the day, Gotye, came next. The tent where he was playing was completely packed, with the crowds spilling out into the back and the sides. Even though Kimbra didn’t show up for Gotye’s hit “Somebody That I Used to Know,” the entire crowd sang her part, and all was well. Gotye performed a good mix of songs, and showed his vocal and instrumental talent.

Before heading out of the venue, we made a quick stop at the main stage to catch a couple of Justice’s songs from their set. Awesome light show, as usual, and a good mix of old and new songs alike. With that, we left for Berkeley at 8:30 PM. The ride ahead was slated to be ~9 hours.

We made a stop at Walnut to pick up dinner, another stop at UCLA to pick up Evelyn’s friend, and one more stop at Kettleman City, the halfway point from LA to Berkeley. James, Jay, and I took shifts driving and talking to each other to make sure we were awake. Starbucks Doubleshot (with energy) helped a lot, too.

Overall, the drive back was very smooth, we got to talk a lot about life and random stuff, and we made it back to Berkeley a little after 5 AM. After dropping everyone off, I took a quick nap before heading to work at 8:30 AM. Spent the day really tired, but the experience was worth it.

Coachella was amazing and a deal, hands down. I got to see the most artists and bands I’ve ever seen, enjoyed the festive atmosphere, and spent time with close friends. This is definitely a Coachella to remember, and I wouldn’t be surprised to be back in the near future. The music festival is just something else. Even if you don’t know too many of the bands, I think you can still have an awesome time and have money well spent, just for the experience.

Read about Day 1 here and Day 2 here.

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