Day two of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival was stacked with must-see acts from main stage acts like Beyoncé, Haim and Tyler, The Creator to others like Oh Sees, Cherry Glazerr, Alvvays and Angel Olsen and many more. The conflicting set times were unfortunate, as rock fans would find themselves having to decide between Haim, Fleet Foxes, Alvvays and Oh Sees, all performing at the same time on different stages. But the day was buzzing in anticipation of headliner Beyoncé, who came through this year after cancelling last year’s Coachella performance to have her children, which is a pretty good excuse.
The day was hot but not unbearable, and tented stages like the Mojave and Gobi provided much relief from the beating sun. At the Mojave stage, London-based rock and electronic band Django Django were performing their first show in the U.S. in three years. They played to a crowd of people mostly sitting in the back, but some in front were dancing along to songs like “In Your Beat” and “Waveforms,” a couple of their more electro-driven tracks. The group even pleasantly surprised the audience with a brief cover of Blondie’s “Rapture.”
Over at the main Coachella Stage, Nile Rodgers could be heard bellowing “Coachella!” across the field. Even though the sun was beating down, the people catching Nile Rodgers & CHIC danced constantly to the funky sounds. The group performed a David Bowie cover in “Let’s Dance” from the Nile Rodgers co-produced album of the same name. Their set included some covers a and continued their set with “Le Freak” and “Good Times,” during which not a still person was in sight.
At the nearby Outdoor Theater, First Aid Kit could be heard speaking on the mic about feminism and equality, as they drew in come more attendees. The Swedish sisters performed folk and country inspired rock, even dedicating “Emmylou” to their favorite country singers including Johnny Cash and June Carter. The sisters wore sparkling outfits that glistened in the sunlight, as they harmonized beautifully on songs like “Wolf” and “My Silver Lining.” Several audience members could be been singing along and dancing dreamily to the folk sounds.
At the shaded Gobi Tent right next door, people were awaiting Angel Olsen’s performance. The indie rock star with a unique, powerful voice and sound had many fans in the crowd, and probably made some new ones. Olsen’s charm certainly added to the set, as she simply displayed a black and white photo of her cat as the backdrop, sharing a “thanks” for the cat showing up to her set. The band played mostly songs from My Woman, opening with “Never Be Mine” and the popular, “Shut Up Kiss Me,” which had the crowd up front singing along. “Can I get less reverb? There’s too much chili on these fries,” she asked coyly. “Saw a couple of bands today, what about you?” She shared with the audience. “I saw Big Thief earlier…” she shared, giving the band a shout out. A crowd member shouted a request for “Unfucktheworld,” to which Olsen replied, “I’m trying to!” before sharing that this is the part when they slow things down before diving into the second half of their set. “Sister” and “Sweet Dreams” were standouts with their slow starts, intense vocals, and screeching guitar solos. Conveniently, “Sweet Dreams” has the word “goodbye” in it, making it a convenient song to end on.
At the indoor, relatively smaller Sonora stage, L.A. locals Cherry Glazerr were getting ready to perform a face-melting set of hard hitting, shredding tracks. The trio easily filled the sound of the Sonora room and the crowd really got into songs like “If I Had Ten Dollaz” and “Told You I’d Be With the Guys” and more. Frontwoman Clem Creevy jammed out with the best of them, constantly moving on stage and taking charge on her guitar solos. The band members played off each other’s energy as well, making eye — and sometimes guitar — contact, adding intensity to their show. Their backdrop featured lettered balloons spelling out Cherry Glazerr, and the band added a surprise by tossing some extra balloons to the audience. But the highlight of the set was at the end, when two glam-dressed “wrestlers” came out during the closing song “Sip O’Poison,” a punk number that showcased them fake wrestling, much to the crowd’s enjoyment.
The sun was setting as everyone made their way out of the Sonora tent to catch their next act. David Byrne’s set called to many, as he performed Talking Heads classics like “This Must Be the Place,” “Once In a Lifetime,” and later, “Burning Down the House,” all of which had the crowd at the Outdoor stage dancing and singing along. Byrne’s backing band had a unique setup — each member was completely mobile, even the drummers, so they could all execute their subtle choreography for the set. The crowd seemed to enjoy Bryne’s way of referring to them as “desert people,” as they laughed after he welcomed the “desert and sand people” to his Coachella set. He also performed songs off his latest album American Utopia like “Everyday Is A Miracle.” He closed the set with a cover from Janelle Monae, “Hell You Talmbout.”
Back at the Sonora tent, punk band The Bronx were performing to a rowdy crowd. During “Two Birds” off their latest album (V) a friendly mosh pit had formed, which frontman Matt Caughthran joined in the very middle of the pit as he continued singing while the pit continued around him.
The visuals were a sight to behold during Tyler, The Creator’s set at the Coachella stage. His set consisted of trees, nature and star themes. He performed primarily songs from his latest album, Flower Boy, to an endless crowd. The heavy moments in songs like “I Ain’t Got Time,” in which he encourage the audience to dance, to which they obliged before ending the set sweetly with “See You Again.”
Despite the majority of the audience being at Fleet Foxes, Canadian indie-pop outfit Alvvays still had a medium sized crowd at the Mojave tent for their set. After getting a late start, they dove right into songs from Antisocialites, their latest album, opening with “Hey,” which got the crowd moving. But the vibe was completely different for the Oh Sees back at the Sonora stage, who had an engaged crowd of die-hard fans who were ready to release some more energy. The set was one head-banger after another, from the drawn out “Sticky Hulks” to the short and sweet closing songs like “Nite Expo.”
At the Coachella Stage, right before Beyoncé, L.A. sisters HAIM performed a set of catchy and funky pop tunes that had the crowd singing along to songs like “Forever” as well as never songs like “Want You Back.” Eldest Haim sister Este shared a Coachella anecdote about her type one diabetes resulting in her accepting mushroom-infused chocolate from her friend Kesha before watching Prince perform. She mentioned what an honor it was to be on stage at the festival. They ended their set with a drum line featuring brief solos from each of the sisters.
alt-J performed at the Outdoor stage to a large crowd who got into the more electronic, heavy songs. Their stage lighting featured what looked like colorful laser beam lights, often turning on and off with the songs, as seen in “3WW.” They closed their set with the popular and catchy “Breezeblocks” before everyone made a “Beyline” to see the queen herself.
Beyoncé took a few minutes after her start time to build some hype and get all her performers in order, as marching band members filed in discreetly on the stage prop that would later transfigure into bleachers. But when she did arrive on stage, it was a grand entrance and the crowd cheered the loudest they possibly could. Her two-hour-long set featured the use of the marching band, string players and dancers the majority of the time, making it impossible to disengage or look away. With a couple wardrobe changes and some very special guests thrown in, the crowd watched in high anticipation. An announcer voice would pop up from time-to-time, introducing Beyoncé’s homecoming. The set was jam packed with hits and feminist anthems, most of which were transformed into medleys as to get through as many of the hits as possible. For “Drunk in Love,” an elevated arm podium flew Beyoncé over the crowd, hyping them up even more. And hits like “Single Ladies” and “Girls” had everyone singing and dancing along. Husband Jay-Z made a guest appearance during “Deja Vu” and sister Solange danced with Beyoncé during “Get Me Bodied.” But the highlight of the night was a total surprise to the fans, and one they perhaps did not see coming — a Destiny’s Child reunion as Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined her on stage for their original songs, “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name” and “Soldier.” Top off the night with fireworks, and Saturday night at Coachella literally ended with a bang.
The final day of Coachella will feature headliner Eminem, A Perfect Circle, Cardi B. and much more.