The second weekend of the 2017 Coachella Music & Arts Festival wrapped up in Indio, California last night, with an eclectic mix of performances around the festival.
On the main stage, New Zealand pop star Lorde and headlining rapper Kendrick Lamar closed the festival with big budget sets full of pyrotechnics, fire and a slew of backup dancers and Ninjas, respectively. On the nearby outdoor stage, iconic composer Hans Zimmer took his audience on a history lesson through some of cinema’s best music from the last twenty-plus years. With Inception‘s closing number proving a set highlight, featuring Hans on keys, the set was filled with music from Gladiator, The Lion King (with guest vocalist Lebo Morake), The Dark Knight Trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean, before which Zimmer remarked:
“Yes the crazy German is back and I had to bring a whole orchestra with me to the desert. And now we’re going to try and do a cello concerto in the desert…”
Zimmer next travels to Australia for a run of “Hans Zimmer: Revealed” arena shows. If the Coachella performance is any indication, film (and music) fans are in for a real treat. Justice went on to close the Outdoor Stage with a greatest hits set of sorts, accompanied by a stunning light show. But it was Australia’s What So Not who had the honour of being the final act to perform at Coachella 2017. During the set, the ever-evolving producer brought out Lizzy from MS MR to perform a new song the pair wrote just weeks before. Lizzy, who is currently releasing music under the moniker LPX, met What So Not while they were in Australia performing at Groovin’ The Moo in May 2016. You’ll read more about all that on the AU soon. In another surprise guest performance, Noah Cyrus made her Coachella stage debut when she joined DJ Marshmello for their song, “Chasing Colors”
Earlier in the day, Portland based emerging artist Grace Mitchell delivered catchy tunes with a powerful voice, ending her set with “NoLo”. Preoccupations (FKA Viet Cong) proved themselves to be one of the best live acts going around right now, delivering a unique sound and incredible amounts of energy. The same could be said for NAO, the British artist who is fast becoming a staple of the international touring circuit; many may recall her being a highlight of the 2017 Laneway Festival tour in Australia. Her tent was packed and filled with fans, which at one point perplexed the rising star, as she asked the crowd, “How do you guys know all the words?”
Australian DJ Anna Lunoe won over the crowd with ease, and Chicago’s Ezra Furman was another favourite of the day. He proved himself to be one of the festival’s most outspoken members, telling the crowd, “There’s something very cool about playing this festival, and there’s something very not cool about it… I’m going to take the pay check but fuck AEG.” This is no doubt in reference to the reported anti-gay stance of AEG’s CEO Philip Anschutz, the company who own Goldenvoice, who operate Coachella. He also declared, “We will not melt!” as the temperature soared past 100 degrees. If the band’s on stage statements are to be believed, one of the members of Whitney (another band who played Laneway this year) reportedly passed out from the heat.
And the acts that littered the festival weren’t just new up-and-comers. Lee Fields brought his nearly five decades of live experience to the stage with his band The Expressions, delivering some positivity and soul as he opened the main stage. Toots and the Maytals followed with a similar agenda. Jack Garrett and Bishop Briggs provide themselves worthy of the hype, and Grouplove‘s main stage set was one of the day’s most energetic, with a thrilling cover of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys seemingly turning them into a hard rock band – Hannah and the band truly giving it their all, with her and partner Christian collapsing on top of each other at one point.
Drummer Ryan Rabin later jumped into the crowd, only to be refused re-entry to the stage by the bouncer. It was quickly rectified but provided a few laughs from the band who had been at their best – a statement that could be said for just about everyone playing the iconic festival.
Coachella took place across the last two weekends in Indio, California. For more details about the event, head to their official website coachella.com
Headline photo by Quinn Tucker for Coachella. All photos courtesy of Coachella.
The author travelled to Coachella from Australia via Honolulu with Hawaiian Airlines. For bookings and more details head to http://hawaiianair.com/