I have to be honest, I went to the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg set very excited, but this wasn’t the set I was initially the most excited to see at the Coachella Valley Music Festival. By the end of the performance, however, it had blown every other set out of the water, and my cheeks hurt from smiling.
I arrived a good 30 minutes early to the main stage – just early enough to procure a spot right in the middle – the best vantage point. As 10:35pm approached, the masses poured in from all corners of the polo fields, weaving in through the crowd as each found his/her own perfect spot.
Then, the Beats Audio equipment raised, the lights came on, and before we knew it, a voice bounded “Coaaaachella!”, and it was on. We sang along about being “Young, Wild & Free” to the sounds of Snoop and Wiz Khalifa, bounced to 50 Cent’s “What up Gangsta,” followed by none other than “P-I-M-P”. All the classics from my junior high and high school days came out of the woodwork, including Eminem’s “Forgot About Dre,” “Jump Around,” “Drop it Like it’s Hot,” “Gin and Juice,” and “Nothin’ But A G Thang”.
The biggest shock, of course, was the Tupac hologram. Given that I was a weekend 1 goer, I was expecting to see Nate Dogg, not Tupac. The whole crowd froze as his voice asked Coachella what was up. Right as he said the word “Machiavelli,” it was confirmed: Tupac was on stage rapping, live, with Snoop. Mind: blown.
The screen graphics made the experience both an auditory and visual treat, although my one complaint is, even at 5’8, I wasn’t tall enough to see the stage.
Regardless, the overall experience was marked with feelings of nostalgia, coupled with memories of getting down to these songs at my high school prom, joined by visions of myself just last week singing “so what we get druuuunk,” in the car on the way home from my Grandma’s house. It hit every button and brought a sound for just about everyone – from old school gangsta rap to music with a dancing beat.
The crowd at massive music festivals like this is usually a happy, moving crowd, but this crowd in particular took it to a whole new level. The energy was intense and excitement was at an all-time high. When we were told to sway, we swayed. When commanded to jump, we jumped vigorously. When told to take a break to partake in various green gifts of the earth, the crowd obliged, as evidenced by the haze of smoke dancing above the masses. Of course, since we’re talking about a Snoop set here, naturally there were various herbal remedies passed around. They were always plentiful, and always on offer.
The absolute worst part of the set had to be the end. We hung on the faint glimmer of hope that we might get an encore, but no such luck (I was part of the weekend 1 crowd, so we didn’t know any better). We hung around, pleaded for more, and asked each other “how can it really be over so early?” all as the crushing truth that the festival was over finally hit.
Just like every year, I’m telling myself, “one more time, I’ve got to buy one more ticket.”
Coachella 2013: I’ll see you at the polo fields.