"This is going to go down as one of the best shows I've ever played," Stormzy told the audience during his set at Coachella on Friday. "Before coming here, I didn't know if it would be two people or 200 -- and there's thousands."
There's maybe no worse time to hit a Coachella stage -- particularly one of the outdoor main stages -- than early afternoon on opening day. With the bustle to get inside sometimes sluggish on Day One, crowds can be anemic, not to mention the hot temperatures that send people to seek relief under shaded tents or wherever a cool breeze can be caught.
But the British grime rapper's debut at the fest was packed, with the audience willing to break a sweat. And Stormzy, whose buzz has been growing stateside, took notice repeatedly during a frenetic set that left him drenched a few songs in.
With the start of Coachella, the summer festival season has begun. But if you're not in Indio, don't sweat it. Well, you definitely won't sweat due to the heat, but there's also plenty of the festival available for live-streaming.
YouTube is live streaming the first weekend of the festival, including performances from Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, Lorde, Bon Iver, the xx, Future, ScHoolboy Q, Two Door Cinema Club, New Order and Gucci Mane.
The site’s Coachella feed features three always-on channels and will offer a live, 360 mode for select performances. An on-demand hub allows viewers to watch highlights and footage at their leisure. Check them out below.
As if one new Kendrick Lamar album weren't enough, on Friday morning Twitter erupted with speculation that the Compton rapper would be issuing a companion to “Damn” on Easter Sunday called “Nation.” The theory arose on Reddit, where sleuths started connecting dots.
Whether it’s true or not, gathering tidbits of evidence certainly makes for a good parlor game. Below, five convincing clues.
1. “Damn” was released on Good Friday and opens and closes with Lamar getting shot, which detectives suggest mirrors Jesus’ death. Might the would-be companion piece, “Nation,” resurrect the fallen Lamar on Easter Sunday?
The first thing you notice when you walk onto the Coachella grounds in 2017? Everything is bigger. And it's more striking a change than the fest has seen in years.
An extra 25,000 fans, naturally, are going to need the space. But for anyone with muscle memory about exactly how long it takes to stroll from the main stage to the Sahara Tent will find the compass a little wobbly.
The Gobi and Mojave are tucked deep in what used to be the backstage area. The new Sonora Tent and the return of the Yuma Tent now make the upper terrace feel like its own mini-festival. The pastel Seussian sculpture garden (the Chiaozza Garden, to be exact) in the main stage is a world unto itself.
Yet one style of music has long been underrepresented on the grounds of the posh Empire Polo Club in Indio: Latin music. That changes this year.
Coachella’s 2017 roster includes the highest volume of Latino and Spanish-language bands in its 18-year history. Given Southern California’s demographics, some might say it's been a long time coming, especially when one takes into account that the actual city of Coachella is more than 96% Latino or Hispanic.
Though the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has become a spring tradition, there are still many questions for those preparing to attend the desert festival for the first time. The festival’s website has its list of tips as well as some do’s and don’ts, but here are a few of ours.
There’s a new stage
Everyone welcome the Sonora Stage to the family. Like the Despacio and Yuma tents of recent years, this one will have a genre focus — punk and garage rock — where super-fans can post up for the day or pass through when they need a bracing blast of guitar noise. It’s by the entrance, and worth a look for sets by Guided by Voices, Downtown Boys and T.S.O.L.