Day 3 of Coachella and everyone has the “I’ve made it” face on. This the final day festival goers will have to bear the heat, walk miles to Ubers and rage at some of the most exclusive after parties. This is also the day that Kanye decided to do a 9am Sunday Service (thinking face emoji + shrug emoji).
Of all days this was the one I was looking most forward to. One, I had an interview with UK band Easy Life, up and comers who I have no doubt will be taking the U.S. by storm. Two, Dermot Kennedy was performing and I am becoming more and more of a fan everyday. Three, I needed to see Lizzo perform because it was all anyone was talking about.
But if I’m being honest…
The entire day was filled with kickass artists and I ran around the Coachella fields like a school girl that was late to class (backpack and all).
The first performance I caught was by Easy Life. The entire band is made up of multi-instrumentalists that despite forming in 2017, looks and performs as though they’ve been together for years. Their set was to say the least, impressive. Lead vocalist, Murray, has a natural flow when it comes to rapping and like his other band members has a calm, cool and collective presence on stage. The group performed mainly songs from their latest release “Spaceships Mixtape” including “Basics” and “Afters.” But also managed to fit in crowd favorites like “Nightmares.”
Next up was Dennis Lloyd. The singer played many of his more popular songs like “Nevermind” and “Never Go Back.” The singer was extremely well versed in a variety of instruments like the saxophone, trombone and guitar. After a few songs, Dennis tells the people in the crowd, “Think about your ex…” then goes into a song with the lyrics, “go fuck yourself” on repeat. Mid-set a hot Dennis takes offer his shirt and the crowd goes wild. As an artist, he has a very reggae-type feel with the swag and sound of Adam Levine. Towards the end of the performance he yells, “yeah, you fucking know it,” as he slams down his guitar on the stage. It always hurts a little bit inside when I see an instrument get smashed to pieces, but it is what it is! Dennis ends his set with Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” taking out the pop vibe and adding in more rock and roll soul.
Lizzo was next. This woman has a lot of spunk, sass where she should and fans who absolutely adore her. Along with some of her originals like “Good As Hell,” Lizzo also managed to squeeze in a few covers like TLC’s “No Scrubs.” Although she is known for her rapping, she can sing and I mean not just a note, an entire verse, chorus, song, anthem, she can sing anything.
As for Dermot Kennedy, he’s not really like anything I’ve ever heard before or at least in a long time. Raspy, scratchy, soulful mixed with a touch of good looks, he’s got the all in one package for what any record label would want. His voice has nothing but power, ha, it seems effortless. Fans in the crowd are sporting the Irish flag decked in Coachella glitter and believe it or not, Irish accents are all around me. They’ve come a long way and it says a lot about Dermot as an artist to have fans travel that far to support.
Playing some of his more popular songs like “After Rain” and “Power Over Me” he has a certain way about his singing that pierces through you. You don’t have to know who he is, you just have to listen. “Wow, he was amazing,” even the security guard covering the event is taken back.
While walking back to the press tent, I overhear Zedd doing his set at the Coachella Stage and I look up to find Alessia Cara walking out on stage as she sings, “All you have to do is stay a minute, / Just take your time…” I stop to watch the 22 year old perform on stage, energetic as ever. “I can’t believe she’s here, she is like still on tour and everything!” says the person next to me. They’re right. Alessia had a brief break in her The Pains of Growing Tour and will be picking things back up in the beginning of May.
Khalid was next to take the Coachella stage. The singer plays hits like “Location,” “Young, Dumb and Broke.”
“Oh my God, I wonder if he is going to bring out Normani, do you think he’s going to being out Normani?” the girl says next to me as the singer goes into “Love Lies.”
Although I was also really hoping he would, he didn’t. Instead, Khalid brought out guests 6lack and Ty Dolla $ign for track “OTW.” Oh and by the way — John Mayer showed up, playing his crazy guitar riffs rocking alongside Khalid.
H.E.R. was up to perform at the Outdoor Theatre as soon as Khalid’s set ended. So everyone ran, I mean walked with emphasis, over to the Theatre. As soon as she took the stage I thought… Alicia Keys. For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to pinpoint who she sounds like and the answer is Alicia. It’s that raspy, scratchy, give me everything you have type voice that reels you in. Just like Alicia, she’s not a crazy performer that jumps around asking for hype from the crowd, but rather stays in one spot, focusing on her sound, tasting her lyrics and living in the moment. She has an appreciation for her music and it shows. Midway H.E.R. dedicates a song to Prince, it was just three years ago that the singer found his way into a different light and we felt his presence that night. “So, I just won a Grammy” H.E.R. says on stage, the singer is talking about her recent Grammy winnings for “Best R&B Album” and “Best R&B Performance.” She then goes onto play “Best Part” and out comes Daniel Caesar to join the singer for the performance.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Ariana Grande. Although I didn’t stay for the entire set (tried to beat the crowd), the singer managed to play “Break Up With Your Girlfriend,” and “Sweetener” before I started walking away.
“Shit this is my jam,” I said as “7 Rings” comes on. I wasn’t the only “lets beat the crowd person” that stopped dead in their tracks just to watch this song be performed.
At the beginning of the set, and just like during Weekend 1, Grande had mic issues and she knew it; quickly turning in her headset for a handheld mic. “I don’t like that she skipped over Nicki Minaj’s part on ‘Bang, Bang,’” says a person I’m driving with on the “my feet hurt and I’m not walking on this broken up blacktop pavement” bike. I didn’t think about it too much, but once I did, I was quickly saddened that Minaj didn’t make an appearance this week as she did during Weekend 1.
Phew, so let’s wrap this up! After running to different stages for 3 days in a row, calling it a “day” at almost 3am every single night, promoting, interviewing, talking, water, water, water, more water, second hand pot smoking while I stand a foot below everyone else’s eye level, this experience will go down in the books. Thanks Coachella 2019, I can’t wait until the next one.
Written by Ashley Friedman