Two words sent the world into a frenzy: Tupac hologram. James Marallich was there to see it in real life. Here's what he got up to on the third day of Coachella.
And just like that we’re on the final day. Whereas the first day was running around excited taking in all the amazing sights, the second day was a cruisy affair where you just kind of hung out. Day three was the day when you made the most of your time because, well, it’s the last day. The weather was absolutely stunning and everyone had a hint of mischief in their eyes.
Band of Skulls took to the Coachella Stage early on and brought stoner rock to the masses. Meanwhile at the Outdoor Stage, Metronomy were doing their best to pretend they weren’t ripping off Bloc Party or Hot Chip. They do sound eerily similar, but it’s all the same for the hipster who had a good ol’ time dancing.
Santigold played a pretty amazing show back on the main stage. With backup dancers miming the moves, she launched into “Say Aha” and the crowd erupted. Earl Sweatshirt and other Odd Future cretins were seen dancing on stage too. LeButcherettes took female stoner rock to a place I’ve never seen, while First Aid Kit brought all the hippies out of the woodwork. Wild Beasts drew a large hipster crowd (leftovers from Metronomy, you see) and did their best to not rip off Foals. Sean Kuti & Egypt 80 brought some African roots music to the festival and it was quite special seeing a brass band, African singers and one of the Kuti clan perform.
Wild Flag is such a great band with great musicians, and they are always a pleasure to see. The hipster/Coachella/Portlandia factor was high, but who cares when they sound as good as this? Thundercat surprised me the most – I know he’s signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder Records but I was not prepared for what came: the man dressed in a Bootsy Collins-esque outfit playing a six-string bass like the best player I have ever seen and invoking the spirit of Parliament Funkadelic. Jaw-dropping.
Howlin’ Pelle sure knows how to whip a crowd into a frenzy. When The Hives’ charismatic frontman ordered the crowd to sit down, about 20,000 people obliged. A band that looked and sounded great in the highly prized sunset slot. However, the same can’t be said for The Weeknd , who played at the Outdoor Stage. They have been Pitchfork darlings for a while now so the hipster factor reached critical levels during their set. There were fairly decent songs but with such a young lifespan as a band, they couldn’t hold the crowd’s interest for long. If the crowd was any indication it appears that Gotye is now a superstar. He played in the Mojave Tent but easily could have swapped stages with The Weeknd because he was a huge drawcard. The crowd spilled out 30 metres in all directions from the tent. When “Somebody That I Used To Know” was performed, it generated the same energy as a medium-sized Hedron collider.
The dance crowd was gearing up for Justice for a prompt 7:45pm start, but was left waiting for 20 minutes which, in Coachella terms, is unheard of. Even though they brought the house down with “Canon” and “DANCE”, they couldn’t go over time so the French duo was left with a 35 minute set.
At The Drive-In’s reformation was the reason that a lot of people made the trek to the desert, so expectations were high. It’s been 11 years since they played together so it was good to see them all on stage. Cedric Bixler-Zavala had a great stage presence, with lots of jumping off drum kits and speaker stacks and crawling all over the stage. Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez couldn’t have been more placid – he stood to the side of stage and barely did anything, which may have been a possible sign that he’s not entirely down with this reunion. Still, hearing “One Armed Scissor” live was fantastic.
And then it happened, the most insanely amazingly ridiculous hip hop show I’ve ever seen. It was billed as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, but with all the special guests it could have been its own festival. Set as a ghetto, powerlines hugged the stage with a raised platform where the band performed and a backdrop that consisted of a giant screen that may as well have been a plasma with the clarity it projected. It started with “The Next Episode” and the crowd went cacophonous when the duo took to the stage. Early in, Snoop performed a tribute to his cousin Nate Dogg who passed away last year, with lighters being thrown into the air (promptly followed with the lighting of many blunts). After Dr. Dre blasted through “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” and Snoop did “Gin and Juice”, things got weird. It was great seeing Kurupt and Warren G for “Ain’t No Fun” but when a screen was lowered to have a hologram Tupac Shakur duet with Snoop it got strange. I mean, it was Tupac. On stage. And then they did “California Love”. Unbelievable. Snoop brought out Wiz Khalifa for “Young Wild and Free”, whereas Dre brought out Kendrick Lamar because they’re both outta Compton.
The special guests certainly didn’t stop there, because not long after this 50 Cent made an appearance and took over the stage for “P.I.M.P”. Think that’s all? No. Eminem then came out for “Forgot About Dre” and “I Need a Doctor”. There was a moment where the video panned in on Marshall and his mouth wasn’t quite synced up to what we heard. It would appear the Real Slim Shady did a mighty fine job of lip syncing his set.
After an hour of insanity, Snoop and Dre were lowered from the stage and the lights went up. I still can’t quite believe what I saw as it was just so ridiculous. This is why Coachella is one of the best (if not the best) festivals in the world today. Will we do it again next year? Let’s see the line up first.