The Best of Coachella, Weekend One

Ed. Note: Rocks Off proudly presents to our readers coverage of Coachella's first weekend courtesy of our sister papers LA Weekly and OC Weekly.

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Photo by Christopher Victorio
Karen O
Karen O's Outfit Karen O's wardrobe on Friday night was bad-ass. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman appeared on the main stage in a technicolor cape draped over a suit that looked like it was made of mercury. The vibrant collage was topped with a headpiece that Liberace might have worn had he ever been elected pope.

The eccentric layers slowly peeled off as she swung the microphone like a lasso and shoved it down her pants. She eventually donned at leather jacket with "KO" studded into the back, which might have as well have stood for "knock out." KAI FLANDERS


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Photo by Kai Flanders
The Mosh Pit at the Descendents Show The pit at Descendents erupted immediately and hardly paused for air during their entire excellent set. Mohawks and Black Flag T-shirts that had been hiding among all the carefully sculpted hippery suddenly appeared.

One particularly brave dude who had his nose bloodied and possibly broken at the Dropkick Murphys pit earlier in the day, refused to let that minor mishap keep him out of the pit. He dove in headfirst just like the rest of us. Check the video below. KAI FLANDERS

Obscure Basketball Jerseys We already talked about the hilarious bro T-shirts, but don't forget about the jerseys. For every run of the mill Kobe, LeBron and Jordan replica, there was your Eddie Jones Charlotte Hornets, Shaq Cavs and Xavier McDaniel Knicks. Throwback, baby! DANIEL KOHN

Not Getting Locked in a Porto-John Waiting to use the restroom in the press area, we heard a woman banging on the door of one of the porto-johns -- from the inside. Turns out she was stuck in there, not because it had malfunctioned, but because she was drunk. She soon began screaming. Turns out she wasn't press, but had "charmed" her way past one of the guards. Finally, she figured out there was a lever to unlock the door. MARY CARREON


Photo by Timothy Norris
Jurassic 5
Jurassic 5 Of the various reunions happening at Coachella this year, who would have predicted this would be the best one? Playing before easily one of Friday's largest crowds, the hip-hop collective performed their first live show in seven years. Showing great energy and no rust, J5 powered through nearly an hour of their greatest hits, reminding folks why they were one of the most highly regarded alternative hip hop groups of their time. DANIEL KOHN

Bon Iver's Auto-Tuned Cameo Surprise cameos from big name artists come as no surprise at Coachella, minus R.Kelly, of course. In fact, our spoiled asses kind of expect them nowadays. But rarely do they happen before sundown, so we were genuinely shocked towards the end of Polica's mid-afternoon set when Bon Iver's Justin Vernon emerged from behind the stage.

He was wearing his Wisconsin version of beach wear -- still a minimum of three layers of clothing -- and lent auto-tuned vocals to a new single the band premiered. Built on Polica's drum-focused fusion of dub and R&B, Vernon's vocals were the X-factor that managed to get sweaty couples in DayGlo shorts and tank tops to wrap themselves around each other. We have a strong sense there were at least a few Coachella babies conceived in that magical five minutes. NATE JACKSON

Photo by Timothy Norris
Ben Gibbard of the Postal Service
Uncool Aging Bands Sure, Paid Dues was a blast, and we looked forward to the hip-hop acts at Coachella. But aside from J5, they mostly let us down: Pusha T's set was uninspired and had poor sound quality, 2Chainz's was overcrowded and truncated, El-P's crowd was meager, and Earl Sweatshirt, by himself anyway, seems not quite ready for prime time.

But all those crusty rock groups you stopped listening to years ago? They brought it. For our money, sets from Postal Service, Band of Horses, and New Order were the highlights of the weekend, and Sigur Ros was said not to disappoint either.

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Photo by Timothy Norris
Jenny Lewis of the Postal Service
Something about the excellent speaker systems here, particularity on the main stage, particularly benefited bands with big, melodic sounds. BEN WESTHOFF

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