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.
But when Pharrell hit the stage at Coachella on Saturday night for a career-spanning set, the surprise guests were nearly as plentiful as the particles of sand whipping around the wind-battered desert fest. After singing his Daft Punk collabo "Lose Yourself to Dance" and his Miley Cyrus duet "Come Get it Bae" (sans the robots or Miley), Pharrell told the already ecstatic crowd it was time to "bring it back" in time with his 2003 hit "Frontin'."
After that, the surprises came and they never stopped. Skateboard P brought out Nelly for a live rendition of the Neptunes-produced "Hot In Herre" which made the crowd absolutely lose their sh-t. If that wasn't enough, Busta Rhymes and Diddy came out to perform "Pass The Courvoisier Pt. II" and Tyler, the Creator delivered the N.E.R.D. classic "Lapdance" (The Odd Future leader has tweeted that N.E.R.D.'s first LP, the under-appreciated In Search Of…, is one of his all-time favorite albums).
After that, Snoop Dogg hit the stage to rap his Pharrell collabo "Drop It Like Its Hot," but the big shocker was Gwen Stefani coming out of nowhere to sing her Neptunes-produced solo hit "Hollaback Girl." It's safe to say most of the fest goers probably hadn't thought of her solo smash hit in years, but damn, when it dropped, it sounded as fresh as ever. The crowd did, in fact, go bananas.
The mini-sandstorm that descended upon Coachella on Saturday night impacted both Pharrell's voice and the stage show mechanics. He apologized for the setbacks profusely and promised to fix his show in time for the next weekend of Coachella, "Even if I have to wear a gas mask."
But seriously, Pharrell, when your set packs this much star power, you get a pass for having to pull back your voice a little on "Happy." We're more than willing to sing it for you, anyway.