Coachella 2016, Day 3: Dance Takes Over, The 1975 & Sia (16 Pics)
2016 was arguably the year that Coachella completed the transition from rock festival to EDM-leaning extravaganza. Take Day 3. Of the six tents and stages, only one was headlined by a non-dance act. (Take a bow, Deafhaven). It’s not necessarily a condemnation of the state of rock, but more a reflection of the fact that festival-goers want to turn up and, for better or worse, electronica is the party genre of choice for most millennials.
Of the superstar DJs doing their thing at Coachella, Flume delivered the most impressive set. He showcased new LP Skin — complete with light show and projections — that effortlessly bounced from the quirky and curious to hands-in-the-air, sing-along anthems like rising hit “Never Be Like You.” The Australian DJ proved that there can be light and shade in a festival DJ set. A quality Calvin Harris was unable bring to the main stage. At least he invited Rihanna to join him for “We Found Love,” so that’s something.
The tents were even more dance-centric than the outdoor stages. The Chainsmokers almost blew the roof off the Sahara tent with their bangers, bringing out Daya to belt out crossover pop hit “Don’t Let Me Down.” Thomas Jack injected a touch of tropical house into the festival, while Nosaj Thing expertly blended hip-hop and sparse beats. However, if dance wasn’t your thing, there were plenty of other options. You just had to look a little harder.
Sia’s highly theatrical set stood out like a sore thumb (in a good way) among all the dudes sweating over decks. She brought out a crew of girl dancers to perhaps compensate for the fact that she’s still hiding behind wigs and costumes. Perhaps it’s time to let go of that affectation. The 1975 also brought their particular brand of nu-wave rock glamor to the main stage and, no doubt, added to their growing legion of fans with a killer performance.
Other highlights included Chris Stapleton’s wonderfully out-of-place country set, which was jam-packed with mesmerized bros wondering what the hell was happening. Alessia Cara and Meg Myers also acquitted themselves admirably as did the always great Beach House. Pop fans should also check out Joywave, Miike Snow and Matt and Kim if you’re lucky enough to be there for weekend two.