The Biebs didn’t show.
Though he was widely expected to pop up during Jack U’s set Friday night at Coachella — expected, that is, by industry insiders as well as the hyperventilating kids standing next to me — Justin Bieber failed to appear with his pals Diplo and Skrillex to do their collaborative pop-EDM hit “Where Are U Now.”
Maybe Bieber will make it Saturday night to sing “The Feeling,” his duet with Halsey, who’s scheduled for a main-stage performance around 8.
After all, though Diplo and Skrillex may not have hosted Bieber, their raucous, punishingly loud set as Jack U featured surprise drop-ins by plenty of other names, including Bieber’s current tourmate, Post Malone, who sang a bit of his “White Iverson,” along with Kiesza, Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge and Bunji Garlin, all of whom did their songs from Jack U’s self-titled 2015 album.
It was West’s second appearance Friday, following an earlier cameo during ASAP Rocky’s set, in which he rapped a portion of his song “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” while wearing a white denim jacket embroidered with a lightning bolt.
A sloppy but fascinating blend of tough street rap and trippy drug music, ASAP Rocky’s show also had a long theatrical bit in which he welcomed a real-deal barbershop quartet to the stage to help do his song “Jukebox Joints.” And there was a video sequence, modeled after an airplane-safety address, with the actress Juliette Lewis instructing fans what to do in the event of unexpected crowd-surfing.
Dressed all in white, Goulding brought impressive vocals and a flashy athleticism to “Aftertaste” and “Holding on for Life,” and she strapped on a guitar, Madonna-style, for “Outside,” which had a distinct “Ray of Light” vibe.
Yet Goulding wasn’t trying to disguise the fact that she’s a human. During “Outside,” the laces on one of the singer’s shoes came untied, so as soon as the song was finished, she did what anyone except maybe West would: She crouched down and tied them.