The Indio, California desert provided iconic setting for Weekend 1 of the Coachella Music Festival. Celebrities and revelers alike let their bohemian spirits run free, ready to sweat up a storm and dance to the rhythm of headliners like Radiohead, Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar.
Friday night brought out a resurgent Radiohead, fronted by Thom Yorke. But frustration soon set in as sound issues marred the set. The band played tracks off their latest album, In Rainbows, including “Let Down” and “15 Step” with the sound cutting in and out on both songs, causing the band to leave the stage twice, stunning the crowd.
Over the three-day music festival, Drake made a surprise appearance, taking the stage with rapper and collaborator Future. The two performed hits “Jumpman,” “Fake Love” and “Gyalchester” off More Life. Another surprise performer was The Weeknd, who thrilled the crowd, appearing on stage with Nav.
Drake later made news, accusing upscale The Madison Club in La Quinta of racial bias in an Instagram post on Sunday which has since been deleted. The post which included the club’s logo read, “The most offensive place I have ever stayed at in my life with staff who pick and choose who they are going to accommodate based on racial profiling.”
Lady Gaga headlined on Saturday night, slipping seamlessly into Beyonce’s slot which was left open due to the “Formation” star’s pregnancy. But Gaga was more than up to the task, belting out her hits in a 20-song-strong set including “Bad Romance,” “Poker Face,” “Million Reasons,” “Edge of Glory,” “Just Dance,” “Born This Way” and “Love Game.” Gaga also performed her collaboration with the Queen Bey, “Telephone.” A sweet surprise for fans was the unveiling of a new song, “The Cure,” which infused pop with EDM undertones.
Other performers included Migos, Gucci Mane, and DJ Snake, who was also joined by Lauren Hill. Wiz Khalifa and Tove Lo mixed it up while Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams put on a show.
Things got political when Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA took to the stage with Paul Banks, for a fiery rendition of “Love + War.” Bastille thrilled with “Pompeii” and A$AP Rocky hit the stage with Tyler the Creator and ScHoolboy Q.
Bon Iver brought their brand of folktronica to Coachella, with sonic sounds filling the stage. Fronted by Justin Vernon, the band performed tracks off their 2016 album, 22, A Million.
After the release of album, DAMN., on Friday, Kendrick Lamar dominated the stage on Sunday night as a headliner and the Compton native didn’t disappoint. A kung-fu short film, The Damn Legend of Kung Fu Kenny, kicked off Lamar’s set – Kung Fu Kenny being Lamar’s alter-ego. Hits like “King Kunta,” “Money Trees,” and “Alright” thrilled the sweaty crowd, while fresh tracks off DAMN. – “BLOOD.,” “XXX.,” “PRIDE.” and showstopper, “HUMBLE.” sent the audience into a frenzy.
Off her upcoming album, Melodrama, Lorde jumped on stage on Sunday night for an energetic performance of hit singles “Green Light” and “Liability.” A new track, “Homemade Dynamite” was introduced while the New Zealand-born star also mixed in Kanye West’s Runway.
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