Not Just Another Sunday

The final day of Coachella’s first weekend wowed this first-time attendee




At this point, it is well-known that the resurrection of Tupac Shakur via hologram was the highlight of the closing night of the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2012.

Even though he died in 1996, Shakur’s life-like image joined Snoop Dogg onstage as they performed “Come With Me,” “Hail Mary” and “Gangsta Party.” Before the amazing feat took place, there was a brief Frank Sinatra experience (via a projection).

Plenty of living all-star rappers also joined Dr. Dre and Snoop onstage, including Kurupt and Warren G, who offered a tribute to the late Nate Dogg with the song “Ain’t No Fun.” Rapper-on-the-rise Kendrick Lamar joined Dre for the duo’s first live performance of their collaboration, “The Recipe,” and Wiz Khalifa on “Young, Wild and Free.”

The much-anticipated (and leaked) arrival of 50 Cent and Eminem did not disappoint. 50 Cent, along with Tony Yayo, gave us “What Up Gangsta,” “P.I.M.P.” and “In Da Club,” while Eminem provided “I Need a Doctor,” “Forgot About Dre” and “’Til I Collapse,” before shouting out: “I’m out for real this time, Coachella.”

Even with all the excitement, tricks and guest appearances, the stage still belonged to Dre and Snoop as they performed songs including “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Gin and Juice,” “Nothin’ But a G Thang,” “Kush,” “What’s My Name” and “Still Dre.”

Another noteworthy performance came from Swedish punk band The Hives, who had the crowd on their feet the whole time, with bossy and confident lead singer Pelle Almqvist telling festival-goers to profess their undying love for him. They obliged.

On the amphitheatre stage came an amazing performance by Florence Welch, who was mesmerizing in her flowy blue-velvet cat suit, coming off like a cross between Stevie Nicks, Loreena McKennitt and Annie Lennox with her powerful vocals.

Up and coming rap/hip-hop artists the Airplane Boys, who performed at the Gobi Tent, were definitely worth watching; so was local DJ Alf Alpha, who was on earlier in the day, and Calvin Harris, who took the stage at the Sahara Tent. Australian singer-songwriter Gotye delivered an awesome set to a packed crowd at the Mojave Tent, which is where we first spotted Katy Perry. Gotye is best known for his hit song “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Katy Perry wasn’t the only famous person we spotted. Rihanna, Emile Hirsch, Tim Roth, Lindsay Lohan and many others escaped our camera, but were within view.

For this first-time festival attendee, it was quite a weekend, full of great music, star sightings and a lot of walking. It was also a people-watcher’s delight.

My recommendation: Embrace the fact that you have to do some walking, and catch as many of the smaller acts in the tents as you can. That’s where you’re most likely to run into the likes of Katy Perry, and to experience the up-and-comers who will be selling out their own shows soon.


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