On a day when the mercury soared past 100 degrees, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Arcade Fire and Kings Of Leon provided extra heat at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. T
On a day when the mercury soared past 100 degrees, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Arcade Fire and Kings Of Leon provided extra heat at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. The Chili Peppers' headlining set on the main stage was full of hits like "Give It Away" and "Under the Bridge," plus an unexpected cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird" sung by guitarist John Frusciante.
The Arcade Fire commanded the main stage earlier in the evening with the musical equivalent of a tent revival, peaking during "Rebellion (Lies)," as frontman Win Butler climbed into the audience. Heavily orchestrated songs like "Keep the Car Running," "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" and "No Cars Go," with its wordless choral outtro, took on an even more grandiose air in this setting; the band has grown significantly since playing the Outdoor Theatre here two years ago, and its evolution was eye-opening on this night.
Kings Of Leon played a searing main stage set as the sun was going down, highlighted by "Molly's Chambers," "California Waiting," "The Bucket," the new single "On Call" and "Spiral Staircase." Earlier in the day, U.K. rock outfit Travis aired out its cavalcade of softly rocking hits ("Why Does It Always Rain on Me," "Driftwood," "Turn") that have had formative impact on the Coldplays, Keanes and Snow Patrols of the world.
But some of the most memorable performances of the day came from artists who wanted nothing more than to move the crowds. Hot Chip got things rolling in the Mojave tent with nerdy dance music that was impossible to resist, particularly "The Warning" (with a snippet of New Order's "Temptation") and the set-closing "Over and Over." The group also played a new song, "Ready for the Floor," tipped to appear on its next album.
!!! pummeled the crowd with ultra-funky rockers like "Yadnus" and "Must Be the Moon" as frontman Nic Offer pranced the stage, while Girl Talk (aka Greg Gillis) had a throng of people in various stages of undress dancing with all their might behind him as he mashed up Daft Punk's "Digital Love" with Rick Ross' "Hustlin'," Kansas' "Carry on My Wayward Son" with Tag Team's "Whoomp There It Is" and Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" with Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy."
Things were even more manic over at LCD Soundsystem's set in the Sahara tent, as the James Murphy-led band bulldozed through "Us and Them," an extra punky version of the hipster favorite "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" and "North American Scum."
Day two of Coachella also featured noteworthy performances from Ghostface Killah, who paid tribute to his late Wu-Tang Clan mate Ol' Dirty Bastard by performing the latter's immortal "Shimmy Shimmy Ya," the Black Keys, who turned in a more jam-oriented set than usual while closing the Mojave tent, and the Good, the Bad & the Queen, the latest project from Blur/Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn.
For more Coachella coverage, visit the Billboard blog at JadedInsider.com.