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A Mohawk, A Glowstick, A Grenade

“If you’re not here, in the desert, in the middle of fooking nowhere, then…you’re not comin’ in!”

Yet, everyone’s in. The Mojave Tent is a perfectly packed rectangle of bodies that lift up in unison as Klaxons fly headfirst into “The Bouncer.” This is supposed to be the banner band of the rave revival and, yes, there are some glowsticks, but at last count, only three are in sight. One green, one orange, one blue. Hardly a rave, but if you’re within earshot, you’re won over. There’s still a bit of daylight out, but this shady tent allows a bit of light-play from the stage to remind one of pills and voluntary dizziness. There’s a giant rubber balloon bouncing above the crowd, every time it’s slapped it vibrates like an overblown red tit with Parkinson’s. Paris Hilton is backstage posing with CSS, who’ve just played. No one cares. Finally. Later, she will be heckled as she finds a spot on the side of the stage to watch Air.

Singer Jamie Reynolds keeps saying things like, “All right Coachella, how’s it going?” or “Coachella! You people are crazy!” maybe not realizing that many of us don’t actually live here. A girl with short-cropped hair is wearing a black mesh tank top over red athletic shorts depicting one grenade over her left buttock. Later, at the beer garden (if only you could grow the stuff in your own backyard), an older gentleman is going on and on and on about Klaxons, offering up this bit of wisdom: “I walked over here with Brazilians, Australians, French people. That’s why this is so awesome.”

People are lying down a bit earlier today, day three. There’s less enthusiastic recycling going on, with bottles and forks and a lens cap to be found on the lawn outside the tent. A teen, with a two-foot tall Mohawk, grabs someone’s program guide and announces, “I just woke up drunk and have no idea where I am. So this is Klaxons?” And he stumbles off past a girl in a ballerina skirt and glittery headband. Rave on, little children. GREGG LAGAMBINA / PHOTOS BY ERIC NOWELS