"I wanna peer over the edge," Grimes sang in the opening number of her late Saturday evening set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Then for the next 50 minutes, she and three dancers ran through nine highly kinetic songs that toyed with pop's boundaries.
While as thrillingly relentless as any of Coachella's more traditional electronic-driven dance acts, Grimes' songs never stop flirting with unpredictability. Her upper-register voice wafted in the Indio desert wind one moment, and then she'd fall to the ground to let out a hair-raising, punk-rock worthy howl the next. Meanwhile, an upbeat guitar clashed with frantic beats and placed an optimistic spin on her determined, don't-back-down vocals.
Grimes also had a tough gig last night. She was Coachella's main counter-programming to headliners Guns N' Roses, performing with its classic lineup that paired vocalist Axl Rose with guitarist Slash for the first time in about two decades. Still, placed in Coachella's mid-size dance tent, Grimes easily filled it and had an adoring crowd that was clearly ready for more. Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, even apologized for the set being so short.
At the end of 1,200 feet of wire and 120 balloons was 5-year-old Avel Gonzalez.
Official Coachella "balloonatic" Brandon Kuhens monitored the strand of floating spheres as concert-goers amid the endless string of white balloons draped across the grounds.
The white balloon strings are strung together throughout the day. This particular strand has more than 120 balloons and a length of 1,200 feet. All the official "balloonatics," as Kuhens calls them, are connected via radio monitor.
What seemed like the impossible finally happened: The surviving members of N.W.A performed together for the first time in nearly 30 years.
After a partial reunion at Ice Cube’s main-stage slot during the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, it appeared the rapper would again keep the reunion limited to MC Ren and DJ Yella — and not Dr. Dre — when he brought them out midway through his set Saturday night.
The trio tore their fiery anthem, “Straight Outta Compton” before Cube introduced Lil Eazy-E, the son of late N.W.A founder Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, who the show was dedicated to along with Prince. (Cube even wore a purple bandana and purple sneakers in tribute.)
There were no surprise guests for the Guns N’ Roses’ Weekend 2 performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and none were needed.
The band seemed intent on proving it’s ready to embark on a summer tour with reunited members Axl Rose, Slash (Saul Hudson) and Duff McKagan, who adorned his bass with a purple Prince symbol in tribute to the artist, who died last week.
The hard rock outfit performed for more than two hours in a focused set that looked and sounded arena-ready. Guitarist Angus Young of AC/DC dropped in with the band for Weekend 1, but there were no shouts for “Angus” on Saturday night. Slash had the guitar pyrotechnics covered.
A $1 pour of Prosecco may sound like a good deal, especially at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. But what if, in exchange, you had to participate in the winemaker’s social media marketing?
Indeed, a Cupcake Vineyards truck stationed amid this weekend’s festivities offered concert goers 2-ounce glasses of its wine for a dollar each, as long as the drinker posted on Twitter or Instagram with a certain hashtag.
That’s just one of the many examples of creative ways brands have tried to attach themselves to the popular music event that stretches over two weekends ending Sunday.
Dr. Dre was absent at Ice Cube's performance one week ago at Coachella, limiting a hoped-for reunion of N.W.A to Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella.
Things were different at Coachella's second weekend. "I'd like to dedicate this show to my man Prince. Rogers. Nelson," Cube said to open a set that featured a much-anticipated cameo from his onetime bandmate in N.W.A, Dr. Dre. But when it came to his former group's greatest hits, Dr. Dre sat those tunes out.
Dr. Dre, however, wasn't the only surprise guest Saturday night.
Is there a doctor in the .... house? Ice Cube asks. Dr. Dre is at #coachella. NWA is reunited
John Corrigan of the L.A. Times takes a tour of Coachella's "Armpit," an art installation at this year's music festival.
John Corrigan of the L.A. Times takes a tour of Coachella's "Armpit," an art installation at this year's music festival. The work comes from artists Katrīna Neiburga and Andris Eglītis.
The piece, according to the Coachella website, was made largely with discarded materials from houses and office buildings in Latvia. Its eight small rooms are said in the work's description to be "inspired by every man who eludes his family under the guise of fixing the car or working a project, when they’re usually tinkering and indulging in their hobbies."
Who do you trust to be in charge of the images on your concert live streams? You or an unseen director?
Coachella is once again offering fans who couldn't get tickets to the sold-out music and arts festival a chance to watch their favorite bands live. But those who checked out the live stream during Weekend One's performances and enjoyed the skillful camera work and direction that gave viewers the sense of watching on-the-spot documentary footage are getting a very different experience during Weekend Two.
First, instead of three streams allowing the viewer to choose from multiple stages and switch channels to watch bands playing simultaneously, there is just one channel this weekend with fewer bands -- but all the main stage names, including Saturday's performances by Chvrches, Ice Cube and Guns N'Roses.
Talk about classic oxymorons: It might be necessary to go back to classics such as “jumbo shrimp” and “military intelligence” to match the inherently contradictory ideas seemingly at work in the concept of Soberchella.
But there is a growing community of alcoholics and addicts in recovery who still yearn to experience the music and sense of community that is the annual Coachella music festival. Now they prefer to do so minus the intoxicants that often are considered part and parcel of this and other events.
“I was so glad to find this group, and to find out that out of 100,000 people who are here, I wasn’t the only who is doing Coachella sober,” said Rick, a pseudonym for one of two dozen festival-goers who met at noon Saturday to hold a 12-step meeting, based on Alcoholics Anonymous program ahead of their marathon day of music and revelry.