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Jermaine Takes Coachella: Day 1

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Jermaine Bell

Jermaine Takes Coachella: Day 1


April 14, 2018

By Jermaine Bell

DAY ONE IS FINALLY HERE!!! #JermaineTakesCoachella #Coachella

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I tend to start my Coachella days the same way year after year — hot! I woke up in my tent, just a bit hot, but grateful for the Ez-Up canopy that prevented us from baking!


My Coachella mornings are usually a bit busier than most and this year’s day one was no exception. After cleaning up and getting dressed I headed for the supermarket shuttles to pick up some supplies. My Swiss neighbors had some extra ice to put in my cooler and they needed some duct tape for a tarp to help shade our chill out area. I also still needed some grapes, pineapples and watermelon. I love hydrating heavily earlier in the day and fruit is a tasty way to do it.


While on the shuttle coming back from the market I met a woman who came to Coachella by herself from Texas. I asked her who she was excited to see, and she said Beyoncé. She said Beyoncé was the only reason she came here. And that she bought a second ticket for weekend two. Wow Beyoncé’s fan’s really love her. I traded numbers with her and encouraged her to hang out, as we were both planning on seeing some of the same shows. Her campsite was just a bit further away from mine and looked like she was struggling with all her groceries so I happyily offered to help.

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Once I got back to my tent I ate some fruit and drank a bunch of water, and had some drinks with my neighbors. I love talking about our plans for the shows we plan to see! I use my fellow festival goers for their insights on music whenever I can. Chilling at the campgrounds or chatting in a crowd are both great spots to learn about new artists!


By a quarter after noon, I headed toward the festival gates eager to push myself and my phone to the limit to see and share as much as I could. Unfortunately, the gates to festival opened up just under two hours early so I was held captive for over an hour thinking about the cold drinks left behind at the campsite.

Once the gates opened, a security check was the only barrier between me and the best parts of Coachella! I won’t lie, I was hyped up and eager!

I was also feeling anxious—every year I put this pressure on myself to see AS MUCH AS I CAN and I was bummed I’d already missed two possible sets because of the gates.

After all the hydrating and waiting, my bladder was bursting. I headed to the central food area to make use of the facilities which, in this area of the festival, are all air conditioned and have indoor plumbing. So if this is a concern for you, rest assured you could do Coachella, by staying in a hotel locally and coming in for the day!

I had a few minutes before my first show of the day so I grabbed some food. I decided to have an orange chicken bowl with white rice and a strawberry lemonade. My eyes were bigger than my stomach because I only ate half of it.

I headed over to the Gobi tent to see Moses Sumney. I grabbed a spot right on the front rail center stage — a spot I’d like to refer to as “Jermaine’s spot and no one else’s.” Moses Sumney was 10-15 minutes late so it was a short set. It was still wonderful and he let the crowd decide which song he would sing last. I was thrilled that “Plastic” won out. His soaring falsetto never faltered and I really enjoyed his short set. I’m planning to see his full show live next time it’s in NYC. This was a great way to get started.

No time to linger as there’s only 10-25 minutes between most sets and we had to head over to the Mohave to see Kelela.

Kelela started with one of my favorites “LMK” (let me know). Her and her dancers were dressed in head to toe white. She gave a sultry, steamy show with her seductive delivery. By the end of her set, the crowd was thrilled and I was too!

@kelelam #coachella #JermaineTakesCoachella

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From there I headed back to Gobi to see the last half of PVRIS’ set. I got to see the last two songs, which was great for me because I wasn’t familiar with her music. I’ll keep an eye on her.


Back to the front row for Tank and the Bangas! This show ABSOLUTELY BLEW ME AWAY!!!! Tank is simultaneously powerful and vulnerable leading her full band with a charisma that few artists possess. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BAND. They ended the set with a full cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — and they aren’t a rock band! I was ready to crowd surf, but instead I just went complete and totally nuts. I screamed so much my throat was feeling a bit raw. A good feeling, but I knew I needed to pull back or I’d lose my voice again — as I’ve in previous years at Coachella.

@tankanddabangas #coachella #JermaineTakesCoachella

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Daniel Caesar’s crowd was massive. He had a guest appearance from H.E.R. – an artist I put on my watchlist thanks to a couple of Wendy staffers – and I now see what they were talking about. Her voice sounds great!


From there I took a walk across the festival to do some dancing in the Sahara with Alan Walker.

While walking across the venue I enjoyed experiencing the various artwork. My favorite right now is spectra. I walked all the way to the top and enjoyed the panoramic views of the festival and surrounding area!

During Vince Staples’ set there was a surprise appearance from Kendrick Lamar who is probably my favorite rapper right now! It’s always so exciting to see him!

From here I went back to my campsite to take a break and have some drinks before a packed night!

I love doing some dancing at night because it’s way easier to pretend like I’m coordinated! My first evening stop was by the Sahara to check out TroyBoi — electro-trap music which had been highly recommended by my Swiss neighbors. I’m a sucker for a good beat drop and TroyBoi didn’t disappoint! Festival life is about trade offs, so I could only catch 3/4 of the set because SZA was starting soon and I needed to see the whole set.

Once again, another Coachella set started late. Moses Sumney, Kelela and SZA all started late. Festivals are timed out to the minute. There rarely is a moment when they will extend a set time because another artist is usually waiting to perform. Anyway, SZA happens to be a queen right now so I was just happy to see here. I got my “All the Stars” moment with Kendrick — of course she brought him out. She also brought out TDE label mate Isaiah Rashad! SZA’s voice sounded beautiful and clear as always and she never disappointed!!! “Broken Clocks” is my favorite of hers right now. I loved it and posted it to my Instagram.

After SZA’s very excellent, but severely shortened set I headed back to the Sahara to see Alison Wonderland’s excellent DJ skills.

She’s a favorite of mine since her last Coachella show a couple years ago. She just released a new album of electro hip-hop sounds and if her live set was any indication, I’m totally here for it. Once again I could only see 3/4 of the show because I wanted to make sure I could check out The Weeknd.

SZA’s crowd was massive and The Weeknd’s was even bigger!!!! He had a giant broken mask on stage that shot out flames — he’s a moody one! His set was great and “Pray for Me” from the “Black Panther” soundtrack sounded almost as good as the recorded version. No Kendrick Lamar didn’t make a guest appearance in this set, which is disappointing since Vince Staples and SZA both brought out king Kendrick. Is there shade there? I skipped out mid Weeknd to check out some Jamiroquai’s funky vibes. Then back to the main stage to see The Weeknd’s final songs complete with a firework show at the end!

What a day of music!

The day wasn’t over because I wanted to check out the merch tent. I found a new hat and played some Ms. PAC Man to scratch the video game itch.

The day ended much as it began – hanging out with my neighbors, having some drinks and enjoying some tunes. See you tomorrow!

Day 1 Favorites:

1. Tank and the Bangas
2. SZA
3. Moses Sumney

Fashion Trends:

Sheer legs
Knit dresses
Fanny packs
Floral prints
Chino shorts for guys
Smart hats make/female

See you tomorrow! #coachella #jermainetakescoachella

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Continue to follow Jermaine on Twitter and Instagram as #JermainesTakesCoachella!

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