Opening day of the
With acts like Muse,
1. OutKast has a lot of work to do. Massive expectations aside, the long-awaited reunion of hip-hop's most beloved duo fell short Friday. It's understandable that the first show after a several-year hiatus would have some kinks, especially in a festival setting when stage turnaround is lightning speed compared with an arena tour. But the Atlanta duo's big set was rusty and, at times, uncomfortably sloppy.
Technical problems ran throughout the 90-minute set. The set time was moved up 25 minutes, which only meant the massive crowd got to watch the production crew struggle to prepare the stage (it featured a giant cube wrapped in a sheer, see-through screen in front of a big video screen). The sound was often garbled, keeping OutKast's opening tune “B.O.B.” from being the explosive headbanger it should have been, and it appeared to frustrate
There were some glorious moments, but
Backed by a seven-piece band and sporting a dramatic and sexy black leather ensemble, Goulding put in work to keep the crowd bouncing throughout a 50-minute set. Three years ago, Goulding was a sweat-soaked bubble of raw energy at Coachella. Having logged a string of top 40 hits and becoming further sharpened by time on the road, including opening for
3. Don’t underestimate
4. Come early – or late. Arriving at the festival grounds can be stressful. The heat is blistering, the traffic brutal. But having to make multiple trips into the gates on Day One taught us this: Arrive very early or head in after nightfall. The influx of people started in the early afternoon and continued to pour in steadily. But there seemed to be a rush hour right as the temperatures peaked. Cars were bumper to bumper around the gates, and the lines to get in were rough. Those wanting to beat the heat and the mess on the roads should wait until sundown when things are calmer.
5. A car tracking app is a lifesaver. The least favorite part of the festival experience? Locating the car at the end of the night. After gorging on bands for a dozen hours, the end-of-the-night walk through the parking lots can quickly become a nightmarish maze. This year I decided to test out one of those car-locating smartphone apps (there are plenty out there, but we recommend Find My Car), and it became utterly essential. As folks darted in and out of the lot holding their key fobs into the air hoping they were getting warmer, I looked at my iPhone as the map guided me closer to my car. And the less time I had to walk, the less time I could spend griping about OutKast's set.