On the first of its two weekends, the hugely-popular Coachella music festival drew tens of thousands of music fans out to the desert for three days of music — and art installations, which drew surprisingly large crowds.
The Frame host John Horn got on the line with assistant producer James Kim to discuss highlights from Coachella’s opening weekend.
What performances stood out for you?
“Probably the biggest highlight of the weekend was the most surprising one... It was AC/DC who headlined on Friday night. When they were initially announced on the Coachella lineup, there was a collective groan from the Internet, just because people thought that this band wasn’t relevant anymore. But when they actually went on stage on Friday night, people young, old — it didn’t matter what demographic you were — every single person was singing along to that. And it was actually kind of insane. And I was included in that chorus."
“It’s probably worth mentioning that Madonna made a surprise appearance at Coachella. It was during Drake’s set last night... The lights went off and once they came on Madonna was on stage. The crowd was going nuts. Probably more nuts than they were for the entire Drake set. And at the end of her performance she basically gave Drake a lap dance and then made out with him. Which set the Internet on fire last night and this morning.”
Was there a slightly older audience this year?
“There was a strange demographic going on where, let’s say you would go and watch this R&B artist called FKA Twigs at 11 o’clock at night, but about 20 or 30 percent of the audience was actually a bit older than you would expect, which wasn’t usually the case from previous years... Just kind of a funny side note, even when you’re watching Steely Dan, that audience actually skewed a lot younger than what people may think it might. I was actually sitting towards the back of Steely Dan and sitting right next to an elderly couple who were actually commenting on the fact that Gorgon City was, you know, killing it with their bass beats.”
What was the vibe like for acts that were playing Coachella for the first time?
“Every single artist that we interviewed said they were either nervous or basically said that Coachella was going to be the biggest show that they’ve played. One in particular was Kevin Parker — he’s the lead singer of this psychedelic rock band, Tame Impala, from Australia... They were basically opening up for AC/DC on the main stage, so it was a huge jump for them."
What art installations caught your eye?
“The art installations this year, some of them actually drew a bigger audience than the artists playing Coachella. There’s one where, the very last day, it was a butterfly... In the previous two days it was a caterpillar that roamed around the polo fields... People could pick up the legs and move the butterfly. And since it was so interactive, people were crowding around and even making it difficult to get to some of the stages because there was such a large audience there.”