This story is the second part of Billboard's Saturday backbeat roundup. For part one, click here.
Later in the afternoon, we caught up with Danny Brown who had come right from the Outdoor Theater Stage. Brown popped into El-P’s trailer to chat about the show before joining Biz 3 publicist Chris Werner in the artist trailer area. The duo said the show was great and Brown showed us the proof -- holding up a handful of cash, which came from his merch sales. “I’m a real rapper now!” he exclaimed. Brown planned to unwind before heading over to catch some of 2 Chainz, while Werner planned to squeeze in as many of the Biz 3 clients as he could: El-P, Major Lazer, Knife Party... “We have like 13 people here. I’m not going to catch all of them,” he said. Dana Meyerson, Clayton Blaha, and Katherine Frazier of Biz 3 Publicity were also on site catching live shows.
Saturday night headliners Phoenix were backstage in their trailer area listening to the Violent Femmes between interviews and photo opps.
Meanwhile, a few trailers over, Major Lazer was warming up for their set and hanging backstage with Diplo's girlfriend and son "Locket."
We caught up with Major Lazer backstage who told us they were stoked to be playing Coachella. The trio is prepping for the release of their album next week. “It came out in a bunch of countries and has done really well. I think it’s No. 2 in Australia and No. 2 in Holland. We just can’t be Michael Buble! Everywhere we go it’s Michael Buble... is No. 1, but we’re happily number 2," joked Walshy Fire. Backstage with the guys was Renee Brodeur, Kevin Kusatsu, Andrew Mcinnes, Nick Palmacci, and Matt Hwang from TMWRK Management.
Glassnote’s Marc Nicolas was in the media tent with client Robert DeLong. Nicolas told Billboard.biz that he is actually the A&R that signed DeLong and shared his heartfelt tale of how he discovered him: “I saw Robert for the first time at Los Globos in Silverlake. I walked in -- Daniel Glass actually sent me an email to meet an old friend of his because he was working with Robert and would be there that night. I walked in and saw the set and freaked out and the rest is kind of history. I called Daniel and woke him up. He was in Paris and I woke him up at like 6 in the morning and was like, “I just saw the most amazing show of my life! Stop what you’re doing!” De Long told us that he’s been touring quite a bit and had a few tricks up his sleeve for his Coachella set, including having a crew go into the audience and paint his signature “X” onto the audience members.
The Italians took over the media tent on Saturday evening as Benny Benassi appeared with his whole crew, including his cousin Alessandro Benassi (Music projection coordinator), Stefano Camurri (Production manager), Jerry Romani (Light Designer), Cesare Della Salda (VJ & video). Bennassi was excited for his set. He and his team were chatting about the big reveal of his new single “Dance The Pain Away” which he premiered on stage at Coachella with the help of John Legend. They also told us all about Italy and really made us want to go there.
Allen Stone and tour manager Laura Jawer were excited to be in the warm weather. "I’m from Seattle so this is a treat." The craziest thing the duo said they spotted at Coachella was a full tent at Stone’s show. “I thought there was going to be 80 people there so having people there excited and singing the songs was really crazy for me. People were going crazy. They were three quarters naked and it was all about the butt cheeks hanging out.” Following our chat, Stone said he was off to get in trouble and “do some things [his] mom wouldn’t approve of.”
We also caught up with Janelle Monae who had just arrived on site, as well as Two Door Cinema Club who was spotted with managers Stefano Anselmetti and Colin Schaverien. The band told us that one of their friends “thinks” he saw Clint Eastwood wandering around on the Coachella grounds. There was also a confirmed sighting of Kellan Lutz (“Twilight”) who couldn’t be missed -- given the herd of cameras following him everywhere. Skrillex was also hanging out backstage.