The weather started out dreary and drizzling Friday evening at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival and didn't warm up until Sunday. The usual triple-digit heat was not missed.
Music enthusiasts and others looking for a good time flocked to Indio for the surprisingly EDM-heavy event. Celebration was in the air. Marijuana, too.
Once you got through the puzzling maze of the parking lot and security, you were welcomed with open arms to a wide swath of music and enveloped by desert sands, pyrotechnics and clouds of smoke, and many, many thousand other Coachellers experiencing the fest on all sides.
Pro tip: Take careful notes on where you parked your car if you don't want to spend hours searching for it after the last show of the night.
The kids came to dance. And dance they did. Rap and hip-hop tents were overflowing with people who just wanted to shake off the heat with a mix of electronica, hip-hop and dubstep.
The dress code is non-existent of course. On the grounds at Coachella, you can see bunny ears, Salvador Dali mustaches, short shorts, bandeau tubetops and just plain bras. There were plenty of plastic flowers, and lots of tattoos and skin, skin and more skin. Heat? Sun? Bring it on. These kids were ready.
There were so many performers to choose from and only two eyeballs to take it all in. Running late as always, I caught the tale end of U.K. crooner Bryan Ferry's performance in the Mohave tent. I loved what I heard and need to hear more.
From there I hopped over to the outdoor stage and caught a bit of the David Bowie-inspired group The Knife and their goth-like tunes and visually splendorous performance. I needed to cut The Knife short to jump over to Outkast. I was actually told not to bother with Outkast by some first-week attendees, and I'm glad I didn't listen. “Are ya'll having a good time?” André 3000 asked after singing “The Whole World” alongside Killer Mike.
A huge crowd packed the outdoor stage for New Zealand singer-songwriter and two-time Grammy winner Lorde, who quipped, "I'll never forget my first Coachella." Her fans hung on to every word.
There was a huge turn out for Solange in the Gobi tent, maybe in hopes of catching Beyonce perform. Solange, who performed like a seasoned R&B musician with a sultry voice and graceful moves. She wore a cut-off midriff orange-shorts jumpsuit and rocked a beautiful 'fro.
Looks aside, Solange has a true ability to sing. She jumped into the crowd and ran through her own Beyonce-like dance steps. She did not need her big sister to back her up, though its obvious that talent runs deeps in this family.
Brooklyn-based vocalist Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells, at the outdoor stage really caught my attention with her tough singing voice and slick look. The duo includes guitarist Derek Edward Miller.
Palm Desert's own Queens of the Stone Age played the main Coachella stage and blew the audience away with a wicked, sinister set.
They warmed up the Coachella audience with patter that included, "Are you having a good time in my home town?" " Let's f-ing dance," and "All together ... itss a beautiful thing, so let's dance. So we shall rejoice." As they closed the set, singer Josh Homme said, “You can go home now," before ending the set with a prolonged guitar riff.
Pharrell Williams, Muse, Skrillex and the Pet Shop Boys all drew overflow crowds.
Unfortunately, Chance the Rapper was unable to perform during Week 2 due to illness.
It seemed as if Coachella's stages and tents welcomed many bands from overseas and many others who were first-time Coachella performers.
It was the first American festival ever for The 1975, whose singer played open-shirted, showing off a large tattoo that said “true love.”
Melbourne-based guitarist and singer Courtney Barnett, channeled a bit of Bob Dylan. She was very happy to be here and let the audience know it.
The Cult's performance was decent, and the Pixies were all right.
Beck was phenomenal as can be, asking "Can I get a beat,” as he soloed on harmonica.
Motorhead packed their tent, with leader Lemmy Kilmeister screaming, “You ready? Say yes!” waiting on the metal band they finally came out as the tent slowly trickled with people only to be super packed by the first song," You ready?? Say yes!!" screamed Lemmy Kilmister. A huge mosh pit formed. The set included a killer drum solo by Mikkey Dee.
Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, in his familiar top hat, came out as a guest, playing next to frontman Kilmister and lead guitarist Phil “Wizzö” Campbell.
Toward the end of the set, Kilmister told fans: “Don't forget us now. We are fucking Motorhead. And we play rock 'n' roll.”
The huge closing draw was Arcade Fire, who had a mob rush to their stage toward the end of the night with a fake announcement that Daft Punk would be there. Beck did show up and sang a Prince number while dressed as St. Francis.
Overall it was a great freaking time. The turnout was bigger than huge. Maybe Golden Voice needs to buy up some more desert land before Coachella 2015.
And for f's sake, do something about the parking.