Top 15 Coachella Performances Ever

Daft Punk performs at the Coachella Music Fesival on April 29, 2006 in Indio, California.

Karl Walter/Getty Images

From The Cure breaking curfew to Madonna dazzling the dance tent to Tupac's on-stage resurrection, these are the 15 moments that helped make Coachella the king of all U.S. festivals.

On April 11 -- and then again on April 18 -- thousands of sun-worshipping music fans will head out to the desert in Indio, Calif. for the start of the 15th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Outkast, Muse and Arcade Fire headline the two-weekend event, while Skrillex, Pharrell Williams, Lana Del Rey, the Replacements, Beck, Calvin Harris and dozens of other indie bands, dance and hip-hop acts will keep the tunes going nonstop on the festival's five stages.

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As we gear up for this year's six long, loud days on the Empire Polo Field, spread out over a pair of weekends for the third time in the festival's history, we look back at 15 of the most memorable moments from Coachella's past.

15. Calvin Harris Finds Love Alongside Rihanna

(2012)

EDM ruled at the 2012 festival, and no DJ had a bigger breakout performance than Calvin Harris, who was killing his set in the Sahara tent long before Rihanna popped up as a special guest. When Rih appeared midway through the set to perform their hit collaborations "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been," the crowd reaction was spectacular, and spectacularly loud. Who knew that a quiet Scottish producer could bring Coachella to its knees? And the better question: can he do it again this year?

14. Pavement Gets The Band Back Together

(2010)

When Pavement performed at Coachella in 1999, the group was on the brink of dissolution. That made their reunion show at the festival 11 years later all the sweeter: Stephen Malkmus and co. returned with a triumphant set that ended with a passionate version of "Cut Your Hair," and started a reunion tour that would stretch well beyond Indio. Coachella had once again become the home of a notable band reunion; that year, Faith No More also got back together at the fest.

13. Skrillex & Korn Destroy The Sahara Tent

(2011)

In April 2011, Sonny Moore was still a young producer on the rise, and Korn was a veteran nu-metal act whose fans weren't necessarily flocking to an alternative festival like Coachella. Nevertheless, the combination of the two artists made the Sahara tent go ballistic when Jonathan Davis and his merry men strolled onstage in front of Skrillex in 2011. Following the success of their collaboration, Korn tapped Skrillex to guest on four tracks of their album "The Path of Totality," released later that year.

12. Jay Z & His Wife Stay 'Young Forever'

(2010)

In 2010, Jay became the first-ever rapper to headline Coachella, and made sure to make his set a crowd-pleaser. Still riding high off the success of his 2009 LP "The Blueprint 3," Hov peppered his show with new hits like "Run This Town," "On to the Next One" and "Empire State of Mind," before bringing out none other than Beyonce to croon "Young Forever" during the encore. Also of note: the setlist also included a cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall"

11. Phoenix Gets Remixed By R. Kelly

(2013)

Prior to Phoenix's 2013 headlining set, rumors swirled that the French indie-rockers would be joined by Daft Punk, who had been teasing their album "Random Access Memories" at the time and had guested with their countrymen during a 2010 Madison Square Garden show in 2010. The robots didn't show up this time, sadly, but Thomas Mars and co. proved their headliner mettle with a stylish, uptempo set… and then, R. Kelly came out, for a mash-up of "Ignition (Remix)" and "1901." It wasn't Daft Punk, but it was the freakin' weekend, and Indio had some fun.

Next: Madonna, The Cure & The 'Power' of Kanye

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