"Tupac Hologram" were the two words on everyone's lips as Weekend 1 of Coachella 2012 came to a close, but the third day of the festival was more than just the projected image of a legendary, long-deceased rapper during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's headlining set. The two outdoor stages featured their most diverse lineups of the weekend, with forward-looking electronic masters Justice giving way to old-school rockers At The Drive-In and the slow burn of the Weeknd being followed by the mash-up madness of Girl Talk. Earlier, stellar performances by Real Estate, Santigold and the Hives bumped up against the dance tent opuses of Porter Robinson, Dada Life and Flux Pavilion & Doctor P.
What was the coolest thing you might have missed at Coachella 2012? Read about Rihanna's guest performance, The Weeknd's first U.S. show and which artist rocked the most blinged-out wristwatch below.
DAY 3: COACHELLA 2012
2Pac: FULL STORY
Calvin Harris & Rihanna
Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre
1. Coachella is known for reuniting long-lost bands, but it's not every year that they literally bring back the dead. That's almost what happened Sunday night when, during Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg's festival-closing set, the late Tupac Shakur was brought back to life via a life-sized 3D hologram. Fans gaped in awe as the resurrected 2Pac prowled the stage and interacted with the crowd as he performed "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" and traded verses with Snoop on "Hail Mary." The pair also invited several flesh-and blood MCs to the stage during their 90-minutes show: Rap royalties Eminem, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, Kurupt and Warren G. shared the stage with new-school rhymeslayers Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar, proving to the bodies packed on the polo pitch that California really does know how to party.
2. Scottish producer Calvin Harris tweeted Sunday afternoon that he had a surprise in store for his late-night DJ set. His treat came in the form of a pretty package named Rihanna, who -- after taking in Coachella all weekend as a spectator -- hopped on the Sahara stage to sing two tracks Harris produced for her "Talk That Talk" album. After revving up the crowd with "Where Have You Been," RiRi and Harris blew the tent apart with a hand-raising rendition of their smash "We Found Love."
3. The Weeknd made his U.S. performance debut as the sun set on Coachella on Sunday, with Abel Tesfaye letting his emotion pour more readily and vocals grow in confidence as the Outdoor stage grew darker. Not surprisingly, the R&B project's "House of Balloons" tracks were by far the most well-received, with the killer trio "The Morning," "House of Balloons-Glass Table Girls" and "Wicked Games" ending the set.
4. This year's road-warrior award goes to singer-songwriter Gotye. Less than 24 hours after making his "Saturday Night Live" debut in New York, the Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter was under the California sky, performing for a packed crowd in the Mojave tent in his first Coachella appearance. And of course, Gotye collaborator Kimbra - who also appeared with the band on "SNL" - came along for the ride and joined the group onstage for the monster duet of "Somebody I Used to Know."
5. Twenty-three minutes late to their main stage set, Justice made the most of their self-imposed time constraint and inspired dozens of glowsticks to grace the night sky. Part of their visual setup involved a string of Marshall amplifiers lighting up as the hooks of their dance tracks unfurled; the onlooking audiophile couldn't help but think of Jim Marshall, the amp creator who died only 10 days before the performance.
6. Nineteen-year-old electro-house producer Porter Robinson made the most of his afternoon slot in the Sahara dance tent. Hitting the stage at 4:20 pm, the Chapel Hill-native debuted his new live show for the Coachella masses and treated the sun-blazed crowd to a relentless assault of gritty cyber-funk grooves. Porter packed the tent from start to finish and proved why he's one of the scene's brightest new stars. Not to be outdone, Sahara headliner Avicii also debuted his new live show to the Coachella ravers. Unfortunately, the Swedish producer had the ill fortune of performing during the same timeslot as Tupac's hologram, which pulled a much bigger crowd.
7. Someone must have tipped off Real Estate singer Martin Courtney to the planned Tupac hologram during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's headlining set. "You guys hear about holographic Tupac? We think it's a sham, we think maybe he's still alive," the singer/guitarist told the band's audience before launching, aptly, into "It's Real."
8. Hip-hop producer AraabMUZIK won over the Mojave tent with his bullet-time beats, rattling off remixes of The Throne's "Who Gon Stop Me" and Damian Marley's "Welcome To Jamrock" as well as dreamy originals like "Streetz Tonight." However, the most impressive aspect of the rising DJ might have been sitting on his wrist: the audience monitors kept focusing on AraabMUZIK's enormous, diamond-encrusted watch, drawing admiring remarks from the crowd.
9. Who says Frank Ocean is the only Coachella performer who can bring an Odd Future member to the stage? Two days after Ocean brought out Tyler, The Creator, Santigold invited the once-missing rapper Earl Sweatshirt onstage during her Sunday afternoon set. Santi White returned to Coachella four years after first playing the festival, while Odd Future made a much-ballyhooed festival debut last April
10. Remember the naked wizard from 2009? Well this year, the festival had its own naked raver. One male fan felt a little too free during Data Life's afternoon set and stripped off his clothes for all to the Sahara tent to see. Can't end a Coachella until someone takes off their pants.