Coachella 2024 Weekend Two: Day One

Coachella 2024 Weekend Two: Day One

Top Shelf has never had the pleasure of attending the catalyst of all Goldenvoice festivals… until this year. Of course, we’re talking the alpha, the omega, COACHELLA! Spanning two weekends in the sun-soaked Empire Polo Club grounds just south of Palm Springs, Coachella has become synonymous with the quintessential festival experience — the Maserati of music celebrations, the Goliath of celebrity sightings.

Naturally, Weekend One is reserved for the elite… and the elite chasers.

We all watched ‘Couch-ella’-style how Billie Eilish showed up for Friday headliner Lana Del Rey’s set over Weekend One and jaw-dropped over how Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce casually walked around (through the general crowd, no less!!!). And nothing is complete without iconic outfits all around, like the furry beige bikini worn by Doja Cat Sunday night that spurred toy-maker Funko Pop to release a special-edition Funko seemingly overnight.

It’s the Influencer Olympics, if there ever was one. But Weekend Two goes down a bit differently. Weekend Two is for the fans — the people there for the music. And you can tell right away that the anticipation was high.

Even with sweltering temperatures during the day, attendees swarmed for early bird merch purchases and the brightly colored Do LaB Stage (the one that conveniently had the most shade with intricately woven installations). Being more of an experimental EDM stage, the Do LaB welcomed acts early like Yung Singh and CocoRosie — the latter of which led by two sisters, one being an actual opera singer!

As you meandered around the grounds, there was always something to see or do. Whether you wanted tasty treats from the Indio Central Market or to cool down in one of the air-conditioned lounges (shoutout to the Absolut dance party popup, who saved us from heat stroke!!), Coachella keeps you entertained from sunup to sundown. There was even an installation of garbage cans made of recycled materials, depicting lineup artists or other pop culture references! It was Earth Day weekend, after all!

And, of course, there are full eight stages of performing artists rotating around the clock (not even including the aforementioned Do LaB Stage). GoldFish at the Heineken House was a particular highlight, as that area — like Do LaB — had its own programming all weekend long, with artists not on the original lineup!

GoldFish @ Heineken House

And albeit hot, although early, eve though it was Friday, artists across smaller stages still had larger than life crowds, including L’Impératrice, Cloonee, and BLOND:ISH.

By 6pm, our attention turned to one of pop’s fastest rising superstars — Sabrina Carpenter.

With full-blown stage theatrics and set changes, Carpenter appeared via a motorized “Sabrina’s” sign above a blue motel building. As an introduction to her set, Carpenter was depicted as a tragic actress in her latest film on the video screens, desperately seeking salvation (and/or sanity) with her rising fame. With a cute “hi Coachella”, the smiling Sabrina immediately launched into a choreographed, cathartic portrayal of love and abandonment, hope and despair. All was left on the stage, as Carpenter performed the heart-wrenching “because i liked a boy” atop a heart-shaped mattress.

Sabrina Carpenter

Midway through, the crowd got a special treat with a surprise duet by Carpenter and Norah Jones, singing “Don’t Know Why” together at a piano before Carpenter returned to her normal rundown of her latest hits — “Feather”, “Espresso”, and “Nonsense”. Before leaving the stage, Carpenter made the bold claim she will see us all next time at Coachella when she headlines; at least she aims high.

From 7pm onward, it was a tirade of music merriment. You really had to cheery-pick where you wanted to go. From Deftones to Skepta to Brittany Howard to Tinashe, attendees simply couldn’t be everywhere at once. As the sun set, casting candy colors through the desert sky, the wind unfortunately picked up, whipping festival-goers with a vengeance. That didn’t deter Friday night from popping off however, with anticipation high for headliner Lana Del Rey.

Leading up to the end of Day One were notable productions by Lil Uzi Vert, Everything Always, Peso Pluma, Chloë, Hatsune Miku, ATEEZ, Suki Waterhouse, and so many others. But the number one thing on everyone’s mind was one simple thing:

Will Lana bring out Taylor?

It was the rumor circulating all day, considering Taylor Swift dropped her latest Tortured Poet’s Department the night before. Plus, she was there Weekend One. Not to mention Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift are besties of late. And the Twitter-sphere kept purporting that Taylor had, in fact, been spotted doing soundcheck for Lana’s set as of that morning. It all added up to TOO MUCH.

Waiting with baited breath, longtime Lana fans cheered as she appeared on the back of a motorcycle, with a train of riders following behind her and Neil Young pumping loud out of the speakers. Lana Del Rey launched into her set in her dark and dreamy way, with hits like “West Coast”, “Doin’ Time”, and “Summertime Sadness”. There were pole-dancers twirling, as Lana did live renditions of “Cherry”, “Pretty When You Cry”, “Ride”, and the mega-hit “Born to Die”.

Lana Del Rey

And who was the extra special guest of the evening? Sorry, Swifties, looks like you got your intel wrong. Out came a freshly blonded Camilla Cabello to perform her new song “I LUV IT” with Lana singing along from the rafters. As Day One of Weekend Two came to a close, Lana rounded out her set with “Norman Fucking Rockwell”, “Candy Necklace” (featuring Saturday Coachella performer Jon Batiste), and ending with the ultimate “Young and Beautiful”. If there was ever an ode to the Coachella music festival, being “young and beautiful” is definitely it.

With all this excitement, attendees couldn’t wait to dig their teeth into more for the weekend ahead, walking back to their respective campsites still singing Lana songs out loud. Cheers to a year at Coachella and stay tuned for our Saturday and Sunday recaps!

Photography by Jenna Shaw; recap by Kristy Rose

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