Weekend One of Coachella is in the books, and there will be a lot to digest between now and the second installment this weekend. For instance, despite all of the hype surrounding the Outkast reunion, the duo’s performance fell incredibly flat. It was hard to tell who was less interested: the crowd or Andre 3000? Also, the seemingly endless parade of guest appearances this weekend makes you wonder if weekend two will live up to the same lofty expectations. Until then, check out some of our favorite sets from this weekend’s festival.
The Best Performances at Coachella 2014
With recent smash hits like “Happy,” “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky,” it is easy to forget that Pharrell is the same guy responsible for every hit rap record of the early 2000s. It’s also easy to forget about his genre-defying band, N.E.R.D. His set at Coachella was perfect display of all three phases of his career. Pharrell also brought an impressive group of friends to his Coachella set: Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Puff Daddy, Tyler the Creator, Snoop Dogg, Diplo and Gwen Stefani.
The Canadian indie-rock juggernaut closed out the festival’s final day in grand fashion. Arcade Fire is known for its elaborate live shows, and the band’s set at Coachella was no different, for the most part. The only difference being that band was joined by Debbie Harry for a cover of Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass” and a duet version of the Arcade Fire track, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” Also, props to Win Butler for berating the trend of overpriced “VIP” festival passes.
With all of the attention pointed toward a certain duo from Atlanta, Nas managed to emerge as the hip-hop highlight of Coachella’s first weekend. Continuing his Illmatic XX tour, the Queens emcee performed his iconic debut album in its entirety, but with a few twists. For instance, “The World Is Yours,” turned into a collaboration with one-time foe Jay Z. Later, Nas brought Puff Daddy on stage to perform “Hate Me Now.”
Here is another example of an artist whose career is deceptively expansive. Beck put together a masterful set that highlighted everything from Odelay! to his recent release, Morning Phase. The set also featured a Donna Summer cover and a guest appearance from Beck’s son, Cosimo, on tambourine. The closing medley of “Where It’s At,” “One Foot In the Grave,” and “High 5 (Rock the Catskills)” was a perfect punctuation to a solid setlist.
Sure, people like to malign Greg Gillis as a button-pusher, or complain about how he is not a “real DJ,” but Girl Talk’s set on the main stage was one of the craziest performances of the weekend. The mash-up master has a very no-holds-barred approach to his live performance. The line between audience and stage was pretty nonexistent, which is common at a Girl Talk show. Also, Gillis managed to score guest appearances from Juicy J, Too $hort, Busta Rhymes and Sir Paul McCartney (allegedly).
Article by Jason Schellhardt