The California desert came alive over the weekend with the first three days of the eclectic Coachella festival. Day One on Friday was dominated by British veterans such as Johnny Marr, Blur and The Stone Roses. Blur served as a co-headliner, playing hits like "Girls & Boys," "The Universal" and "Song 2," as well as Post-Britpop era songs such as "Coffee & TV" and "Trimm Trabb," while the reunited Stone Roses offered classics like "I Wanna Be Adored" and "She Bangs the Drums."
Friday night also brought out Hip-Hop acts Jurassic 5 and Earl Sweatshirt, as well as a visually stunning midnight set from Trent Reznor's How To Destroy Angels. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were one of the most-talked about bands on Friday as lead singer Karen O fronted a dynamic and energetic set, featuring their hits "Sacrilege," "Maps" and "Gold Lion," and other Friday highlights included Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, Of Monsters and Men, and Canadian sister duo Tegan & Sara.
Rapper 2 Chainz was a big hit on Saturday afternoon as he took the stage with tons of charisma and energy. On the other end of the musical spectrum, the Violent Femmes delighted the crowd by playing their 1983 self-titled debut album in its entirety. Headlining sets came later that night from another hero of the '80s - New Order - as well as French rockers Phoenix. Phoenix got the crowd going right away with the mega-hit "Lisztomania" as well as new material from their forthcoming fifth LP, Bankrupt! Going all the way back to their debut, Untitled, the band also played a spirited rendition of "Too Young." But one of the biggest surprises came when Phoenix brought out special guest R. Kelly for the encore. Kelly mashed up his "Ignition (Remix)" with Phoenix's "1901," and the crowd went crazy for it.
As Sunday rolled around, so did acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wu-Tang Clan, The Lumineers, Pretty Lights and Paul Oakenfold. As a gusty wind blew through the desert, The Lumineers took the main stage in the afternoon, playing tracks from their self-titled debut album. Lead singer Wesley Schultz told the Coachella crowd that the festival was the largest live audience to which the band had ever played. Next came Vampire Weekend, who performed hits including "A-Punk" and "Holiday" that got attendees dancing.
The audience was also amped for the raucous Wu-Tang reunion, as the Rap collective rolled through an hour of hits from Enter The 36 Chambers as well as the various members' solo catalogues. Taking the stage with an orchestra at their backs and heavy winds kicking sand in their faces, the Wu tore through "Protect Ya Neck," "Bring Da Ruckus" and "Triumph" to cap off the evening. The biggest and best surprise of the performance came when Redman strolled onstage to spit "Da Rockwilder" with Method Man.
Finally, Red Hot Chili Peppers closed out the weekend with a string of hits such as "Dani California," "Californication," "Parallel Universe," "Under The Bridge" and "Higher Ground." Coachella will return to the desert once again this coming weekend with a repeat lineup.