What's It Like to Play Coachella?

Daniel Kohn
Thumbnail image for grouplove4.jpg
Daniel Kohn

Since they first met on the Greek island of Crete five years ago, Grouplove has been an ascendant indie pop band. Known for songs like "Tongue Tied," "Ways to Go" and "Colours," they performed a mid-afternoon set, for the second consecutive weekend, on Coachella's main stage on Friday.

We spent time with them both before and afterwards, to get a sense of just what it's like to play one of the most massive events on the planet.

See also: The 50 Most Beautiful People at Coachella

Daniel Kohn
2 hours before showtime:

 Grouplove spent this past week in the studio recording a track for a movie soundtrack. Drummer Ryan Rabin, who handles most of their production duties, worked on the final mix until the wee hours before they headed to Indio. On the band's tour bus, he puts on the final touches before playing the song for his bandmates.

Daniel Kohn
1 hour 45 minutes before showtime:

 Singer Hannah Hooper shows off some schwag she received from a retailer. She also shares an anecdote about a friend of the group: Miley Cyrus, with whom they've gotten high. (Hooper says she has some of the best product out there.)

Daniel Kohn
1 hour 15 minutes before showtime

: Along with manager Nicky Berger, the band hashes out the final set list before leaving the bus for the backstage area. There is some debate over whether or not "Raspberry" should be included today. It wins out. Singer Christian Zucconi explains that they need to carefully mold the set based on a number of factors - the time of day, the weather, etc. 

25 minutes before showtime: The quintet poses for portraits before walking the 50-yard walk to the main stage. They talk with friends and among themselves about anything except the set. Confident, the band hopes the crowd is as strong as the week before.


Daniel Kohn
5 minutes before showtime

: Zucconi is getting some last minute tape applied to keep everything together while going over final notes with Hooper.

Daniel Kohn
30 seconds before showtime

: Grouplove does a customary pre-show huddle, getting pumped for the show. They're loose and ready to go; having performed the week before, the pressure of performing in front of this crowd has largely dissipated. 

Daniel Kohn

: The set list tinkering proved to be the right move, as the band blitzes through an energetic first half. Here, Hooper sings to the fired up crowd, who respond well to the band's vibe.

Daniel Kohn
20 minutes post-set:

 Everyone feels great about the set. They are greeted by a number of friends back stage, including rapper Mac Miller - pictured with the cap and funky backpack next to Zucconi.

Daniel Kohn

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