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A Recap of Coachella's Day 1

Scott McDonald delivers the skinny on Day 1 of Coachella 2015



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    INDIO, CA - APRIL 10: Recording artist Azealia Banks performs onstage during day 1 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 10, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

    Coachella 2015 Day 1

    So yesterday was supposed to be the coolest day of the three in Indio this weekend? Yikes. If that’s true, then today and tomorrow will be scorchers. It was blazing out on the polo fields on Friday. But it certainly didn’t stop some pretty amazing performances from happening. The first leg of Coachella 2015 was a blast.

    For better or worse, I decided to go big on my first day out in the desert. Not drop-some-acid-and-climb-the-scaffolding-big, I just went band-big. By the time I was dragging myself down the 38-mile walk back to my truck, I had seen and photographed 18 acts.

    Starting at 12:55 p.m. and ending at nearly midnight, this was my day in chronological order:

    Eagulls, the Reverend Horton Heat, Cloud Nothings, Allah-Las, Action Bronson, Ab-Soul, Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaries, Kimbra, Angus & Julia Stone, Azealia Banks, Ride, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, the War on Drugs, Alabama Shakes, Lykke Li, Caribou, Flying Lotus and AC/DC.

    They were all good, but there are always a few standouts.

    LA’s Allah-Las are made for desert-listening. While their set started at 2:10, it didn’t stop the quartet (who had a few extra musicians with them this time around) from delivering a quality daytime set filled with songs from both of their albums -- as well as a few new ones.

    Charles Bradley always gives an incredible live performance and yesterday was no exception. Rocking the yellowest of yellow suits, Mr. Bradley made the most of his time on the main stage.

    It was also my first time seeing Alabama Shakes, Caribou, and Flyling Lotus -- none of them disappointed.

    But the set of the day went to Harlem rapper Azealia Banks. Behind the backdrop of a giant American flag, and backed by dancers and a live band, Banks dominated the main stage. Sadly getting more press lately for her controversial Twitter tirades instead of her music, the 23-year-old kept chatter to a minimum and the focus on the music. Singing, dancing, and rapping, Banks proved that she really is the whole package. Now, if she could just keep her mouth shut when she’s not singing…

    There were, of course, celebrities in Indio. I saw everyone from Clint Eastwood to the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne hanging out.

    And it was awesome that when the Eagulls visited the press tent, they recognized me from when they did their SoundDiego shoot last May. I spoke with the guys for a bit, and guitarist Mark Goldsworthy told me that the follow-up to their self-titled debut is almost finished, and a return trip to San Diego is guaranteed.

    Check out SoundDiego’s Instagram page for snapshots of the weekend. My full picture gallery will run sometime mid-week.

    Time to get back at it. Wish me luck and plenty of shade.

    Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com