Friday marked a particularly strange day in the nearly 13-year-old experiment that is the Coachella music festival: just a week after many of music’s biggest artists performed on five different stages scattered across the event’s lush green performance site… the same artists hit the same stages to do it all again. “Good to be back,” joked Dan Auerbach, singer-guitarist of swampy rock act The Black Keys, as they began their set. “It’s been so long.” (Call it deja-blues all over again.) The deliberate repetition created awkward moments for certain artists — but most fans didn’t seem to mind that they were essentially seeing a re-run. Who did we traverse the desert to see this week (besides Afrojack, pictured above)? Details below.
As much as Friday felt a little like Coachella’s version of Groundhog Day, it did hold one key difference. Where last Friday shocked concert-goers with downright chilly temperatures, gray skies and even light rain, this week represented a return to traditional Coachella weather: blazing sunlight and punishing 100-degree-plus heat. That might’ve had more artists sweating through their performances, but it left them no worse for wear.
Wallpaper., who earned acclaim for their mid-day set last week, kept their sense of humor intact ahead of their second go-round. “#Coachella has begun #rickyreedisreal #102degrees”, singer Ricky Reed tweeted Friday afternoon, adding a photo documenting the band’s drawing power.
Of course, we already knew they could do that.
What was in question, however, was whether the numerous guest stars who made Coachella weekend 1 really, um, pop, would show up to repeat their cameos.
Will Rihanna re-appear to join Calvin Harris for “We Found Love”? (And if not, is there still time for us to request that Cheryl Cole come out to sing “Call My Name”?). We think it’s unlikely, but you never know.
And will Usher return to team up with super-DJ David Guetta? That also feels like a longshot, but as The Hollywood Reporter notes, there are plenty of other Nothing But The Beat collaborators who might make sense as Coachella guests, including will.i.am, Jessie J and Jennifer Hudson.
We’ll have to wait to see.
And when there were surprises, they were minor in comparison to last week’s mega-star cameos. Butter-smooth R&B sensation Frank Ocean delivered a more polished set than last week, when he was plagued by sound problems, and this time supplemented his live band with a special guest, guitarist Mike Einziger of rock band Incubus. (And even the Black Keys, who referenced the weirdness of repeating themselves, mixed things up by bringing out legendary rocker John Fogerty to join them for a song).
Ocean did offer up a couple of other happy surprises: a new song, rumored to be called “Forrest Gump”, and a cover of Lauryn Hill‘s “Tell Him”.
Watch Frank Ocean cover Lauryn Hill’s “Tell Him”
The remainder of Friday went more or less as planned/previously performed. Kendrick Lamar put on a furious afternoon set, again bringing out his Black Hippy crew as he knocked out rhymes from his Section.80 collection. (Though SPIN says he was briefly upstaged by his cohort Jay Rock, who spit verses while backflipping).
And Dutch dance maestro Afrojack returned with another heavenly set in the Coachella dance tent, where once again he was cheered on by his girlfriend, Paris Hilton. (Paris tweeted that the DJ, whose real name is Nick van de Wall, ”made @Coachella dance like I’ve never seen before!”)
Never, we presume, since last week.
(Photo via Josh Fogel)