“Coachella — this is the best place to be in the world right now!” declares Grouplove bassist Sean Gadd.
“Let’s bring in the storm!” yells keyboardist Hannah Hooper.
And with that, the chronically upbeat Los Angeles-based rock quintet kicked off their first-ever set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, while the famous annual mega-concert had a few new experiences of its own: This is reportedly the first time in the sun-baked Indio festival’s 13-year history that it’s rained, and the first time organizers have scheduled two weekends of performances since 1999.
While a storm didn’t turn the polo fields into a muddy nightmare like some feared, there was a persistent drizzle, unusually cold temperatures and gusting winds that had many under-dressed concert-goers huddling together for warmth. When Jimmy Cliff took the main stage that afternoon, he probably didn’t expect singing “it’s going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day” during his rendition of “I Can See Clearly Now” to be considered mockingly ironic.
In addition to the festival’s usual assortment of casual-sexy wear (sort of American Apparel meets Burning Man meets Indian casino cocktail waitress), this year’s fest gave rise to an all-new Coachella accessory: the plastic poncho.
Some clearly planned ahead and rocked it:
Others improvised: READ FULL STORY