Coachella 2011: Desert Gold, Mist Poolside Lounge and Belvedere Music Lounge dare you to take it all off
While die-hard music enthusiasts sweat and slave in the sun watching Coachella's daytime acts, another breed of music lover hits the pool parties. The frothy happenings are as abundant as highway mirages at noon and overflow with tanned flesh squeezed into -- and popping out of -- as little clothing as possible.
These superhuman specimens don't talk much, but they love to dance, toss beach balls, drink overly sweet cocktails and make anybody who isn't a Size 2 feel bad about their life.
As the designated reporter on the Coachella party beat (yes, it's a difficult calling) I visited three parties Saturday afternoon: Desert Gold at the Ace Hotel; Mist Poolside Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino & Resort; and the Belvedere Music Lounge in a private residence near the polo field.
All three were wildly different happenings, with Ace claiming the drunken hipster crown formerly worn by the notoriously debauched Anthem Ranch party, which hosted its final Coachella throwdown last year.
I can generally gauge the success of a party based on the extent of my feelings of inadequacy. The more insecure I feel the better the party. At Ace my insecure-o-meter registered an 8 out of 10. However, my sense of superiority balanced the situation nicely, topping out at a healthy 7.5 due to the fact that it was early and I was still sober while everyone else teetered around with glazed lollipop eyes.
Still, the party was fun. There was a lot of bleached blond hair and strong mojitos, as well as swank gifting suites by Doc Marten, Converse and Ray Ban that Adrien Grenier was rumored to be visiting. There was also a really unusual new vending machine in the lobby by a company named Opening Ceremony that dispensed crystal pendants, "love" mix tapes, tribal earrings and signature-printed condoms by Jeremy Scott. It was as if the vending machine knew just what kind of party it was.
Next up was Mist Poolside Lounge. A trip to Agua Caliente Casino & Resort would not be complete without a $10 spin on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine where I immediately won $46. Feeling lucky I entered the pool area, which bore an eerie resemblance to the set of a "Girls Gone Wild" infomercial. A large stage at the end of the pool housed a massive sound system and a DJ cranked hypnotic tunes that made stone cold hotties dance in a way that put them in danger of getting repetitive stress injury of the hips.
There were no lithe sensitive-boy types at Mist, only big men with pecs the size of dinner plates and large tattoos of spider webs and sports teams. I really stood out in my loose cotton candy-striped mini-dress, red baby-doll slippers and gray JanSport backpack from the '90s, so I didn't stay long. (I don't relish making other women feel insecure.)
Feeling suddenly unnerved by the sight of sparkly gold g-strings, I made my way to the Belvedere Music Lounge. This party was packed but, thanks to its location in a swank private home, it had a particularly insidery feel. However it could have been the abundance of comped Belvedere, babbling rock jacuzzis and the sandy putting green that conjured the sense of welcome.
On Sunday afternoon I'll do my best to see what Lacoste and Filter have in store. Until then I'll be doing sit-ups in my hotel room.
-- Jessica Gelt
Photo: The scene at Mist Poolside Lounge. Credit: Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times