Coachella 2016, Day 2: Guns N’ Roses, Kesha & N.W.A. (18 Pics)
While there was a smattering of surprise guests on Day 1 (including dual Kanye West appearances), Day 2 of Coachella offered a cornucopia of cameos. The most warmly received party-crasher was undoubtedly Kesha. The pop star dropped by Zedd’s set to deliver a knock-out rendition of “True Colors,” the title track of his sophomore LP. Critics and EDM contemporaries love to give the German DJ a hard time, but he put on one of the liveliest dance sets of the festival (thus far) and helped #FreeKesha — if only for one song.
Across the Empire Polo Club on the main stage, Ice Cube was holding a party of his own. The rap legend already had the massive crowd jumping to his vintage hip-hop tunes, but he took things to the next level by holding a mini-N.W.A. reunion (albeit without Dr. Dre). And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more lit, the “Check Yo Self” hitmaker brought out Snoop Dogg. That extravaganza set the bar astronomically high, but headliners Guns N’ Roses were up to the challenge.
Reviews for the band’s warm-up gigs weren’t exactly encouraging, which made their fiery performance all the sweeter. The veteran rockers had tens of thousands of people head-banging to their special brand of hair-band magic, sounding every bit as intense and angry as they did in their early ’90s hey day. Axl Rose was immobile due to his foot injury, but his voice was on-point and he finally seemed glad to be back. Their guest? Guns N’ Roses fulfilled many a rock fan’s dream come true by beckoning AC/DC legend Angus Young on to the stage.
The bring-a-friend trend wasn’t contained to the Coachella stage. Halsey brought out Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie, Disclosure showed off by inviting Lorde and Sam Smith to join them and Vince Staples reunited with “Lemme Know” collaborator Jhene Aiko. Norwegian DJ Matoma also deserves a special mention. He punched above his weight by firing up the Sahara tent with appearances from Nico & Vinz, Sean Paul and Ja Rule. (The latter flew in via helicopter for the event and then left).
While star-studded cameos are now part of the Coachella fabric, some of the day’s best sets took a simpler approach. Australian newcomer Cloves enchanted with her soulful ballads, SOPHIE had the Yuma tent hopping to his mind-bending mix of pop and electronica, and Zella Day’s psychedelic desert rock was the perfect soundtrack for dusty Indio. Other highlights include James Bay, SZA, Grimes and RÜFÜS DU SOL.