CVIndependent

Thu06042020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

The final day of Coachella 2019 started off with a slower pace—no surprise, considering Saturday is the longest day of the festival, and Kanye West performed his Easter “church” service at 9 a.m.

Though I didn’t attend Kanye’s Easter service, I nonetheless trickled in late myself. Some people were sporting the now-infamous $70 T-shirts and $165 sweatshirts that Kanye sold at the service—and it made me sigh and shake my head. I didn’t think I’d ever see anything like this happening at Coachella … and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Now, for the good news: Sunday had some fantastic musical offerings, including some great acts coming out of the R&B genre. Speaking of that …

• R&B/soul singer Blood Orange (right) took the Outdoor Stage around 6 p.m., decked out in a Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt that said “ZERO” across it—just like Billy Corgan used to wear in the late 1990s. Blood Orange offered enjoyable and smooth music to chill out to as the sun began to go down—but I was a bit confused by the visuals. One appeared to be a continuous loop of an illegal street-car-racing video; another featured Puff Daddy; and yet another appeared to be an interview of some sort.

• Local cumbia band Ocho Ojos (below) performed a headlining set in the Sonora Tent again for Weekend 2. Ocho Ojos was written up in Rolling Stone regarding last week’s performance, and it was WILD in there again on Sunday. The large crowd loved the group—giving local fans something to be proud of.

• Vanessa Franko of The Press Enterprise told me on Saturday that I must go see French DJ/producer Gesaffelstein’s Sunday set on the Outdoor Stage. She told me I’d love it, adding: “It’s the music you’d hear coming from a serial killer’s basement.” Well, after leaving the Sonora Tent following the first half of the Ocho Ojos set, I had to stop and do a double-take after seeing Outdoor Stage screen—a male figure was dressed in some sort of suit straight out of a science-fiction film, wearing a mask that covered his entire face and head. The loops that were coming from the stage were industrial—and quite catchy.

• The Khalid set on the Coachella Stage was another attention-getting R&B/soul set. The stage’s décor was quite interesting, including a ’70s-style van parked right in the middle of it. Guitarist John Mayer made a guest appearance during the set, adding some very strange sounds to the song Khalid was performing.

• Ariana Grande’s Easter Sunday performance started out with an impersonation of the Last Supper—complete with a dinner table, including Ariana in the middle singing “God is a Woman.” I’ll give Ariana Grande one thing: At least she didn’t use a hillside stage in the middle of the campgrounds to sell $70 T-shirts.

Published in Reviews

Colder-than-normal temps could not stop tens of thousands of party-goers from reveling at the Palm Springs Convention Center during the main event of White Party 2014.

The weekend of parties kicked off on Friday, April 25, with a pool party at the Renaissance, and continues through Sunday, April 27, with another pool party, the popular "Circus Icon" Sunday T-Dance and a closing party.

But as always, the main event—the White Party itself, on Saturday, April 26—drew the biggest crowd and the best visuals. Attendees danced until the wee hours, with the event highlighted by a 1:30 a.m. performance by Ariana Grande.

Scroll down to view the Independent's photo gallery (and keep your eye on the gallery, as we will add pics from some of Sunday's festivities later). Enjoy!

Published in Snapshot

For some people, it may be hard to believe: Many attendees of this weekend’s White Party 2014 will be younger than the event itself.

Organizer Jeffrey Sanker said the first several White Party events he did actually lost money.

“But I always knew it was a good event and eventually would do well,” he said via email. “I’m glad that patience paid off. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to do this for so long and look forward to the future.”

The White Party brings in world-class DJs, musicians and other performers for the various parties that take place throughout the weekend. This year, Ariana Grande—named the New Artist of the Year at the 2013 American Music Awards—will headline the White Party. (Of course, surprise guests are always a possibility, too.)

White Party headliners have led to some of Sanker’s favorite White Party moments, he said.

“I have two fondest memories: The time when Jennifer Lopez was the surprise headliner, and when Lady Gaga headlined (just one year after she performed as the third act at the Sunday Pool Party),” he said. “Both did it to show their appreciation for their gay fans.”

As mainstream acceptance of LGBT culture has grown, so, too, has the White Party; this year’s sponsors include big names such as Fiat and SiriusXM radio.

“I think this year, we have the most diverse group of attendees ever,” Sanker said. “I see White Party continuing to be that way. Every year, we get a lot of first-timers, and many of them return again and again.”

Of course, White Party has brought a lot of exposure to the city of Palm Springs, as tens of thousands of out-of-towners show up to attend the event each year.

“I think White Party has brought a lot of visibility to Palm Springs and awareness of what a magical and welcoming place it truly is,” Sanker said. “Over the years, we’ve had so many first-time visitors just fall in love with the area and return year after year. A lot of them tell me they wound up moving here after coming to White Party.”

White Party 25 takes place Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27, at the Renaissance Hotel and the Palm Springs Convention Center. Weekend passes begin at $399; tickets to Saturday’s White Party are $160. Individual tickets to other events vary in price. For tickets or more information, visit www.jeffreysanker.com.

Published in Local Fun