The 2016 Coachella festival finished on the right note as myriad tributes to Prince turned up all over the field, following a relatively purple-free program on Saturday.
The third and final day of the second weekend also featured a ton of signature surprise-guest spots, including a major highlight of both Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar dropping in with newcomer wunderkind Anderson.Paak.
Lamar brought heavy energy to “Backseat Freestyle,” electrifying the stage and the crowd. However Dre shook the building, even though two of the three songs he performed (“Still D.R.E.” and “California Love”) were repeats from his guest spot on Saturday with Ice Cube. Still, as he emerged to his iconic “Next Episode,” the audience was on-board for the full threesome of jams, rapping along with every word.
— billboard (@billboard) April 25, 2016
That was far from the only drop-in of the day, though: electro-dude Flume brought out chanteuse Tove Lo, Canadian singer Kai, and rapper Vince Staples, and superstar singer Usher sang both “I Would Die 4 U” and “1999” in tribute to the late icon with DJ crew Major Lazer.
Speaking of “1999,” saxophone prodigy Kamasi Washington and his band played a ridiculously free-form mash-up of that classic Prince song and their own “Malcolm’s Theme,” which interpolates a eulogy for Malcolm X as its lyrics. As the band jammed into space-funk territory, singer Patrice Quinn reached for the stars and back, giving total emotional heft as she finished, “we’ll know him as a prince/our own black shining prince who died.” It was gloriously bone-chilling.
Elsewhere on the field, Alex Ebert — the singer for neo-folk icons Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes — may be the frontman having the most-fun in rock; after a video went viral of him catching a GoPro onstage last week, he threw bubble wrap around the same camera and sent it into the audience (stay tuned for that video, clearly coming to YouTube sometime very soon.) De Lux busted through a very Talking-Heads-ish funk-rock version of “Raspberry Beret” for an extremely pumped audience early in the day, while Steady Holiday — the nom-de-non-rock-rock of LA songwriter Dre Babinski — mellowed out the small but appreciative crowd who gathered for the newcomer’s sweet, sometimes sad melodies.
Calvin Harris wowed the crowds last week by bringing out Rihanna for a rendition of “We Found Love”. This time, he had help from some other famous friends: Big Sean for “Open Wide” and “I Don’t Fuck with You” plus John Newman for a performance of “Blame.”