Coachella Day One: Depeche Brings The Pain, Kanye Sizzles
Depeche Mode, Kanye West and Daft Punk highlighted the first day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., which drew a record crowd of 60,000 people to the Empire Polo FieldDepeche Mode, Kanye West and Daft Punk highlighted the first day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., which drew a record crowd of 60,000 people to the Empire Polo Field in this desert oasis. The event concludes today (April 30) with a headlining set by Tool and the first-ever festival appearance by Madonna.
Depeche Mode closed the main stage last night with a set that drew from all eras of its three-decade career. At the outset, the veteran synth-pop act favored such new songs as "A Pain That I'm Used To," "Precious" and "Suffer Well," but then transitioned into oldies like "I Feel You," "Walking in My Shoes," "Stripped" and "World in My Eyes."
The biggest hits came toward the end, as the crowd roared for "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy the Silence." The encore saw the most vintage selection, "Photographic," from Depeche Mode's 1981 debut "Speak and Spell." Belying his nearly 44 years, shirtless frontman Dave Gahan commanded the stage in tight black pants and often growled between-song thank-yous to the masses.
West was a late addition to the lineup, but proved a crowd-pleasing choice despite having to alter his set list mid-stream due to his late start time. The hits were plentiful, from "Jesus Walks," "All Falls Down" and "Slow Jamz" to "Gold Digger" and "Heard 'Em Say." West also showed off his dance moves while DJ A-Trak spun portions of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" and A-Ha's "Take on Me."
Common performed just before West, engaging the audience with a break-dancing demonstration and by selecting a woman from the crowd to dance with him while his DJ began playing R. Kelly's "Bump 'N Grind." His set featured "Faithful," the peppy "Go" and "It's Your World," during which he jumped onto the drum riser to bash a cymbal.
Playing its first U.S. show in years, Daft Punk did not disappoint, pummeling an overflow crowd in the dance-dominated Sahara Tent with tracks like "Around the World," "Robot Rock," "Television Rules the Nation," "Technologic" and "Da Funk." The performance was made all the more dramatic by the duo's metallic robot costumes and a psychedelic light show.
My Morning Jacket were a highlight of the smaller outdoor theatre in the late afternoon, its members thrashing their bearded heads to rockers like "Mageetah," "Wordless Chorus," "One Big Holiday," "Gideon" and the stoner jam "Off the Record." TV On The Radio got the crowd in the Mojave tent moving with skewed, arty tracks such as the set-closing "Ambulance," which featured an impressive beat box rhythm by Dave Sitek.
Other highlights from day one included an afternoon performance by U.K. rock act the Duke Spirit (whose bassist, Toby Butler, played with his right arm in a sling), Cat Power's Southern soul-drenched set with the Memphis Rhythm Band, Eagles Of Death Metal's cover of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley performing his fathers classics "Exodus" and "Could You Be Loved."