Imagine spending a weekend in the desert of California with the world’s most admirable musicians and appearances of Hollywood’s elite wherever you turn. Where are you? The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The festival, shortened to Coachella, is a two-weekend annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The festival grounds are located in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. Since 1999, Coachella has brought music’s renowned legends and respected emerging artists to the West Coast. The festival includes a variety of genres of music, with several stages hosting performances simultaneously. This year, the unofficial theme of performances has proven to be star-studded surprise guests. The four most memorable performances are as follows.
The EDM duo from New York is famous for its catchy, bass-dropping singles across college campuses. The duo visited West Virginia University in August 2015, bringing thousands of students to the Mountainlair Green.
During their performance at Coachella on Sunday evening, the pair had no shortage of special guests ready to shock the crowd. Tiesto, a fellow DJ, joined The Chainsmokers to perform the joint song “Split (Only U).” Walk the Moon appeared shortly after to perform its smash hit “Shut Up and Dance,” which had the crowd going insane. Other special guests include the singer Rozes, who was expected to appear for the top hit, “Roses.” Third Eye Blind’s Stephen Jenkins shocked the crowd with his appearance as well as rapper G-Eazy, who had a microphone malfunction and only rapped half of his hit, “Me, Myself and I.” Regardless, the duo played a memorable set and proved it can make its mark during its first appearance at Coachella.
The electronic music duo, brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence, is originally from Surrey, England. The brothers have made their mark on American culture through top hits “Latch” featuring Sam Smith and a variety of appearances at Coachella, Lollapalooza Music Festival and Sasquatch Festival. The pair’s newest album, “Caracal,” features vocals from all of the guests during the evening’s performance. The crowd at Disclosure’s set on Saturday evening was in for a treat as the British duo began the performance with an appearance from Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge to perform their collaboration “White Noise.” Lorde surprised the crowd soon after to perform “Magnets,” while Kwabs prepared to emerge for the performance of “Willing & Able.” Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey put a spin on the track “Hourglass,” and Brendan Reilly belted the blues track “Moving Mountains.” Last but not least, Sam Smith was the final guest of the evening as he sang “Omen” and “Latch.” Though reviews state that Smith did not carry the performance, the collaboration made the performance thrilling for fans of Disclosure.
The disguised pop artist, Sia, did not leave her podium once during her performance, and it was still one of the most talked about performances of Coachella thus far. Sia is known for her latest hits “Elastic Heart,” “Alive” and “Chandelier,” but came to fame through her past chart toppers “Titanium” and “Breathe Me.”
Sia became even more popular durignthe past two years through her erotic music videos and dance sequences for her songs, with “Dance Mom’s” Maddie Ziegler’s dance to “Chandelier” being the most notorious of all. As fans expected, Sia’s artistic vision came to life on stage Sunday evening. She performed all of her hits with accompanied emotional dance performances by Kristen Wiig, Paul Dano, Tig Notaro and Maddie Ziegler, either through on-stage or pre-taped on-screen performances. Sia’s set has been talked about as not only a musician’s performance, but also an artist’s gallery. The show was nothing less than a chilling, unforgettable performance.
The first headlining DJ of Coachella in the history of the festival graced the stage Sunday evening with a few friends to help him out. Scottish DJ and producer, Calvin Harris, brought down the house with an intense surprise in his set: Barbados’ pop queen, Rihanna. Calvin Harris is not a stranger to the festival scene, earning his way to become a headliner of the 2016 festival. Through his performance, drop-ins by John Newman and Big Sean were crowd-pleasers. Big Sean performed his hit, “I Don’t F*ck With You,” and the crowd did not miss a beat.
Rihanna made her debut in a red and white tasseled jacket, singing her hit song “We Found Love.” Her appearance was slightly expected, but certainly lived up to the hype. Stars were in the crowd for the performance, including Taylor Swift and her group of girlfriends. Fireworks ended the evening, and Harris closed down the first weekend of Coachella like a pro.