Coachella 2019 has come and gone. As is tradition with Coachella, both weekends were loaded with surprises, special guests, and an all around palpable feeling that you are a part of something special. Although news of a last minute Kanye West headlining performance cancellation hit shortly after the lineup dropped – that doesn’t mean it was a Kanye-less weekend. Not by a long shot. Kanye joined Coachella for an exclusive Sunday Service at 9 am on Easter morning.
Year after year – you don’t have to look hard to find the same comments about Coachella – that “No one is there for the music” or millions of variations of the phrase “Influencer Olympics.” But in the end – most of the people are just like you – they want to hang out and listen to great music. So don’t let the loud minority of opinions hinder you from going to Coachella. We highlighted some of our favorite acts from Coachella 2019 below.
Amma Lunoe’s early afternoon Sahara Tent set was the perfect set to kick off Coachella 2019. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand and enjoyed every second – playing through her huge collection of music. She took the stage with a couple of dancers – sporting a bug mask and a horse mask and the trio on stage might have danced harder than anyone in the Sahara tent all weekend.
Jpeg Mafia had a small crowd – but possibly one of the most dedicated crowds of the weekend. Fans in all areas of the crowd were screaming almost every bar from the energetic, young hip-hop act. By watching just 20 minutes of the set – it’s clear that he is close to breaking into another level.
From the inception of a new project to playing Coachella in less than two years – not a bad trajectory for Brillz’ new project. His set was an injection of pure energy into a crowd beaten down by the heat of one day. He took the dedicated Dolab crowd on a journey of his unique take on bass music – with minor breaks to give appreciation to the early Do-Lab crowd.
Fisher is about to have an extremely busy festival season – his mega-hit, Grammy-nominated tune “Losing it” was heard plentifully throughout the weekend – but the strongest reaction by far was when Fisher finally let it loose on the dance-happy Sahara crowd mashed up with Chris Lake’s “Operator.” If Fisher is headed to a fest near you – and you’re ready to have dance make time for his set.
I’ve said it before, but year after year, The Yuma Tent is one of America’s best places for house and techno music. Amelie Lens delivered a set packed with the ebbs and flows of a GREAT techno set. She delivered a maximum experience with minimum production.
Jaden Smith delivered a Coachella set that proved to the crowd that he is here to stay. While working through most of his Icon album – he was joined on stage by Willow Smith, Lido, and even a Tesla car. Yes, he performed on top of a Tesla over the crowd. But he left one big surprise exclusively for weekend 2 – as he was joined on stage by his dad for the last song of his set. Will Smith was not only the best hypeman Jaden could ask for, he even spit a few bars. A true Smith family affair.
There’s something to be said about playing Coachella with a few years of experience under your belt – and Diplo proved that – after annoucing that it was around his “7th Coachella” and claiming that the Weekend 2 crowd is always better (His words not mine) he finished off his set with a tremendous sequence that started off with bringing out Elle Goulding for “Close to Me” followed by “Revolution,” “Lean On” and “Thunderclouds.” And the crowd loved every minute of it.
A 2:45 PM set on day two of the festival isn’t the easiest feat. People are still beat down from day one and it may be too early for everyone to have ‘mentally prepared’ themselves for the day. But Ookay took the challenge with a smile and delivered a set that was truly deserving for his Sahara Stage debut. From Heineken house to The massive Sahara megastructure – what’s next for Ookay and Coachella?
Cassian’s Do Lab set was an hour and 15 minutes of bliss – packed with familiar vocals. A 3-day festival can be a bit of a marathon – and in the California heat, the first set after the crowd gets a semblance of the sun coming down can be the most important. The highlight of the set was the glow from the crowd when he played an incredible remix of Rufus Du Sol’s “Treat You Better.”
Clozee’s set was a story of two parts. The first half of her set she drew on some of her more organic, tribal sounds to lure the crowd in – before unleashing some much needed afternoon bass into the crowd. As the sun begin to set behind the mountains the crowd began to come more and more to life. Every minute that passed the crowd seemed to grow – some knew who Clozee was, many were listening to her for the first time – but everyone had one thing in common…they were vibing.
If you were at Four Tet’s set, it didn’t take long for you to realize you were watching something special. As the near pitch black Mojave tent filled up, Four Tet went to work. His set had a certain cadence to it that no other set was able to match – he led the crowd through a journey through his musical library – even treating the crowd to his unreal remix of Eric Prydz’s “Opus.”
Bassnectar has proved he can create a set to cater to any crowd – Coachella included. He was tasked with closing the massive Outdoor Stage. Like a puppet master, he controlled the crowd with an absolutely massive set with a few familiar lyrics. When he called – the crowd responded with everything from headbanging, to screaming, to good ol’ fashioned dancing.
When Gesaffelstein’s new album came out, most of the Coachella message boards were ablaze with a similar sentiment. The masses were hungry for a set as iconic as Gesaffelstein’s 2015 live performance – and that’s exactly what they got. An all black background wasn’t enough for the live performance – Gesaffelstein acquired the blackest, darkest paint in existence to give a semblance of a black hole on stage while bringing a set that most will remember as Iconic as his set from four years ago.
A good friend once told me – “End your weekend in the Yuma Tent.” And it’s something I have taken to heart since my first trip to Coachella – whether it’s the last 10 minutes – or a whole set. Ending your weekend with a crowd that would dance until the sun came up and Yuma Tent’s beloved disco shark is always a healthy decision. And Cirez D played the perfect soundtrack to close Coachella. His 2-hour set was nothing short of a journey that was 95% original tracks. Even if you spent 20 minutes in that tent – you were treated to the true maestro that Eric Prydz is. His build-ups are enough to make you hold your breath – before letting out an explosive breakdown accompanied by Yuma’s minimal, yet effective production.
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[All photos courtesy of Coachella and Ookay]