The day kicked off with a commanding performance from Azealia Banks, who — in the brief seven days since her previous Coachella performance — picked up powerful new ally (she hired Lady Gaga‘s manager Troy Carter) and some colorful additions to her wardrobe. Sporting a black pleather romper and a neon orange fishnet top, the “212″ rapper ripped through her increasingly popular jams. But then came perhaps the most poignant moment of her set: a cover of the retro classic “Valerie”, made famous by Amy Winehouse. Winehouse performed “Valerie” at Coachella in 2007 — in the same tent, no less.
Winehouse wasn’t the only long-gone artist who was somehow resurrected Saturday. In a nod to the buzzy 2Pac hologram unveiled last week by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, punk pranksters The Black Lips brought a cardboard stand-up of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. at their daytime set. (Funny, we weren’t expecting to see Biggie til next year, based on the all-hologram Coachella poster.)
Across the way in the dance zone, DJ and Madonna collaborator Martin Solveig took control with a late afternoon set that drew a capacity crowd, including a certain Joe Jonas. Joe even tweeted that Solveig is “my hero”.
Here’s a Jonas-eye view of the show:
Solveig spun an impressive range of artists, including Skrillex, Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For?” and — in what we can imagine was a respectful nod to his competition? — Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close”. Harris performs his own set on Sunday. Think he’ll spin some Solveig beats?
The other big mystery of the day in the dance tent was whether, or how, David Guetta would top last weekend’s performance, when he brought out Usher to perform “Without You”. This time, Guetta first made it appear like he would simply let his own performance speak for itself, and that he would end with the same song, minus Usher. Instead, he said: “Before I go, I have a little gift. It’s going to be my new single in America, and it’s one of my favorites I’ve ever done”, and introduced Australian firecracker Sia, who came out to sing on her collaboration with Guetta, “Titanium”. (We should have guessed she’d be coming out after she dropped hints with this tweet earlier in the week). Their performance brought the house tent down.
While Guetta was still spinning, avant-pop auteurs Miike Snow took the stage across the field with an elaborate light show that served to keep the band at least partially in shadow (the way they like it). When singer Andrew Wyatt hinted at a surprise guest, however, most of their fans already knew who it was: Lykke Li, their sultry fellow Swede, who joined for “Black Tin Box” as she did last week.
(Photo via Josh Fogel)