Coachella: successful first week
A double headliner from THE WEEKND and SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA SUNDAY NIGHT capped off the first COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL since 2019 for a successful conclusion to the three-day festival in INDIO, CA, promoted by AEG/GOLDENVOICE and streamed live on three separate YOUTUBE channels.
SUNDAY’s lineup also included artists DOJA CAT, THE BLESSED MADONNA + HONEY DIJON, MANESKIN, FATBOY SLIM, DUKE DUMONT, JESSE REYEZ, DENZEL CURRY, JAMIE XX, DAVE, CHICANO BATMAN, MAGGIE ROGERS, VINCE STAPLES, RUN THE JEWELS and YOLA.
Seen from the comfort of my living room, COUCHELLA had a number of strengths. FRIDAY night featured a surprise, previously unannounced appearance by ARCADE FIRE at the famous MOJAVE TENT, where they performed songs from their upcoming album “WE” and favorites such as “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” , “Ready to Start,” “The Suburbs” and “Wake Up,” with vocalist WIN BUTLER nodding to PEARL JAM, citing the band’s boycott of TICKETMASTER leading to the creation of the festival.
Night one headliner HARRY STYLES looked impressive in her shiny, reflective jumpsuit, showing plenty of chest and cheeks with a set that kicked off with new single, ‘As It Was’, included a surprise appearance of two mid-set songs by SHANIA TWAIN (the appropriate “Man I Feel Like A Woman” and “You’re Still The One”), plus a version of ONE DIRECTION’s “What Makes You Beautiful”, two songs unreleased tracks from his next album, “Harry’s House” (“Boyfriends”, “Late Night Talking”) and his hits “Watermelon Sugar” and ending with “:Sign Of The Times”. Galpal OLIVIA WILDE was seen swooning in public for her pop idol boyfriend.
Other highlights of the first night include PHOEBE BRIDGERS and her band dressed in skeleton costumes bringing ARLO PARKS to duet on “Graceland Too” and “I Know The End”, while presenting their new track, “Sidelines”, from the new HULU series, “Conversations With Friends,” the latest from “Normal People” novelist SALLY ROONEY. Both MADEON and LOUIS THE CHILD gave dynamic EDM performances, ironic because the guys from the latter – ROBBY HAULDREN and FREDERIC J. KENNETT – originally met at a gig at the former.
JUSTIN BIEBER joined DANIEL CAESAR during “Peaches,” while IDLES blasted through the doors of MOJAVE with their rowdy post-punk. CARLY RAE JEPSEN debuted a new song, “Western Wind,” while BABY KEEM performed “Lost Souls” with BRENT FAIYAZ. LIL BABY was also a highlight of the first night.
Night two was dominated by headliner BILLIE EILISH, bringing in guests DAMON ALBARN for a performance of “Feel Good Inc.” by GORILLAZ. (with DE LA SOUL’s outlet joining in with his lines on the original) and a rendition of his track “Happier Than Ever”, “Getting Older”. EILISH also enlisted KHALID for a performance of their 2018 single, “Lovely,” and performed songs from the latest album like “Oxytocin” and older material, like “Ocean Eyes” and “I Love You,” along with her brother FINNEAS for an acoustic version of the latter. EILISH left the stage thanking COACHELLA and apologizing for “not being BEYONCE”.
Other night two highlights include reuniting with beloved K-Pop girl group 2NE1 (during 88RISING’s set); DANNY ELFMAN performing his famous theme from “The Simpsons” topless with a full orchestra, and producer FLUME, who brought on stage BECK (“Tiny Cities”), VINCE STAPLES (“Smoke & Retribution”), TOVE LO (“Say It”) and MAY-A (“Never Be Like You”).
And it all starts again next weekend, from FRIDAY (22/04) to SUNDAY (24/04).
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