The Pool Deck transformed into a roof-top dance floor by night, hosting DJ sets from The Rapture, Z-Trip, Jason Bentley, Alf Alpha, TOKiMONSTA, and Gaslamp Killer.

By day, the pool deck was a place to look fabulous and be seen. Or to sleep off the effects of the night before.

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker had the crowd jumping from the very first moment. The band’s set began with "Do You Remember The First Time" and included hits such as "His n Hers," "Pink Glove," "This is Hardcore," "Disco 2000," "Underwear," "F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E," "Sorted Out for E’s & Whizz," "Babies," and "Common People," of course.

The most well-attended show of the cruise, Girl Talk’s blend of a broad range of music drew a rowdy crowd.

A parade of great DJs kept the pool party lively all day.

Gigs in the Sky Lounge, a room with panoramic vistas at the front of the ship, were intimate, club-like affairs. And what’s a cruise without a jaunty captain’s hat, right?

LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy deliberately set his decks at the back of the stage, inviting the crowd to get out of their seats and join him for an epic dance party.

With a 12-strong Marshall stack, Alexis Krauss’ sugar-punk vocals and metal-heavy guitars, Sleigh Bells lived up to their wall-of-sound rep.

Just another day on a cruise ship.

The Silhouette Theatre in the laser-lit calm before the dance storm.

This is hardcore. No seriously… mere moments before this, Jarvis Cocker started peeling layers of clothes off, whipping the front row into a man-handling frenzy.

Grimes and her dancers delivered a high energy (and hair-flipping) show.

Confetti!! Lots and lots of confetti at Girl Talk.

It looks super-chill…

… and then you see something like this.

The stage got dancy on stage during James Murphy’s DJ set.

A sign of the digital times. The big difference: Slow and costly Wi-Fi access at sea meant these photos experienced a rare time delay before making it to social media.

A hot-tub dance party? Sure thing!

Confetti guns, part three. Girl Talk closed out S.S. Coachella with a bang. And likely the biggest mess that cruise ship has ever seen.

Father John Misty interspersed humorous cruise jabs with energetic performances. Crowd-pleasing postulation: If in fact the world were to end and the passengers of the S.S. Coachella survived, the future of humanity would be left to a group of hipsters.

Yeasayer delivered a thoroughly rocking set--literally and figuratively. Frontman Chris Keating repeatedly noted how strange it was to perform on a stage that moved with the swaying of the ship as it cruised out to sea.

Pulp’s giant hanging letters, which vigorously swayed during the band’s set, were a visual indicator that we were nowhere near a desert.

Simian Mobile Disco looked like musical engineers, with decks and wired switchboards center stage during an intense dance set.

Simian’s driving beats and a crazy light show set the stage for night three’s dance-heavy lineup.

Drinks were never far from hand onboard the S.S. Coachella. This glass is full of pineapple-vodka, which ended up on someone’s arm (yes, mine) during Hot Chip’s set.

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) frontman Nic Offer rivaled Jarvis Cocker for Best Dance Moves. He did win, however, in Best Shorts category.

Gumby! That is all.

Hot Chip paraded through hits including "Flutes," "Boy From School," "Shake a Fist," "Ready for the Floor," "Over and Over," and "One Life Stand."

Girl Talk ends with a bare-chested salute to the crowd.

We may or may not know whose room this doll ended up in. But what happens at sea stays at sea.


Come Aboard The S.S. Coachella: See Photos From A Weird (And Reportedly Wonderful) Music Fest At Sea

Unlikely seamen and several of music’s hottest names made the first Coachella Cruise a successful experiment in taking a major music event to sea.

"Who’s never been on a cruise before?" shouted Father John Misty (aka Joshua Tillman) from the stage. "Whooooooooooo!!!!" went the crowd. "Me neither," he responded mere moments after the S.S. Coachella set sail, coyly calling "15 minutes into open water" one of the most exotic places he’d ever played.

This artist-fan exchange played out like clockwork as each new act took the stage and it pretty much defines the experience of the S.S. Coachella’s maiden voyage. No one could quite believe that they were there—the majority of passengers and artists openly admitting to being cruise skeptics and this was, in many ways, anathema to their carefully crafted personae—but they were game to see how a music festival at sea would play out.

Sleigh Bells bring the noise.

With a lineup fitting Coachella’s well-established festival brand and a group of perfectly (and insanely) styled twenty- and thirtysomethings, the likes of which the posh Celebrity Silhouette has never seen, S.S. Coachella brought together two diametrically opposed ends of the entertainment spectrum. And it was good.

Though the rock-n-roll cruise is not a brand new concept (in fact the idea came from a Weezer-headlined cruise that someone had described as being as good as Coachella—fighting words that spawned this cruise), the S.S. Coachella certainly took it to the next level. With 22 acts playing over three days (on the Bahamas leg; a second trip to Jamaica spanned four days), including Yeasayer, Hot Chip, Black Lips, Sleigh Bells, Killer Mike, Grimes, James Murphy, DJ Harvey, and headliners Pulp (who are reportedly calling these shows their last), the lineup was a microcosm of the desert counterpart. The biggest and most appealing differences: Drinks were foisted in your face, when you got hot there was a pool, and when you got tired there was a room—with room service—waiting mere steps from wherever you were.

Hot tub dance party!

Likely undersubscribed versus Coachella’s initial hopes, the lack of throbbing mobs made shows thoroughly enjoyable, the on-board activities accessible, and the chance of seeing (and meeting) a favored artist while they were checking out another gig or hanging on the pool deck with their family (notable rock star children aboard included the progeny of Hot Chip and The Rapture) as simple as walking up and saying "hey" at the late-night buffet.

As for the cruise side of the surreal equation, having a ship full of like-minded concertgoers meant that no one complained when in the middle of the afternoon the pool deck was hopping during a DJ Harvey set, or when the Black Lips raged until 4 a.m. in the Sky Lounge. And it’s 100% certain that three-tiered, velvet-seated Silhouette Theatre has never hosted on-board entertainment that included a balloon drop, a rush on the stage, automatic toilet paper guns, beach balls, and not two but three rounds of confetti guns. But that’s what happens when Girl Talk is on the bill.

James Murphy and Justin Chearno walk passengers through the finer points of natural wines as part of the on-board activities.

As the days sailed on the sense of gimlet-eyed irony that passengers brought on board quickly melted away. The bands turned in (boat) rocking performances, perhaps surprised themselves by how much fun the whole thing was. There was a sense that something special was happening, making Coachella’s brand-extension gamble seem like a sure winner. Even Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker couldn’t help but seem genuinely excited by the intimacy of the whole affair as he touched out-reached hands and welcomed the leg-pawing of ecstatic fans, noting how unusual it was to be so close to his audience. He then proceeded to prance with great his trademark verve through a setlist that ended with "Common People," embracing the glaring paradox of singing that song on this ship. It was one of those moments that ensured all the cruise neophytes will indeed remember the first time.

Read about the cruise’s off-stage activities, including wine tasting with James Murphy, here.

[Images: Drew Anthony Smith/Fast Company]

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