REVIEW: A Coachella 2015 Experience

The Women of Coachella

Through the eyes of Holly Santiago

The Coachella 2015 Butterfly

This year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival definitely lived up to the festival’s standards, far exceeded those standards if anything. There was no artist or musical act or genre of music that was disappointing. Rock legends such as ACDC and Steely Danreminded us that they’re still here and rocking hard. Bad Suns got the crowd vibing to their fresh LA sounds, and we all cheered as they told us that their first Coachella was four years ago when they were sixteen years old. Kaskade dropped all of his classics while keeping it fresh with future-house sounds while Oliver Heldens got the crowd dancing to deep and bounce-house sounds.

There were so many significant moments during this festival, however, I was moved by one thing in particular: all the women of Coachella. Rarely do we see female headliners these days, but it was the women at this festival that truly inspired me with their music every time. So here’s my Coachella 2015, weekend one experience…


Kimbra has a sound like no other. She gets bluesy she gets jazzy, and her energy carries you to places you don’t expect it to go. She glistened and sparkled (literally and metaphorically because of her stellar outfit), as she performed during her set. She played her classics like Settle Down, Cameo Lover, and so much more with her own natural twists to her songs.

Kimbra at the Gobi tent


After debuting her album, Sound of a Woman, it was expected that Kiesza would give it her all during her set at Coachella. She looked and sounded like a Super Woman – except so much more soulful. Her set was so modest – she didn’t need a crazy amount of lights or dancers behind her to get her message across because her music said it all. She killed it and the entire crowd sang along with her during songs like Giant in my Heart. She gave a shout-out to her friends Diplo and Skrillex before she started singing everyone’s current favorite EDM song, Take ü There.

Alabama Shakes

There is no numerical way to express the amount of emotion there was during Alabama Shake’s set. Brittany Howard out-shone everyone that was on the stage that night and even the camera couldn’t take its gaze off her. The crowd was mesmerized as she played guitar and sang the powerful lyrics of songs like Hold On and Heartbreaker. Her energy level was so high the entire time. Their set was during the sunset’s transition from day to night. The Outdoor Stage that Friday night was the perfect place to be.


Martin and the boys of PHOX played and opened the festival at 12PM at the Outdoor Stage. They filled that Saturday afternoon with their sweet indie-folk sounds. This was the upcoming band’s first time at Coachella while on their first tour, and it was such a humbling experience getting to see and feel what they felt. Monica Martin’s voice was so sweet (and powerful) – giving everyone chills as she sang songs like Slow Motion and Kingfisher. PHOX, from Baraboo, Wisconsin, is definitely a band everyone should look out for this coming year.

PHOX at the Outdoor Stage

Marina and the Diamonds 

Marina looked and sounded like a space goddess. In her sparkling green jumper and all of the planets on stage behind her, she took the stage and embraced all the energy that was at the main stage that Sunday afternoon. Although unfamiliar with her music, I was recommended to give her a chance, and I don’t regret one second of it. Her voice was absolutely mesmerizing.

Marina and the Diamonds at the Main Stage

Florence + The Machine 

Florence Welch filled the entire festival with her energy during her set. Even after breaking her foot during her set, she still continued to give a powerful performance that topped all during weekend one of Coachella (read here for more details). Barefoot and exposed, she poured her heart out during her set and explained that her new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was about fixing things that are broken. She was truly inspiring through every movement she made, every word she spoke, and every note that she sung. When the harp gave her the chord for the song, Shake It Off, I knew her set was coming to an end. She ended with Dog Days are Over and made her mark on the main stage of Coachella 2015 that night.

Florence Welch at the Coachella Main Stage

There were so many more great acts that weekend, but that was a glimpse of what I saw. Any other amazing woman acts that I missed last year? Comment below and let me know!

Holly Santiago and the Coachella Caterpillar (Pre-Metamorphosis) 


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