We Went To Coachella So You Didn’t Have To.
by Anne Walls and Kelly Hannon
Look, you guys. Coachella is basically the hottest, most crowdedest (that’s a word now), hippest, insanest, most grueling concert festival experience in the entirety of the world. It’s like if you got in a time machine and went back to Woodstock, but only Woodstock was on the surface OF THE SUN and also filled with tragic hipsters and creepy parents who decided a drug-and-booze-soaked festival atmosphere would be the best place to bring their six-year-old. Yay!
To save you the heartache, cirrhosis, and financial drainage (not to mention long-term hearing loss) of such an event, we have compiled a succinct yet totally important list of Coachella observations for your beautiful unblistered eyeballs. Enjoy!
On Face Paint:
Anne: Cutesy Urban Outfitter girls with stars/hearts/etc. on their cheeks: fine. Hippy girl with tribal-y white stripes all over her face: grey area. Greasy haired guy wearing all black in 100° weather with half-sweated off Joker makeup: NO. Why so horrifying?
Kelly: Let’s go back to the hippy girl with the tribal stripes. I remember this moment. We were at Radiohead. For some reason we were having a very in-depth conversation with the gentlemen around us on what the difference between a “taint” and a “chode” is. (Don’t worry; we got some Oxford Dictionary-grade definitions). And apparently we were making a lot of people laugh, including hippie-dippy heroin girl (no surprise there). I think I would have been fine with her about-facing me for a half hour, staring into the depths of my soul, and telling me I reminded her of Whitney Cummings, had she not been covered in such freakish white paint. (I was *slightly, just slightly mom if you’re reading this* under the influence of drugs myself, so yeah, her extreme face varnish put me a little over the edge). The moral of my story is – hey guys, other people have to look at you.
On Body Paint (of the permanent variety):
Anne: This picture (and our friend Jason’s facial expression) articulate our feelings on the bad tattoos that abounded on the festival grounds better than we ever, ever could. Please enjoy/barf:
Kelly: I can’t respond. Because I’m dead.
On Fuzzy Photos:
Anne: It is nearly impossible to get a clear photo once the sun goes down. Surprisingly, this is not because you’re still wearing your sweat-covered sunglasses or because your phone camera lens is smudged from being sandwiched between you and that couple re-enacting MTV’s The Grind at the David Guetta show. Nope, it’s because of the weed. You’re basically in a biodome of smoke, so getting a sharp picture is virtually impossible. Unless you want an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes picture, but they haven’t played since 2010.
Kelly: I just uploaded 8,000 of those photos. And I know this is crazy, but my computer actually smells like weed now.
Anne: Look, Coachella is not Halloween. It is WAY too hot to be wearing all sorts of IRON MAN and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN costumes, though I swear I saw a guy with Jack Sparrow hair beads. Yet somehow, some people find ways to sneak costumes into the festival and wear them with panache and grace. And by some people, I mean the three Australian dudes who were (inexplicably) wearing chef hats and aprons. I’m not sure if they had clothing on underneath, but they definitely weren’t wearing shirts. I think they also were waving wooden spoons and whisks around as they jammed to Grouplove. But there was so much smoke in the tent, I can’t really be sure.
Kelly: Holy shiznit, whenever I saw the d-bags in the full-fledged Native American headdresses, I began to fully understand why geriatrics despise teens so much. I could hear the grandma loud and clear in my head. “These god damn kids and their disrespect! They’re weird and I hate ‘em! Somebody get me a cigarette!” But SERIOUSLY – you are a Caucasian male from the Cape who’s probably never so much as stepped foot on an Indian reservation, except for that one time in college you got lost driving home drunk after spending all your money from Daddy at the casino up north. I hope you get your ass kicked. That aside, if you have a charming accent, you can wear whatever the eff you want. And if those Australian men are looking for a place to stay next year, I’d have no problem making room for them in the backseat of my car.
On Pasties (See first picture):
Anne: So women – or more accurately, GIRLS – who aren’t porn stars – or at least do not LOOK like porn stars – are wearing pasties now? As shirts? In public? Because they want flower/heart/star shaped sunburns around their nipples? Please explain.
Kelly: Much like crop circles, I think it’s simply unexplainable. But here’s my imitation of the thought process: “Ohmigod, I look HOT AS HELL in this crop top. Um, ohmigod, what if I took my bra off, just to like, make it a little more ‘dirty ho in the desert.’ [GASP] OHMIGOD what if I took the TOP OFF, and just wore body art pasties over my nips?! Aggggh I’m gonna tweet at my friend Roxie right now to see where she buys the ones she wears at Boobie Bungalow!!! I’m SO getting banged at this thing!!!!!” I don’t know – this may not be accurate. Either way, next year I’m bringing a tote bag full of long sleeve T-shirts to dole out to these harlots that read, “I went to Coachella and all I got was this lousy venereal disease.”
On Captain’s Hats:
Anne: So here is the sad truth about captain’s hats. I thought I was the only person who was hilarious and ironic enough to buy one – on Catalina no less! An ISLAND! How much more captainish could I GET? Well, evidently everyone and their mother got the memo about these crucial pieces of headwear and the polo fields were INUNDATED with them. I mean, like 1 out of 10 asshats – sorry, FESTIVAL GOERS – were wearing one. So I kept mine at the condo and only broke it out for Hangover Pool Party time. I was the ONLY captain at the pool, I’m happy to report. Though the Weird Ex-Playmate Stoner Grandma from the condo downstairs who told us the story about her son drinking Coors Light and “dancing around the living room until he fell down” might as WELL have been wearing a captain’s hat, for how absolutely BALLER she was.
Kelly: Okay, I know I’ve been digressing a lot, but we need to talk more about Stoner Grandma because she was possibly my most fave character at this whole shebang. I made the superb choice of accepting the invitation to use her extra pool float, and we soon became the best of friends! If she were still fertile, our periods totally would have synched up. She told me amazing tales, ranging from her life as a nudist to how she’s been affected by the economic crisis. If anything, she taught me that aging can be amazing! It’s ironic, really. I went to Coachella to kill brain cells, but ended up gaining insight. But then she allowed her grandson to splash me, so you know what, fuck her actually.
On Fanny Packs:
Anne: Sure, this has been a list of mostly hostile observations and outright mockery, but one thing we do NOT mock is convenience and also wearing things around your waist. HENCE: Fanny Packs. They are AMAZERS. You can store ALL of your shit in them, the security people barely if EVER look in them for the blatant drugs you are mule-ing right through the two – count it, TWO – security/body cavity search checkpoints, and did we mention how CONVENIENT they are? Hands free! No strap around your neck/shoulders! No back sweat (okay, not THAT much back sweat). Basically, fanny packs are like the Grey Ford Taurus of drug carting. Cops NEVER see them. They rock.
Kelly: So I’m the wanker who brought 3 small, awkwardly-shaped crossbody bags for my 3 different outfits, and I could not have regretted that decision more. Here’s why: 1) Porta-potties: not a cute situation. We actually saw one with poo splattered on just about every inch of the walls. Do you really want your fabulous new purse to accidentally graze any part of that radioactive disaster?? Of course not. You’ve got to take the bag off, hand it to your dude friend, hope he’s not too blitzed to hang onto it, then put it back on for another few hours of back sweating. 2) Raving: how am I supposed to get super crunk in the At the Drive-In mosh pit when I’ve got a purse loaded up with hand sanitizer and baby wipes hitting me in the ass? It ain’t easy, folks. Anne Walls has set a Coachella precedent with the fanny pack, which must never be strayed from. Clutch move. Pun intended.
The Bottom Line, from Anne and Kelly: Like a mirage in the middle of a sweltering desert, there are good times to be found at the writhing mass of humanity known as Coachella. As long as you have a fanny pack…and some of Stoner Grandma’s weed.