Coachella 2012: Lacoste Live and Guess Hotel bring party sass
A private estate in Thermal came dangerously close to resembling an over-the-top Las Vegas pool party on Saturday as the Lacoste Live fete tipped into a hip-gyrating revelry so fierce that the Riverside County Sheriff's Department threatened to close it down.
"If you guys don't get off the freaking asphalt, I'm going to shut it down!" a sheriff's deputy named Contreras barked at a thick crowd of new arrivals who kept spilling off the grass at the gate and onto the driveway. "I'm not kidding."
He wasn't either. On Friday the Belvedere Music Lounge -- where DJ Paul Oakenfold was supposed to perform -- was shut down. The official line was because of the rain, but rumors circulated that there might have been trouble with a tricky permitting issue. Nonetheless it was up and running again Saturday.
Meanwhile, things at the Guess Hotel in La Quinta were decidedly more low-key. A chill crowd relaxed by the pool and were treated to a slick gifting suite full of Guess sunglasses and earphones. There was also cake-flavored UV vodka that actually tasted just like cake.
While the Guess Hotel provided an afternoon respite from the crushing festival crowds, the Lacoste Live party had its own kind of crushing crowd. A crowd thirsty for complimentary Patron and willing to wait in lines as long as half an hour for it. The wait time provided a unique opportunity for relationship-minded fellows to hit on the ladies.
"What's up ladies?" asked Sam. "I just wanna have a good time."
The women looked him over and turned away. One was busy repeatedly sticking her tongue into the center of a puff of blue cotton candy, while the other kept tugging uncomfortably on her tiny bikini bottom, a tic that revealed a peeled banana tattoo on her rear end.
When he was met with silence, Sam tried again. "I like your hat. What, you don't want to get any sun? What's your name? What's in your backpack? A buncha books?" It went on like that until he reached the front of the line and ordered three drinks all for himself, which was obviously just what he needed to get back in the game.
Meanwhile, past the Fiji water boys in summer blue shorts, the Don Chow taco truck and the on-site manicurists, the scene by the pool was all frothy water and exposed flesh. Those not in the water were dressed very Vampire Weekend in casually unbuttoned dress shirts with rolled up pants in bright pastel colors and boat shoes without socks.
Then there were the professional party people -- you know the ones -- who dance around smiling like music was invented for them and say their tight pants are actually super comfortable, like a second skin, really.
"I have two hands and one body!" exclaimed one such celebrant, who was clearly under the influence of something not involving Patron.
I'd see him later at the festival, moving his two hands and one body to DJ Kaskade.
Photo: The spool scene at Lacoste Live. Credit: Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times