When Coachella began selling the majority of their tickets before the lineup was announced a few years ago, there’s no way they could have predicted locking in a reunion of most of Guns N’ Roses classic lineup to headline this year’s fest. But now that both of those things are reality, the early part of Saturday – long before Guns takes the stage later tonight – seems like a tale of two festivals.
Rock artists like soulful blues man Gary Clark Jr, who played the main stage with flair and charisma, and rock artists like The Arcs – the side project of Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach, who invited the Eagles‘ Joe Walsh and the James Gang’s Glenn Schwartz for a two-song, three guitar jam – seem like natural extensions to play a fest with Guns.
Artists like CHVRCHES, the electro-pop group who drew the biggest audience of the day, and songwriter James Bay, whose afternoon set overflowed the Mojave tent, served as proof that the top line is no longer the most important one – especially as most of this fests fans buy tickets sight unseen, long in advance.
On the hip hop end of things, Run The Jewels — playing a victory lap on the main stage at their second Coachella in a row — used their set as a guest smorgasbord, with DJ Shadow, Gangsta Boo, and legendary rapper Nas all paying their onstage respect to the duo.