There are plenty of pictures of Danny DeVito and Jay Z watching Beach House at Coachella, but what about the real kids? Considering the festival drew something like 80,000 people, logic would dictate that for every beautiful person there were three body builders with cat-eye lenses and a few tweens drinking Draino in the Porta-Johns. As such, we investigated Coachella's ravey underbelly and came up with the following list of important things you may have missed.
The Summer of Meow
"It's like an instant explosion but without any empathy," is how one guy described Meow (a.k.a. Mephedrone), the fluffy, white powder that has become Britain's #4 club drug. Still legal in the US, Meow is available online via Europe, though apparently "not for human consumption." Nevertheless, after snorting a couple rails and enduring a drip comparable to sandpapering the back of your throat, one can get an hour-long high that feels like six minutes of Looney Toons idiocy. Could it be as big as ecstasy? Hopefully not: The desire to redose is worse than Pringles, and people on it look like pasty, fleshy golems.
Orbital’s Head Lamps > AnCo’s Head Lamps
People joke about grandpa raves, but Orbital's set in the Sahara tent was well ancient. If you remember the days of Mad Hatter hats, smiley-face t-shirts, and Mickey Mouse gloves, you should be pleased to know that all those items were present, in addition to a glowstick shower that lasted for like five minutes. Super-bummer that no rollerblades were available during “Halycon On and On.”
As dubstep has become the de facto rave music of the West Coast, crusty hippies have ditched Phish in favor of Bassnectar and the DJs at the Do Lab, a tropically themed tent that stood amidst Coachella's five main stages. The dubstep featured was of the wobbly, beef-tenderizing variety rather than Kode9 or Burial, which was totally fine with the nu-ravers covered in burlap-sack clothing and glow-thingies. For some reason, the distinct scent of beached salmon clung to the area by Sunday.
Personal favorite of the festival; they played for only 15 minutes and still managed to strip down to boxers and yell "fuck yaaow" like 400 times.
Plastikman is for "Olds"
Despite utilizing a special Coachella iPhone app that kinda/sorta/not really synced to the music, Richie Hawtin's Plastikman set was pure old-school techno nostalgia. Starting out with the stripped-down meander of Sheet One-era acid techno, Hawtin slowly worked his way into a long, fleshed-out mix of "Spastik"—though not before a few yobs started chanting "fuck Richie!"...presumably due to his Justin Bieber-ish haircut.
Absolutely no middle ground with this set: You were either totally into the dancing Chinese Dragons and Skerrit Bwoy screaming like Maxim Reality OR it was the most annoying thing in the world. With all the hand-chops and aggro jump dancing, it seemed pretty clear this was the spiritual heir to Prodigy's Phoenix Fest performance in 1996.