Exploring Indio: Day Three at Coachella, dust clouds and Disclosure
After two days of scorching sun, the earlier part of our third day in Indio was spent much the same way – glued to the tents where Paul Kalkbrenner, Paul Oakenfold, Hardwell, Eric Prydz, Joris Voorn, James Blake, Pretty Lights, Maya Jane Coles, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, and Richie Hawtin would deliver some of the days stand out performances. As the day wore on the wind picked up, transforming the polo grounds into a massive dust storm, tearing through the campsites with a vengeance.
By Sunday, it seemed that both the DJs and the crowd had hit their stride — feeling more comfortable than ever in the little desert disco many dance-loving festival goers were calling home during this year’s Coachella. We walked into Yuma just in time to hear Joris Voorn dropping his own cut of Mark Fanciulli’s “The Tide,” and it was a sure sign of the power to come during his incredibly energized afternoon tech house set. He didn’t stop there: moving into heavier sounds, Joris powered through Alberto Santana’s “Travel To Ibiza” and Pink Floyd samples before ending his set at 6 p.m.
Anticipation mounted as James Blake‘s set time approached, and by the time we got over to Mojave the British electronica composer was already crooning with “Limit To Your Love” off his 2011 debut album. He led the eager crowd through most of his back catalog, with “CMYK” and “The Wilhelm Scream,” but also gave much of the material of Overgrown (just released last week) a spin and some live tweaking for the Indio audience. “Retrograde” is the lead single and the most recognizable track from his new material thus far, but he also took some surprising techno liberties with his other newer material — an appropriate move for a dance-friendly festival crowd.
Despite his technical difficulties on Saturday, Loco Dice, Maya Jane Coles, and Jamie Jones generously donated set time to Richie Hawtin to allow him 90 minutes of play time on Sunday evening. Although the massive lines outside of Yuma prevented us from entering until midway through Loco Dice‘s booming techno set, word from the inside was Hawtin certainly did not disappoint.
Meanwhile, DJ Sneak and Doc Martin closed out the weekend in the Heineken Dome with a nice and long four hour b2b set full of straightforward classic house tunes. Pretty Lights took to the Outdoor Stage, playing his material both old and new. “Finally Moving,” “I Know The Truth” represented some of Derek’s festival mainstays, but he also revealed “Around The Block,” a new collaboration with Talib Kweli due out on July 2nd with his new (free) album A Color Map of the Sun.
The intensity of the storm only served to improve Eric Prydz closing set, allowing the impressive myriad of lasers to cut and split into fractals through the massive cloud of dust. The largest crowd at the Sahara tent by far, Prydz delivered a performance that easily topped his Roseland Ballroom sell out shows in November – one that also put his Ultra set to shame. Maybe it was the storm, or the timeslot, but the energy in the crowd was unlike anything we experienced that entire weekend.
On the main stage Red Hot Chili Peppers were performing, but the real stars were at Gobi, where Disclosure closed out the festival with a brief but highly energetic set that featured both Jessie Ware and Sam Smith performing on their respective tracks.
Cara Daley and Andrew Spada contributed to this article.