Best of First Three Day of Coachella 2014: A-Listers, Arcade Fire, OutKast & An Outsized Astronaut

The first weekend of the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival saw 182 bands and artists perform on an array of six stages at Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif. Now that the dust has settled -- seriously, there was a lot of dust -- here are the highs, lows and WTF moments of those three days.

Which record label owned the festival?

Interscope brought a roster of heavy hitters to the desert that swung for the fences. Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Aloe Blacc, Disclosure and The 1975 gave standout performances to packed crowds.

Which performers fizzled?

The Replacements, led by a noticeably disgruntled Paul Westerberg, played their first California show in over 20 years to a few hundred disinterested fans. Superchunk's set was woefully underattended as well, and the audience of April 12 headliner Muse was siphoned off by a concurrent performance by Skrillex that night.

Were there memorable covers?

Los Angeles-based R&B singer-­songwriter Banks impressed with a shimmering cover of Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody?" Blood Orange inspired a sprawling crowd -- which included U.K. singer Sam Smith -- with a mashup of OutKast's "Ms. Jackson," Del Rey's "Born to Die" and its own "Time Will Tell."

Which art project was the most eye-popping?

The piece de resistance of this year's art installations was "Escape Velocity" -- a 36-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide, 57-foot-long astronaut (No. 5 above) with a video-screen visor that slowly roamed the field. The star man's creator: Tyler Hanson of Poetic Kinetics -- the guy responsible for South by Southwest's Doritos vending machine and last year's most buzzed-about Coachella spectacle, the giant snail.


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