Weekend one was, as it usually is, a mix of incredible performances (here’s to Sia), beautiful shows (The Chainsmokers killed it), and abject failures (truly sorry, Calvin Harris).
Going forward as music fans, we look to the second weekend to fix the mistakes that made weekend one so damn imperfect, and to improve upon even the things that went well the first time around.
Judging by the first weekend, there is a lot fans have to look forward to in terms of performances.
Headlining on Friday is LCD Soundsystem, who earned their spot last week when they moved an audience to tears with their finale, “All My Friends.” Even though the group was the only headlining act with no surprise guests, they still managed to put on a spectacular show. If this Friday’s show is anything like last Friday, these guys might be on track for knighthood.
Saturday’s headliners, Guns N’ Roses, delivered a powerful but admittedly unoriginal performance, only made truly exceptional by the surprise appearance of AC/DC’s Angus Young. Since Young was so important, they’ll probably keep him around for the second weekend, if not, it will be a different show, but still one to look out for.
It’s almost painful to discuss Calvin Harris’s Sunday headline performance, but it’s necessary: Harris may have messed up Weekend One, but that’s ok; he’s got another shot.
One of the things that made Harris’s performance so disappointing was the glaring lack of Taylor Swift. Everyone was expecting the surprise appearance, but it just didn’t come, which set a poor tone for the rest of his set. We all know how unlikely it is for new surprise guests to come for the second weekend, so maybe now fans won’t have such high hopes for Harris’s show. The bar for Harris is low enough at this point that just about any surprise guest that isn’t the Wiggles could raise it, so be sure to watch him (hopefully) win back his pride this Sunday.
Headliners aren’t all fans need to anticipate, though. A few smaller artists made big waves at Weekend One at Coachella, and are going to be hot topics for the coming show.
Rapper Joey Bada$$ showcased his new beats (which don’t actually have names yet) and performed “Like Water” with his crew, Pro Era. Sticking to his easy flow and making use of the LED screen behind him, Bada$$ certainly earned the right to rechristen Coachella “Prochella,” which he did towards the end of his set.
Another group to look out for is the Crystal Fighters, a London- based alt-dance band that draws from Basque culture to produce fast-paced, upbeat music. The Crystal Fighters enchanted crowds this weekend with “Love Natural” and “LA Calling,” two hits from their newest album, Cave Rave. Possibly the hottest indie band of Coachella Weekend One, though, and my personal favorite, was Of Monsters and Men.
The Icelandic sextet delivered a captivating set that included their hit “Little Talks,” but expanded to include a lot more of their newer material, which is honestly just as good (if not better). They’ll certainly be dropping jaws this weekend, so listen in.
Coachella’s second weekend is shaping up to be a wave of diverse musical energy, so grab your tent, sundress, cheap beer and get on down to Indio, CA. Or, just sit around and watch grainy YouTube livestreams with the rest of us.