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Coachella Gnarly Vibes Wrap-Up 2011

Last year, we scooped the entire Coachella blogosphere with Mephedrone (a.k.a. Meow), Benzo Fury, and P90X Insanity lunges. Now we're back with twice the scoops, including trending fashions such as cowboy hats that turn up on the sides, old men "gurning their facking balls off," and Leftfield. Plus: new drugs, new celebs (without pictures), and the right way to eat a nine-dollar kale salad. This is the Coachella they didn't want you to see.

Let Them Eat Gluten-Free Cake

Many people consider Coachella a "bourgeois" music festival, which is true compared to something like the Gathering of the Juggalos. That being said, the kale salad spiced with artisanal salts and garnished with a brazed filo wrap was an especially delectable choice at the main stage VIP area, as was the organic coconut water paired with mahi-mahi sliders. Best avoided were the stone-oven personal pizzas topped with chevre, whose crust I found flaky and uninviting.


Coolhunters like the Huffington Post made a tremendous deal over SpiritHoods at Coachella this year, and with good reason: These neat little hats make you look like a cross between Davey Crockett and a person wearing a scarf. Embraced by the young and old alike, SpiritHoods certainly added some necessary "spirit" to the cool desert winds, not to mention making a fantastic place to store your mushroom chocolates.

Cut Copy Bring All Their Stuff

This jumble of cables and words is a technological marvel, indeed. But is it music?

Caught in a Mosh

When you're 19 years old and you see an old guy slam-dancing with a button-down shirt on, it's like a cautionary tale against growing up. But then you grow up anyways, and the guys in Lightning Bolt are almost 40. Coincidentally, the only people that have the brass balls to mosh anymore are funky dads.

Burners vs. IT Middle Managers: A Venn Diagram

The Oasis Dome was where 90% of XLR8R's past cover artists ended up, which is to say it was a very intelligent, forward-thinking place to stroke chin. Best set of the weekend belonged to Joy Orbison, whose nostalgic reach back to the early days of house proved that all dance music artists end up making house music after they run out of ideas.

Vätherized at the Sahara Tent

On Friday night, Boys Noize had the ravey Sahara Tent packed like some Gatecrasher flashback. Unfortunately, when it became time to get a proper Väthing on Sunday, the kids weren't as convinced. A hollow-sounding set that included a massive selection of peak-time 7 a.m. chuggers, Sven's performance was a bit low on fun, but possibly high on his meta-meta LED display.

Where Were U in '42?

Everyone knows the drugs were better 70 years ago, which is why Leftfield raved the hardest on Sunday night at the Mojave Tent. Reminiscent of Orbital's Coachella set from last year, Leftfield looked to the mysterious continent of Africa for inspiration, opening with "Song of Life" and later delving into "Afro-Left," "Africa Shox," and "African Funky," the latter of which is not a real song. The only thing missing from their set was the part in Hackers when Angelina Jolie wakes up from her Jonny Lee Miller sex dream and goes "Ohh."

Sub Zero Wins

By the time Sunday night came to an end, everyone was doing their victory pose. The
priestess pictured at the top of this article provided a nice counterpoint to Kanye West’s explosive, mind-bending “Chariots of Fire” rendition during the festival’s final minutes. As Pitchfork said of the performance, "At this point a Jesus guest spot doesn’t seem out of the question." Clearly, no one needed to ingest unscheduled research chemicals with vibes like that in the air.

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