Everything you need to know about Coachella Day 3
Everything you need to know from Coachella Day 3
Coachella’s final day is always a bittersweet experience. When the festival ends, fans must reintegrate into the “real world” from a liberating three days in Indio’s utopia. Conversely, Coachella’s conclusion entails that the culminating acts will pull out all the stops (and that attendees will enjoy a break from the leagues of dust invading their breathing orifices). Among Sunday’s most discussed performances were Major Lazer’s high energy, star-studded set, and Sia’s avant-garde performance. However, far too many artists excelled in their craft to include in one list, so we’ve compiled the sets that we found to be the most memorable and evocative.
Words by Will McCarthy, Alex Hitchcock
Tchami turns the Sahara Tent into a cathedral
The motif of Christianity deeply pervades Tchami‘s branding: his signature priestly garb, naming of his Confession label, and stained glass art that emblazons all Confession releases clarify that Christian imagery is fundamental to his vision.
Though Tchami opted out of standard clerical attire, he converted the Sahara tent into a revelrous cathedral for his Sunday set. As he approached his altar to begin his audiovisual sermon, images of stained glass windows filled the tent’s LED monolith. Joined by a full gospel choir, Tchami opened his set with a rendition of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Thereafter, the producer purveyed a formidable set, moving mostly between top tier bass house and future house. Two major highlights of the performance occurred when DJ Snake joined his primary cohort onstage to play Nom De Strip and TJR’s remix of “Propaganda,” and when Tchami ventured into a chaotic realm by bringing Boys Noize’s “Overthrow” into the mix.
John Digweed proves a perfect match for the Yuma Tent
John Digweed is a musician whose reputation precedes him. As one of progressive house’s earliest promoters, Digweed has built a career that rests upon precision and quality of sound. His methodical builds are so tightly intertwined with intricacies that listening to him play live is as indulgent for the mind as it is for the ears. Digweed’s mastery of craftsmanship paired with the Yuma’s booming sound system drew a line that snaked back around the tent and into the fields at the start of his set on Sunday.
Known for texturizing his work on the fly during performances, Digweed was in top form for his evening set. By manipulating numerous layers of sounds, he took listeners on a continually evolving journey, leaving little room for anything else but the sheer magnitude of his sound. Thickly enveloping the tent in one of the most pristine sets it has seen, Digweed left a layer of intensity hanging over the crowd. Limited in vocals but satiated in details, Digweed once again proved a formidable force in the live arena, and a perfect match for the Yuma.
Calvin Harris paves the way for DJ headliners at Coachella
It can be tempting to dismiss Calvin Harris due to his full force foray into mainstream pop music. Evading his set was further tempting because of the time conflict with the legendary Maceo Plex. To resist temptation, however, is to recall that Calvin Harris is an extraordinarily talented songwriter and vocalist. Also important to note is the fact that Harris has now broken a significant barrier by being the first DJ to close out Coachella on the main stage.
From a technical standpoint, Harris’ performance tactics weren’t particularly groundbreaking, as he mixed out of an original hit and into a visceral big room anthem in a perpetual cycle. However, Harris’ historic set was inarguably a spectacle. Replete with complex, gargantuan LED visuals, frenetically sharp lasers, frequent fireworks, and synchronized lighting towers that extended into the crowd, his visual production was paramount. Additionally, Calvin Harris hosted a myriad of guest appearances, including Big Sean, John Neman, and the highly-anticipated, but unannounced appearance of Rihanna. Regardless of one’s musical taste, Calvin Harris displayed what is possible to achieve as a DJ in a Coachella closing set. We’re excited to see what other veteran DJ’s will be able to conquer under the same conditions.
The Do LaB books two surprise sets for its final day
A few years ago, the Do LaB stage was a relatively uncharted territory at Coachella. Though the stage consistently would draw a crowd, the range and size of the audience it now attracts is in an entirely different league.The transformative music and experience that the LA-based production company promotes have seen a significant rise in popularity recently. The once relatively roomy structure is now overflowing with people, and between the artists bookings, surprise sets, and trivial touches in the form of misters, bubbles, and dancers on stage, it’s easy to see why.
Saving a pair of surprise sets for the last day, the Do LaB opted to book two artists that had already performed earlier in the weekend. RÜFÜS DU SOL was the first to make an appearance late in the afternoon, switching things up with a balmy DJ set that mixed in a few of their favored originals. Bob Moses closed out the night with a heady, downtempo set that was arguably superior to their exceptional live performance earlier in the weekend.
Flume finds his home on Coachella's Outdoor Stage
Witnesses to Flume’s storied Coachella debut in 2014 likely remember two features of the set most vividly: the first performance of his “Tennis Courts” remix, and the almost impenetrably dense crowd that spilled out of the Mohave tent.
Recognizing that Harley Streten’s popularity cannot be contained within a tent, and accounting for his subsequent surge of appeal with Skin, Goldenvoice wisely slotted Streten as the weekend’s penultimate Outdoor Stage act. Yet, even with the far reach of the festival’s secondary stage, Flume still attracted a dense, overflowing crowd. It would be unsurprising to see Flume assume a position on the Main Stage in future Coachella installments.
Alongside crisp, yet understated visuals, Flume played a mixture of classic originals and new material. Some of the most memorable moments were manifested in the series of guest stars that intermittently joined him onstage. In addition to an energetic appearance by Vince Staples, Kai took the stage to deliver a slowed, sultry performance of “Never Be Like You.”
Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg become the Yuma's King and Queen
As a stream of EDM devotees flooded the Sahara tent for The Chainsmokers en masse, techno aficionados migrated to the spacious oasis of the Yuma Tent to catch the cerebral musical stylings of Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg. Partners on stage and in life, the Drumcode royal family were a flawless match for the Yuma.
Minimalistic, harrowing and entrancing Beyer and Engberg purveyed a set ominous enough to make Gesaffelstein tremble with a consistent groove that rivaled that of Cirez D or Maceo Plex. Dark in tone and ambience, and danceable to the core, Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg perfectly captured the essence that the Yuma Tent is meant to convey.