People come from all over the world to experience what goes on here in Indio, California for three days of hot desert sun and dancing like nobody is watching. Remarkable and noteworthy performances happen multiple times a day, so it’s hard to keep track of everything. Here are the greatest experiences of those who attended Coachella’s second weekend.
1.The Sahara Tent
A moving display of flashing lights and LED screens beamed down on audiences from every corner in the gaping enclosure of this EDM, deejay themed stage. The endless wave of bass drops that radiated from the Sahara rang out through the entire landscape of Coachella and seemed to attract attendees to artists like moths to a flame. Once inside, thousands and thousands of bodies danced to the rhythmic pulse of the drums, easily heating up the shaded tent. As the sun went down, more and more people would fill the area to see an assortment of renowned DJs including Empire Of The Sun, Krewella and Skrillex. The popularity of this type of music swept the hearts of what seemed like almost all festival-goers, as even middle-aged parents could be spotted moving their behinds to the beat. Many phones and wallets were lost to the slimy floor of the Sahara, but the euphoric feeling of being a part of a crowd as large as the ones seen in this tent will never be forgotten.
The Grammy award-winning producer and singer took the stage late on April 19, bringing a retro and funky sound to the people of Coachella. His wave of recent success through producing, and with features on hit songs like “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke showed as he easily captured one of the largest audiences of the festival. Those that chose to see other artists over Pharrell’s act were probably kicking themselves after they heard that T.I., Usher and Jay-Z all made guest appearances during the set. It was one of the most talked about moments of the festival, and even Pharrell himself declared that this was the best performance of his life. When his Oscar-nominated song, “Happy,” concluded the set, the title of the song reflected into the emotions of the audience, leaving viewers helpless against cracking a smile.
3.The Silent Disco
It’s hard for visitors to go to bed when camping at Coachella. The adrenaline rush of seeing so many bands and meeting new people can turn a person into quite the night owl. The organizers of the festival seem to realize this, and created a solution to the problem with The Silent Disco. After 2 a.m., a glowing transparent orb began to fill with campers who were still looking to make the most of their night. Coachella provided comfortable and wireless headphones to use while dancing, each playing the same song, to create the feeling of being on a dance-floor without actually making a sound. However, the grunts and subtle breaths of air that naturally come with daning were hilariously on display for those who were brave enough to take off their headphones. The party truly never stopped at Coachella.
4.Queens Of The Stone Age
How can an alternative band from the ’90s sound so fresh today? Thanks to the sheer talent and confidence of front man Josh Homme, the band put on a stellar set of powerful favorites that fit perfectly with the crushing tracks of its newest album, “…Like Clockwork.” The stage banter of Homme was also a delight as he shared his thoughts on the DJ “trend,” and even brought out a sign-language interpreter to help with the performance. For a band known for its distorted guitars and dark undertones, it was definitely a shock when Homme sat down at a piano to play the group’s emotional ballad, “…Like Clockwork.” Some were literally weeping in the crowd, as Homme achingly wailed the sad lyrics of the song. Yet, they could be tears of joy, for even in the melancholy that is The Queens of The Stone Age, its performance was absolutely beautiful.
The world doesn’t seem to know about Guy and Howard Lawrence, the brothers that make up the electronic group, Disclosure. Still, they headlined the Outdoor Stage of Coachella, which is right behind the main stage in terms of size. The crowd that watched the duo’s set April 20 arguably matched that of Pharrell who had played the same stage the night before. The duo’s recorded tracks sound like soulful dance music with modern EDM touches, giving it a newer feel.
While most DJ’s don’t play instruments during live performance, that is the difference between a DJ and Disclosure. The brothers hopped around the stage, switching from drums, guitar and piano without even breaking a sweat. Then, they brought out the diva herself, Mary J. Blige, whose voice complemented the jazzy sounds. Everyone in the crowd was stunned, and a new favorite artist may have emerged.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @mister_jgold