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Calvin Harris closes out Coachella with beats, fireworks -- and, oh yeah, Rihanna

DJ Calvin Harris performs Sunday night at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.

DJ Calvin Harris performs Sunday night at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.

(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Coachella)

The most surprising thing about Calvin Harris’ show Sunday night at Coachella? That this efficiency-minded Scottish DJ — a festival pro so accustomed to the grind that his video display featured images of moving gears — went on nearly 20 minutes late, a delay even greater than the one put up by the bad boys in Guns N’ Roses.

FULL COVERAGE: COACHELLA 2016

Most everything else about Harris’ set, which closed Coachella’s first weekend, felt like business as usual, from the steady thump of his chest-caving EDM beats to the fireworks that punctuated some of his most dramatic drops.

Sure, he brought out Rihanna to sing “We Found Love,” which she did while wearing a fringed stars-and-stripes jacket that suggested Apollo Creed for H&M. And, yeah, his show also had drop-ins by John Newman, and Big Sean, whose goofy dancing and loudly patterned shirt called to mind Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

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But cameos such as those were all but expected from this serial collaborator; if anything, the guest list underwhelmed an audience prepared to freak out at the sight of Harris’ girlfriend, Taylor Swift, who never materialized (onstage, anyway).

Still, just because Calvin Harris’ show felt deeply ordinary didn’t mean it was without pleasure. Those graphics, for one, were a sight to behold as they flickered across Coachella’s enormous high-def video screens. And the songs — reliable Harris jams such as “Feel So Close” and “How Deep Is Your Love” along with choice hits by Drake and Daft Punk — delivered their usual payloads.

“One More Time,” the Daft Punk tune was called, and it was as though Harris was beating you to the punch.

Twitter: @mikaelwood


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