While no one showed up to socially-conscious Chicago MC Chance the Rapper's Coachella gig expecting an appearance from the premier pop idol on the planet, no one was complaining when Justin Bieber unexpectedly crashed Chance's afternoon set. Check out footage from them performing their "Confident" collabo below.
Mysterious as always, Lana Del Rey only played one song from her upcoming second album at Coachella. On the plus side, this jam sounds like another successful earworm from the sultry songstress. The new Ultraviolence track is called "West Coast" and fittingly enough, it saw its live premiere in California. You can listen to part of it below and stay tuned for the studio version, which she tweeted would drop soon.
If you're heading to weekend 2 of Coachella, be aware that the award for "Best Dance Party" was handily won by British brother duo Disclosure. Playing actual live instruments while dropping pumping tracks like "When a Fire Starts to Burn" and "White Noise," Disclosure forced an admittedly tired festival crowd to keep moving. Obviously, Mary J. Blige stopping by to show off her breathtaking vocals on Disclosure's "F for You" didn't hurt, either.
On Sunday night, Drake joined R&B singer Jhené Aiko onstage for a run-through of their Nothing Was the Same collabo "From Time." The moment Aiko started singing the song, the audience knew what was coming next, but that didn't temper the crowd's excitement when Drizzy hit the stage. After all, Drake usually plays venues four times the size of the Gobi tent at Coachella—it's not often you get to watch Drizzy dropping a verse without the aid of a JumboTron screen.
Arcade Fire deserve special recognition for choosing someone other than a contemporary chart-topper to join them onstage during their Coachella-closing performance. An hour into their raucous, dance-tastic set, singer/multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne pulled Debbie Harry on stage while her husband, frontman Win Butler, began playing the opening notes of Blondie's signature song. The always-incredible punk icon lead the Canadian collective through a joyous live version of "Heart of Glass" that segued into their own "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)." Watch the whole thing here.
Hours before Jay Z made a surprise appearance during Nas' midnight set, Beyonce popped up during her little sister's Coachella performance to share dance moves and hugs during Solange's impossibly lovely song "Losing You." Speaking of losing, the crowd totally lost their sh-t when this happened, which you can hear at the 3:13 mark on the video above. The audio is rough, but seeing these two mirror each other's moves is worth the enduring the garbled sound.
Backed by two musicians and three gigantic empty pictures frames (symbolism!), Lorde delivered one of the best sets at Coachella Day 2. While the dusty desert wind whipped her hair, the "Royals" singer danced and clawed into the air as if possessed by the spirit of a drunken cat. Which, obviously, is awesome.
She also spoke of what inspires her—"Happy, elated feelings and sadness are emotions that make me write a lot of songs"—and her biggest fear. "Seeing you makes me feel less scared about getting older, which is something I'm terrified about," the 17-year-old singer said. Sure, she's not anywhere near her golden years, but you gotta respect her candor.
Given Pharrell's recent run of zeitgeist chart hits from "Get Lucky" to "Blurred Lines" to his
own "Happy," it's safe to say no one was expecting his Coachella set to include Gwen Stefani delivering "Hollaback Girl" in its b-a-n-a-n-a-s entirety AND Snoop Dogg performing "Drop It Like It's Hot" in the flesh.
Josh Homme's sorta-hometown show (he's from Joshua Tree, CA) might not have gone exactly as he planned, given that high-speed desert winds blasted sand into his face and broke some of Queens of the Stone Age's gear mid-set. But as he said, "I dealt with playing in these winds when I was 15," adding a sardonic, "Isn't it a beautiful night?"
But the weather didn't slow QOTSA down: They bludgeoned the crowd with massive riffs ("No One Knows," "I Sat By the Ocean"), incited a hard rock dance circle on "Little Sister" and got a little libidinous on "Make It Wit Chu."
Future Islands frontman Sam Herring was a bit throatier than usual thanks to the desert dust slapping his face, but a domineering delivery like his can stand a little sand. The same goes for his inimitable dance moves: The sandy, slippery stage couldn't stop him from wiggling his knees like Elvis, moving his arms like Jagger and gyrating his body like... well, like Sam Herring.
Check out this gallery solely devoted to Herring's moves at Coachella right here.
Even though they ended their long-running feud in 2005, it was still totally out-of-the-blue when Jay Z showed up to deliver "Dead Presidents II" alongside Nas at Coachella. Especially since Nas had more than satisfied the crowd by delivering his all-time classic debut Illmatic in its entirety. Check out our full take on the surprise pairing right here.
If you've only heard rising R&B favorite Banks on record, you need to see her live. The mysterious crooner's blend of sensual, atmospheric R&B takes on a new vitality in concert thanks to her muscular backing band. But don't just take our word for it: Solange, the indie R&B queen herself, was grooving hard to Banks sidestage.
For having such a fragile voice, Lauren Mayberry is incredibly comfortable with her vocal range. Her delivery of the group's modern electro-pop was flawless, and the other two members of Chvrches are living proof that computerized music sounds best coming from real people in a live setting.
Even if Ellie Goulding's set had the hallmarks of an EDM concert—bass drops, the crowd dancing as one fluid unit—the British singer's set was a breathtaking example of in-your-face live musicianship. Whether showing off her soulful chops or singing with an ethereal rasp, her voice was the star of the night. The best moment was her scatting and headbanging at the end of "Lights" while a wailing electric guitar competed with her pipes for attention.
The Replacements made "middle-aged" look like 18-years-old at Coachella. The reunited alt-rock icons ripped through their early punk classics ("Hangin' Downtown," "White and Lazy") and their college radio staples ("Left of the Dial," "Can't Hardly Wait") with a ferociousness bands half their age can maintain for two consecutive songs at most.
A curious, hilarious contrast to their punk thunder was frontman Paul Westerberg's affable clowning. Like a budget-rate magician, he began the show by pulling roses out of his sleeve and dropped charming mid-song asides like, "I had to quit yoga because the lighter in my pocket was giving me a bruise." Who needs yoga when you can rock that hard past 50 anyway?!
For most people with a decent love of music, seeing the almighty OutKast's first concert after a seven-year hiatus was already a sufficiently thrilling, historic experience—longtime fans weren't expecting any surprise guests to sweeten the deal. But hell, we're not complaining they brought out TWO all-star guests during their set at Coachella 2014: Fellow Atlanta rapper Future and the indomitable Janelle Monae.
When the R&B songstress dropped in for "Tightrope," it was a funky surprise, but hardly a shock: Big Boi's verse on that song helped catapult her career to the next level and he even convinced Diddy to sign Monae to Bad Boy Records. Future, on the other hand, was a genuine surprise—especially since he performed a never-before-heard song from his upcoming album. For more on OutKast's first reunion show, check our full review of their Coachella set right here.
While indie-country songstress Neko Case proudly rocked a streak of IDGAF brown hair beneath her signature fire-red locks at Coachella, her singing at the desert fest was anything but slipshod. Case's rich, full-bodied voice recalls '70s country divas, but she sings with the impassioned delivery of a riot grrrl. Her last album is one of her strongest yet, so there's never been a better time to catch her live.
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