The 19th annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California kicked off on Friday night (Apr. 13) with a wide variety of electric performers, from the ascendant R&B favorite Kali Uchis to the turn-of-the-century pop-funk throwback act Jamiroquai. Join us as we give you the timestamped play-by-play of our Day One experience out in the desert — and shoutout to Mason “Yodeling Boy” Ramsey, of course.
2:55 p.m. If you were trying to get into the festival via general admission, you may have encountered the thick swarm of concertgoers growing agitated that it funneled through a single security tent that came to a complete stop. After 30 minutes of waiting — and a few fights breaking out in the crowd — the security line gradually opens up, with one employee claiming that the brawls are what caused the hold up. — STEVEN J. HOROWITZ
3:55 p.m. Inside the Mojave tent, R&B left-fielder Kelela emerges in a wide brimmed white visor and white dress complete with frill-accented wrists. “Thank you so much, wow, I love y’all,” she says, running through floating confections like “Frontline” and “Bank Head.” “If they didn’t take my weed from me, I’d be lighting a joint right now,” she tells the crowd with a laugh. — S.J.H.
4:12 p.m. In the Gobi tent, PVRIS frontwoman Lynn Gunn is doing her damnedest to get headliner energy from the heat-drained mid-afternoon crowd, repeatedly exhorting them to jump and/or put their hands up. She succeeds as best as could be reasonably expected, largely because she herself gives off the vitality she demands of the audience onstage — even finishing off the band’s performance of All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell highlight “Half” by taking a seat at an alternate drumset, and having a little mini-duel on the skins with primary drummer Justin Nace. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
4:48 p.m. Led Zeppelin disciples Greta Van Fleet follow Kelela at the Mojave tent, and experience issues with their lead guitar halfway through the opening “Highway Tune.” “Nothing like technical difficulties to let you know you’ve arrived,” says octave-spanning vocalist Josh Kiszka, proceeding to run through classic FM radio-worthy cuts from their 2017 From the Fires project. — S.J.H.
5:10 p.m. California MC Kyle brings out Chance the Rapper to perform their 2015 Surf collaboration “Wanna Be Cool.” Then, Kyle skips his way through breakthrough hit “iSpy,” before finally deciding to crowd surf — with an actual surfboard. — CARL LAMARRE
5:13 p.m. At the Outdoor Theatre, R&B experimenter Kali Uchis gave a lesson on how to pronounce her name: “It’s ‘oo-cheese,’ if you didn’t already know,” she said, bringing songs from her recently released full-length debut Isolation including “In My Dreams” and “Miami” as well as deeper cuts like “Loner.” — S.J.H.
6:13 p.m. In the wake of his breakthrough debut full-length Freudian last year, R&B crooner Daniel Caesar brings the songs to life for a teeming, robust audience. In addition to cuts like “Neu Roses (Transgressor’s Song)” and “We Find Love,” the Canada native taps elusive singer H.E.R. to duet with him on “Best Part,” one of the highlights from the day, before she offers a rendition of her own solo Hot 100 hit song, “Focus.” — S.J.H.
6:26 p.m. “Come out, Carly Rae!” Bleachers head honcho Jack Antonoff calls on collaborator Carly Rae Jepsen to provide gorgeous backing harmonies and fantastic mini-dance moves for two songs, Gone Now single “Hate That You Know Me” and Love, Simon soundtrack contribution “Alfie’s Song (Not So Typical Love Song).” “That’s my Queen of Pop!” Antonoff declares after the two performances, to a rapturous crowd that no doubt agrees. — A.U.
7:13 p.m. As Vince Staples rocks the main stage, pop star Troye Sivan is busy walking backstage with his boyfriend, model Jacob Bixenman. — S.J.H.
7:29 p.m. Vince Staples gushes about performing at Coachella for a second time, before jumping into his record “Lift Me Up.” “This is the white people stage, and my skinny black ass up here,” he remarks. Later, he causes mass hysteria in the venue after bringing out Kendrick Lamar to perform Big Fish Theory cut “Yeah Right.” — C.L.
7:58 p.m. A half-hour through an atypically blistering War on Drugs set — one that makes their 2015 Coachella performance seem like a warm-up by comparison — a mysterious assemblage of lights appears in the sky to the stage’s left, looking something like a UFO composed of lingering fireworks. The group launches into an otherworldly version of A Deeper Understanding rave-up “Nothing to Find,” and the bizarre pseudo-constellation gradually disintegrates. — A.U.
8:36 p.m. On the main stage, DJ/producer Kygo truly puts on one of the best shows of the night, with surprises at every turn. In between songs that he spins on his own, he brings out a parade of guests: Julia Michaels for “Carry Me,” Jamie Foxx for “Sexual Healing,” OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder for “Stranger Things” and Rita Ora, who fills in for Selena Gomez on “It Ain’t Me.” As balls of fire burst in the air in front of him, the Norwegian musician plays the keys and commands the crowd. — S.J.H.
9:11 p.m. Amidst the fear-the-future imagery and Kraftwerkian stage setup of indie rock auteur St. Vincent‘s mind-blowing, body-moving set at the Outdoor Theatre, the tenderest moment comes via a performance of MASSEDUCTION ballad “New York,” given a crackling electronic thump for the performance. “I hope everybody falls in love tonight… with a person… or a band… or an idea…” proclaims the artist born Annie Clark. “That’s why we’re all here.” — A.U.
9:35 p.m. In a strange time slot, art-pop outfit Perfume Genius attracts a thinner crowd than expected over at the Gobi tent. But they make up for it with style and severity, with frontman Mike Hadreas coming out in an oversized suit jacket and pants with an undershirt peeking through, before shedding the top entirely for “Wreath.” — S.J.H.
11:46 p.m.: While The Weeknd serenades the audience over at the main stage, English funk collective Jamiroquai hold it down over at the Mojave tent to close out the evening. Rocking an LED-outfitted helmet displayed on the album cover for last year’s Automaton, enigmatic frontman Jay Kay swishes across the stage to that set’s title track as the words “Power reinstated, boot up sequence initialised” blare across the screen behind them. “You’re lucky I even got here,” he told the crowd before, bringing out Snoop Dogg as a special guest. “I got stuck at the hypermarket between the George Foreman grills and the piles of trash.” — S.J.H.
12:48 a.m. Finally getting around to “Call Out My Name,” headliner The Weeknd delivers an impassioned, pared-back version of the lead track on his recently released My Dear Melancholy EP (and current top five single on the Billboard Hot 100). Towards the song’s end, the final words seem to catch in his throat, and the thousands watching from the Coachella Stage crowd get a little choked up with him. — A.U.