1. Whoa, Ambassador Stage. You’re not the biggest or most accessible stage, but you sure do have the best sound—clean, crisp and just loud enough.
2. Poolside craft a breezy mix of bedroom synth-pop, Spanish beach grooves and (just a pinch of) West Coast house. It makes you think of a summer night at Beauty Bar or a spring day at the Artisan pool, but it feels perfect in this paved lot at 3 p.m., giving us something to comfortably settle into before the eventual frantic stagehopping begins.
3. “I’m getting sunstroke,” says singer Filip Nikolic, facing the potent solar beast. Still: Given the penchant for other festivals to have the audience squint and bake all afternoon, the change is refreshing.
4. Music nerds may have raised more than one eyebrow during the band’s famous cover of Neil Young’s 1992 strummer “Harvest Moon,” but the shuffling rendition works thanks to Poolside’s understated, shimmering treatment.
5. “I want you to take me back home,” sings Nikolic during set closer “Take Me Home,” which gets surreal when I take a 360-degree look around me and see nothing but home—albeit it a much livelier, artier, evolved version of it. Warmed up, I’m ready for more.