Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg & holograms live at Coachella
- By Hazel Sheffield -
- Apr 17, 2012
Sunday at Coachella brought with it everything we had been waiting for and some things we hadn't expected. The sun was out and the bikini-clad masses finally stopped shivering. The fresh lemonade stands were finally in business. And a Praying Mantis the size of a crane dipped its giant flowery head to greet people as they roamed the lush green fields.
Metronomy looked sweaty and happy on the Outdoor Stage at 2pm. The British four-piece led by Joe Mount pulled a huge crowd that danced barefoot. Many knew all the words to old tunes like 'Heartbreaker' and newer tracks including 'The Bay' and 'The Look'. It must have been a moment of affirmation for a band with such a peculiarly British persona.
Meanwhile First Aid Kit fit right in with their West Coast-inflected folk. The Swedish sisters wore matching pink paisley dresses that flapped around as they rocked out to 'The Lion's Roar'. At the end of the set they turned their back to the crowd to snap a photo of themselves in front of an adoring audience, who flung their arms in the air to be caught in the moment.
Coachella is held on impeccably-kept polo grounds, hence the barefoot dancers. At one end of the long, L-shaped grounds the Sahara tent hosted its own micro-culture of ravers who seemed to dance for 12 hours straight to the nastiest straight-up beats this side of Skrillex. On Sunday, acts including German producer Zedd, British dubstep DJs Flux Pavilion and Dr. P, and US electro house DJ Porter Robinson kept the flourescent body-paint flowing.
Closer to the centre of the fields, Wild Beasts and Beirut provided solace from the noise. Both are touring albums released last year, but where Wild Beasts sounded dreamier than on 'Smother', their delicate rhythms reverberating through the speakers, Beirut sounded clear and precise, the brass players lined up at the front of the stage. Zach Condon couldn't suppress his smiles when the audience refused to stop screaming.
Yet another Brit to cause a stir at Coachella: Florence and the Machine. You could barely get near the Outdoor Stage for all the girls clamouring for a glimpse of the red-haired singer. Florence performed barefoot, in a navy velvet catsuit and sheer cape that she wrapped around herself as she ran across the stage.
"This one is for all the ladies, so if you're near a lady that you love put her on your shoulders!" she implored before 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)', prompting many a precarious piggyback. Before long there were lots of girls clutching at each other and sobbing as they balanced above the crowd.
Before Florence could finish, people started to shift towards the main stage in preparation for the big event: Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. Forget Radiohead and The Black Keys, this was the only show anyone had been talking about all weekend and the tension was palpable. The veteran rappers kicked off with 'The Next Episode', slamming through hits by Snoop Dogg ('Drop It Like It's Hot'), 50 Cent ('In Da Club'), Wiz Khalifa ('Young Wild and Free'), and Eminem ('I Need A Doctor') with all the respective stars putting in an appearance. But the biggest guest of the night? The late Tupac Shakur, beamed in as a life-sized hologram that appeared to interact with Snoop during '2 Of Americaz Most Wanted'. No one could believe their eyes.
The crowd was buzzing as they began to filter out and head home after the show. Coachella 2012 might have started out with dark skies and drizzle, but by the end of the first weekend no one went home disappointed.
Image by david_hwang on Flickr
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