A surprise guest is welcomed to the stage. As the sounds of screams and cheers fill my ears, I wait expectantly to see the mystery star’s face. Through a bouncing, highlighter yellow vest, I catch a glimpse.
I audibly gasp, but no one hears. The music starts, the crowd jumps to the rhythm… then, the live stream connection to my TV falters and I have to reconnect to the internet before I can watch his performance.
The major complaint I have about my version of Coachella, called Couch-ella, is faulty internet connection. Other than that, it proves to be much more laid-back and far less problematic than the real deal. I don’t have to worry about sunburn, spending money, and especially not about being less fashionable than everyone else. Couch-ella allows me to really hear the music and actually see the artists. Rather than standing behind a crowd teeming with people who would all, without a doubt, be taller than me, I can enjoy the music as if I were standing stage left.
This was my first year at Couch-ella, so I was astonished by every performance. Not because all of the performers were particularly good, or even distinctive from the rest, but because the venue had an intriguing and compelling atmosphere. The sheer amount of people roaming around the fairgrounds is extraordinary to see, and it is entertaining to imagine how the artists must feel, fighting for the attention of new fans with only a limited stage time.
The artists that easily won my attention were Group Love, Car Seat Headrest and Hans Zimmer. Many of the other performances felt as if they were trying too hard and not having fun while doing so. Either that, or they all faded into each other, becoming easily forgettable. This was especially true with the innumerable rappers.
Thanks to Couch-ella, I got to enjoy the music and the performances. But that is not what the festival is entirely about. Sure, some performances were great, but the energy from the event could not be emitted through my television screen and into my living room.
While watching, I hoped to smell the sunscreen from the crowd or feel the excitement buzzing, bursting in the air. The only thing I felt was my AC turn on.
So sure, Couch-ella has its upsides, but I’m sure nothing compares to the real deal.
My internet reconnects and Drake appears on the screen once more, singing his hit, “Fake Love.” He holds the microphone out and brings his hand to his ear, listening to the massive crowd sing his words back to him. I cannot help but wonder how that moment felt in person.