The amazing 2014 twin-weekend incarnation of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival may have come and gone, but the music lingers, its plethora of echoes deeply etched into my brain. I just can’t shake the melodies and lyrics…the sights and thrills…and deep down, I know I don’t want to. Not for a while at least.
Coachella, to be sure, is always an awesome ride. But this year, thanks to VIP passes generously provided to me by a family member who works closely with one of the headlining bands, my experience of this beloved and insanely popular symphonic extravaganza was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
It’s well-known that VIP passes permit the bearer to access more proximate parking, as well as an entire viewing area near the main stage. But it also enables one to get up close and personal with favorite performers such as Beck, Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams, Lorde, HAIM, and Outkast. At the Outdoor Theatre on Sunday, I was almost within touching distance of the beautiful and talented Lana Del Rey as she regaled the thousands of assembled devotees who had come to pay homage. The only thing that would have been better than my vantage point is if I’d been among the front-row general admission folks the singer did touch—and kiss, and pose with—when she walked down her ramp into the audience for some high quality time.
I made up for my lack of Lana one-on-one love by actually sharing the stage with Sunday night closing headliner Arcade Fire. That’s right! I was right behind front man Win Butler, his wife Régine Chassagne, and their bandmates and backups when they closed the fest with one of the most explosive performances of Coachella 2014. I was there right next to Beck when he waited in wings. And I was there to see Super Sexy Spidey Andrew Garfield (in drag!) help Win and the band with its performance of “We Exist.” All I can say is that the Coachella VIP experience is far more than just “existing,” and I, for one, never felt more alive. I already can’t wait for next year! So mark those dates down in your calendars now: Weekend 1 is April 10-12, 2015…and Weekend 2 is April 17-19.