After the first few days of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, some of the 90,000 people in attendance each day no doubt left the desert feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and yet exhilarated, with significant moments burned into their brains. Some highlights from Weekend 1:
Jay Z and Diddy join forces with Nas
Nas celebrated the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking rap album "Illmatic" accompanied by guest performers Jay Z and Diddy.
"I bet this album is older than some of y'all out there," the 40-year-old Nas said as he surveyed the crowd, and indeed, he was correct.
But the declaration hammered home one of the best aspects of Coachella: It bridges generational gaps by introducing youth of today to the great music of yesterday.
Beyoncé supports her sister Solange
The reigning queen of R&B joined her little sister, Solange, onstage in the Gobi Tent for an endearing love fest that left fans screaming for more.
Solange closed with "Losing You," a midtempo dance-R&B gem that solidified her as a star in her own right. The tent became a bouncy singalong before Solange was joined by Beyoncé, her face beaming with big-sister pride, and the two finished a high-spirited routine.
The set ended with a spirited hug and kiss that suggested family is the most important show of all.
A sandstorm keeps the desert fest real
Despite its new luxe trappings, Coachella is still a party in the middle of the desert, and every year the elements go out of their way to prove it. This year, a Saturday night sandstorm brought havoc to the evening's proceedings, causing guests to wrap their faces in scarves and performers' voices to go harsh and raspy.
A frustrated Pharrell Williams almost lost his voice, and the wind blew strong enough to knock out electricity briefly at the Neon Carnival.
Pool parties draw DiCaprio, Hudgens
Sometimes, the Empire polo field is too hot and too tiresome to hold the attention of its celebrity guests, who make midday appearances at an ever-growing abundance of pool parties.
Weekend No. 1 of Coachella saw Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Paul, Nina Dobrev and Vanessa Hudgens show up at an exclusive party at the luxe Bootsy Bellows Estate in Rancho Mirage. (DiCaprio reportedly noshed on McDonald's.)
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler took a playful bite out of Katy Perry's hat at a sparkly day party hosted by Lacoste, and Jared Leto and Emile Hirsch showed up late at night for the highly anticipated annual Neon Carnival.
The Knife dishes performance art
Occasionally, a performance lifts itself into the weird, wacky and revelatory world of performance art. Such was the case with the Swedish electronica duo called the Knife on Friday night on the Outdoor Stage.
During the set, a dozen dancers and musicians in teal space-togas danced purposefully hokey, choreographed routines full of same-sex makeouts and cat-claw hand gestures, reminding festival goers that music is art and vice versa.
Times staff writers Gerrick Kennedy, Mikael Wood and August Brown contributed from Coachella.