Sunday night saw The Red Hot Chili Peppers closing this year’s Coachella Festival.
2 weekends, 6 days, 175 acts, and 180,000 fans later, here are just a few of the highlights from both weekends.
As proceedings drew to a close on the first weekend, a windstorm with gusts of over 75 mph ripped through the usually quiet desert community of Indio in California, blowing dust and sand into the faces of the festival faithful who had made the annual pilgrimage, leading one unhappy punter to dub the heads-down, squint-eyed march to the parking lot as “the hipster trail of tears”.
After much speculation that Phoenix would close their first Saturday night set by collaborating with Daft punk, they threw everyone a curve ball by unexpectedly being joined by non other than R. Kelly, for an extremely unlikely mash up of their song “1901″ and the R&B star’s “Ignition”. Everyone gasped, took photos with their phones, then boogied for all they were worth!
The Dropkick Murphy’s opened an emotionally charged set on the second weekend with “For Boston” whilst a flag with the city’s seal waved behind them. The band thanked the crowd for “showing so much support for the people of Boston,” and went on to dedicate “Your Spirit’s Alive” to everyone supporting the city. They also raised upward of $100,000 to benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and their families.
The Brits were well represented with Blur, Stone Roses, Franz Ferdinand, and New Order all occupying late night spots.
New Order delighted the audience by playing their former incarnation Joy Division’s classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on Saturday night/ Sunday morning. The Stone Roses, who closed Friday night ahead of Blur on the first weekend, switched places with the Britpop legends for the second weekend. Although no official reason was given for the switch, The Roses first weekend crowd was conspicuously small. Apparently, although iconic in Britain, many of the festival-goers had never heard of the band! Blur, of course, drew a huge crowd that enthusiastically “Woo-Hoo-ed” their way through “Song 2″, causing one of the less educated audience members to cry “These guys are gonna be big!” Perhaps they didn’t really know who Blur was either!
One of the highlights of this year were indie-rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs and in particular their lead singer Karen O. Dressed in a purple sequined pant suit one weekend and an embroidered canary yellow the next, she swung the mic, then swallowed the mic, bounce up and down on the drum riser, and generally covered the stage like a whirling Dervish. In “Cheated Hearts” she sang, “Sometimes I think that I’m bigger than the sound,” and after Friday nights performance it was clear that yes, sometimes she is!
As is usual with Coachella, the celebs were out in force. Troubled actress, Lindsey Lohan was spotted hanging at the backstage artists village on Friday, just a few weeks away from her 90-day rehab lock down. Rob Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were seen knocking back the Gatorade (gasp) during the Jurassic 5 set, and amongst the other stars in attendance were Clooney squeeze, Stacy Kiebler, Leo DiCaprio, and German actress Diane Kruger, all enjoying the sounds in the sunshine.