A memorial to Prince is seen during the first day of Weekend 2 at the 2016 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.(Matt Cowan / Getty Images for Coachella)
Joey Badass performs a Prince tribute onstage during Coachella Valley on April 22, 2016.(Matt Cowan / Getty Images for Coachella)
Joey Bada$$ pays tribute to Prince during the 2016 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.(Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Coachella)
A tribute to Prince is seen at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 22, 2016.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Festival-goers pause to pay respects and take pictures with a tribute to Prince beneath the 2008 concert poster at Coachella. Prince, who died on Thursday, performed at the festival that year.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Coachella’s Weekend 2 got off to a hot and windy start Friday, with the same lineups but some new twists. Here are five takeaways from Friday’s doings in the desert.
--Prince, who was found dead Thursday at age 57, was memorialized in a range of ways. Near the entrance, flowers and a purple “Prince RIP” sign were arranged below the banner showing the lineup for 2008, when Prince gave an incendiary, guitar-driven set on the Saturday night card.
Mavis Staples gave a moving speech about Prince’s “beautiful spirit” during her afternoon set and then sang a few bars of “Purple Rain.” As night fell, the lights casting beams on palm trees and landscaping were covered with purple filters, rendering a silent but effective tribute.
But the artist who inspired the world to “party like it’s 1999” may not have wanted everything to be so somber. To that end, Friday night headliner LCD Soundsystem delivered a tight, infectious rendition of Prince’s dance-pop song “Controversy.” It’s likely to be one of the musical highlights of the weekend.
Prince performs his last concert April 14th at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.(Amiee Stubbs )
People get emotional while talking about Prince at a memorial for the artist in Leimert Park.(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
A rainbow appears over Paisley Park near a memorial for Prince in Chanhassen, Minn. Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his era with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ’'Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” was found dead at his home at Paisley Park on Thursday.(Carlos Gonzalez / Star Tribune via AP)
Prince performs at the St. Paul Civic Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Dec. 25, 1984.(David Brewster / AP)
Prince performs on stage on the Hit N Run-Parade Tour at Wembley Arena in London in August 1986.(Michael Putland / Getty Images)
Prince performs at the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary, on Aug. 9, 2011.(Balazs Mohai / EPA)
Prince performs at the Nokia Theater in New York in 2006.(Noa Daniel/Zuma Press/TNS)
Prince performing at the 47th Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, on July 14, 2013.(Marc Ducrest / Montreux Jazz Festival / 2013 FFJM)
Prince at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium, on Nov. 8, 2010.(Dirk Waem / EPA)
Prince presents an award at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 22, 2015.(Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)
Prince performs at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2008.(Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
A shirtless Prince performs in 1986.(Mario Suriani / Associated Press)
Prince and Manuela Testolini arrive at the 2005 Academy Awards.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Prince and Manuela Testolini arrive at the 2005 Annual Academy Awards.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Prince performs at the Super Bowl in 2007.(Evan Agostini / Getty Images)
Prince in 2008.(Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Prince performs “Purple Rain” at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards in 2004.(Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times)
Prince performs at the Super Bowl in 2007.(Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)
Prince with Beyonce at the 2004 Grammy Awards.(Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times)
Prince performs on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2006.(Peter Kramer / Getty Images)
The crowd at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood before a Prince concert in 2007.(Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Prince made a special appearance in 2014 on “New Girl” with Zooey Deschanel.(Fox)
Prince.(Afshin Shahidi / Universal Music)
Prince crossed from records to movies with “Purple Rain” in 1984.()
--Speaking of highlights, have you seen Ayse Hassan of Savages play bass? In a band this good it’s hard to single out one woman (our Todd Martens says Savages may be “the best guitar-driven band in the world right now”), but Hassan plays bass with a rare power and ferocity. She makes the classic choice in gear -- Fender bass yoked to an Ampeg amplifier -- and she turns the volume up to 11. Hassan and drummer Fay Milton lock in like two hinges of a crocodile’s jaw. There was a big audience for the band’s 9:35 p.m. show in the Mojave tent, and much of its attention was focused on the stage-diving of singer Jehnny Beth (her real name is Camille Berthomier) and the surreal psychedelic guitar riffs of Gemma Thompson. But the woman setting the groove and driving this London-based quartet was wielding a bass.
--The 6:40 p.m. slot on the main stage went to “Of Monsters and Men,” the band from Iceland powered by twin lead vocalists Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir and Ragnar Porhallsson (yes, if anyone should be taking on stage names it should be these two, right?). The band, perhaps best known for its tunes “Mountain Sound” and “King and Lionheart” has six official members but tours with a larger group. On Friday, there were always nine or 10 people on stage, rounding out the band’s big sound with accordian and trumpet. The crowd was enthusiastic, and here’s guessing that many found a new appreciation for the accordian.
--Which is better, Weekend 1 or Weekend 2? Both sides have their partisans. Weekend 1 is fresher, no doubt, and the guest appearance and celebrity quotient is higher. But for bands that haven’t played in awhile (we’re talking about you, Guns N’ Roses) there’s often a chance to tighten up over the week in between. Stone Roses was infamously shaky the first weekend of its 2013 performance, leading the promoters to move them down the lineup for the second weekend. But many who saw the Stone Roses Weekend 2 wondered what all the carping was about.
Follow me on Twitter: @jtcorrigan