Best of Coachella, Weekend Two
Early in The Replacement's Friday night set, Paul Westerberg welcomed Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong as their honorary member. Armstrong, matching the rest of the band in plaid suits, seemed beyond giddy to be onstage with his idols, joking "Dreams really do come true." Westerberg was splayed out on a couch for most of the set, letting Armstrong sing lead on several songs. No Green Day tunes were played, but who needs "Longview" when you've got "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out." -Kai Flanders
The New Women's Restrooms Last Saturday, they opened the new women's restroom facilities at The Terrace, but we didn't get to actually use them until this weekend. Restrooms with stalls, flushing toilets, fully stocked with toilet paper and sinks to wash your hands--hey, we'll take any little piece of civilization we can get out here. - Alejandra Loera
One of the undoubted benefits of going to Coachella for round 2 is the notable population decrease. That means fewer Hollywood types, fewer bros, fewer people asking us for molly. The absence of these d-bags made space for all us who came here to, I dunno, enjoy live music or something. -Nate Jackson
Aloe Blacc was "The Man" at the Mojave tent
Aloe Blacc gets kudos for maintaining the cool vibe of tracks like "The Man," his horn heavy tip of the hat to Elton John, in a live setting--even when that setting is a punishing desert. Pacing out other hits like "You Make Me Smile," and the acoustic version of the Avicii dance hit "Wake Me Up," gave Blacc native time to sneak in a few funky, socially conscious album cuts like "Soldier in the City" and "Hey Brother," which gave a nice variance to the set as he mesmerized us with his golden pipes and ankle-breaking James Brown impressions. - Nate Jackson
During Darkside's performance on Saturday night, whenever there was a critical moment in the set someone would toss dozens upon dozens of glow sticks out over the crowd -- purple, red, green, yellow, and blue. It added a level of spontaneity and whimsy to the proceedings, even if some of them would smack you in the head. -Ben Westhoff
The New Charging Stations at Yuma
As if the Yuma tent wasn't already exuding greatness, for week two they added charging stations outside near the restrooms with speakers playing the deep cut basslines going on inside so you never have to miss a beat. We even caught a fan doing an amazing LED Hula Hoop performance to The Magician while we got re-charged. -Alejandra Loera
At Pharrell Williams' set Saturday, he played some of his recent hits, and then thanked the audience in a gooey voice for supporting him "since the beginning." He said this like three times. Considering Pharrell's been in the game since 1992's "Rump Shaker"-- before many in the audience were born -- and that most were probably unfamiliar with him before "Get Lucky," this was a great troll. -Ben Westhoff
More space to move at rock shows:
It's hard to imagine a time when its been easier to see a big rock band at a festival in front of so few people. The signs were there last year when The Stone Roses played before a sparse crowd, but that could be explained since the Britpop icons never really caught on here. But to this weekend, we saw the Replacements, with Billie Joe Armstrong, and even Coachella's hometown heroes Queens of the Stone Age playing in front of a fraction of the crowd that went to the Sahara tent. Usually rock fans would complain about the slight, but there was none of that. In fact, it was the opposite. Most seemed grateful that many eschewed the bigger bands, leaving for rockers to lose their shit in a spacious controlled environment. - Daniel Kohn
Win Butler and co. took the ultimate piss out of Coachella Sunday night by opening with an alleged surprise set from none other than Daft Punk. Except, not really. "Boy have we got a surprise for you!" Butler gushed just a little too enthusiastically, as two white-clad figures sporting the French DJs' signature helmets appeared before a pair of laptops onstage. The call prompted the entirety of the festival to stampede towards the Main Stage. But the ruse was up once the group began jamming on a slow, emphatically bored-sounding version of "Get Lucky" for about 30 seconds, after which "Daft Punk" disappeared and the show really got started. However brief, the gag was a scathing jab some of the most annoying aspects of Coachella's ballooning hype, and the meme-like mania for Daft Punk's Coachella comeback year after year.-Andrea Domanick
LA culinary scene, represent!
With a number staples in the LA/OC food community, like Beer Belly's, Eveleigh, Kogi amongst others showing up, it's great to see Southern California's fining establishments expanding its brand to a wider audience. Though the prices left little to be desired and the cash-only policy of many of the vendors, the deliciousness and variety of food allowed for people to scarf down on traditional festival grub or go with other finer options. Either way, you couldn't lose. -Daniel Kohn
Karaoke hour with Beck
Beck's superb set Sunday night had all the dance moves and lackadaisical weirdness of the L.A. singer at his best, but the highlight was arguably when he and his band surprised us with a few covers and extended jams. Beck eschewed some of last week's tunes like "Gamma Ray" and "Guero" in favor an all-too-brief acoustic cover of Arcade Fire's "Rebellion (Lies)" (he later joined the band for their set), and then moonwalked his way through a funked-up call-and-response version of "Billie Jean." The band's closing jam on their own "Debra," however, stole the show, with adrenalized performances from bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen and guitarist Smokey Hormel reminding us that Beck would be nothing without them. -Andrea Domanick
On a day when the absence of rising star Chance the Rapper cancelled his anticipated mid-afternoon set on the main stage, people were wondering who would pick up the slack, and hoped it wasn't weekend one collaborator Justin Bieber. But alas, redemption came in the form of Mexican-based psychedelic outfit Zoé. Though generally unknown to the greater American listening public, the band's sunny brand of indie-meets-alt-rock won over the fans assembled, even garnering the attention of the notoriously on-the-move Coachella attendees. By the end of the set, the pink shirt wearing León Larregui had the fans eating out of his palm. By showing off their chops, the quintet proved its ready to move inroads in the American marketplace. -Daniel Kohn
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