What Would Madonna Do?
What Would Madonna Do?
Since I’m barely 5 feet 1 and not the easiest to spot in a crowd of 50,000, it was inevitable that I would lose all my friends at Coachella. I was watching the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Sunday and had foolishly edged deeper into the crowd than I should have. Suddenly, my girlfriends were nowhere to be found. As Karen O grinned manically down at me from a big screen, I realized I was on my own. With no map or band schedule. No cell-phone reception. No entourage. It was just me, myself and my shrooms.
Feeling panicky, I did the only thing that seemed safe — I searched for Madonna. Following the sea of gay men to the dance tent, all I could see were hairy backs. Warm sweat hung in the air and stuck to my face. Twenty-five minutes later, the bitch still hadn’t come on stage. The crowd was booing and someone stepped on my foot. At that moment, I hated Madonna, the world and my friends. Most of all, I hated Coachella.
Then Madonna skipped on stage with her dancers. She wiggled her leotard-clad behind and yelled, “This is my first festival. Does my butt look big in this?” Madonna, I realized, would never be a crybaby if she lost her friends. She’d dance into the night and find some beautiful strangers to play with. So that’s what I decided to do.
I went to the tiny rave tent and partied like it was 1992 with 300 friendly Marines and glo-stick kids. I wandered into the Snow Globe Igloo Dome, where foam cascaded from the ceiling and festivalgoers clambered over a glittery-white pirate ship. I headbanged to Coheed and Cambria and watched Coldcut (five laptops, I counted ’em) play “Pump Up the Volume.” I wandered around the VIP area and met the blond drummer girl from Eagles of Death Metal, fed shrooms to a Hollywood hipster, and gave some love to Coldcut’s MC Juicy. In three hours on my own, I met more people than in the entire previous day at Coachella. By the time I met a long-haired, high-cheekboned 19-year-old boy who asked, “So you wanna hang out and see some bands together?” I thought about it for just a second. “Nah,” I told him. “I fly solo.”
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.