17 things you need to know about the festival’s first weekend – Press Enterprise

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With the first weekend of the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the rearview mirror, here’s a look the hits and misses of the event watched by tens of thousands at the Empire Polo Club in Indio and even more online via YouTube. Coachella returns to the desert with Radiohead, Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar for another sold out weekend beginning Friday, April 21.

1. Coolest stage set: Kendrick Lamar

The that included a video screen that was sort of a . As a bonus, he also had three video segments throughout that were done like an old Bruce Lee-era kung fu movie: “The Adventures of Kung Fu Kenny,” which started Lamar as Kenny a.k.a. the Black Turtle, which led to ninja dancers on stage with him at one point.

2. Most practical costume: Lady Gaga’s unitard

, but they were all over her black unitard, which allowed her to dance, play guitar and keytar and jump into the audience with ease. Also, where did she get those tights? All of that dancing and suggestive writhing and she had no runs in them at all. We see an infomercial in her future.

3. Best explanation for sound issues: Aliens

, with the music cutting out multiple times. Singer Thom Yorke blamed alien interference, but then they played “Creep” and all was forgiven.

4. Best singalong: Hans Zimmer

The award-winning  that he got his own Snapchat filter Sunday. But the crowd that actually sang along to the instrumental “Pirates of the Caribbean” score. Then everyone sang along to “The Lion King.” Coachella went Disney in the most Coachella way possible. Oh, and later, Hans Zimmer brought out Pharrell, too.

A stage hand tries to keep a curtain from blowing away before Travis Scott’s set at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio on Friday, April 14, 2017. The wind won, the curtain descended a few moments early. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

5. Weirdest set props: Travis Scott

The young rapper had throngs flocking to his Outdoor Theatre set Sunday night where he started the night with multiple cardboard cutouts of himself on stage. And then there were trees and giant bird cages. By the end of the night, Scott was rapping with his permanent Auto-Tune sound atop a giant bird that had red eyes and flapped its wings.

6. Best place to feel like you’re in a cartoon: Sonora Tent

With street art covering the walls and colorful cacti sculptures, .

It was also the home to some rock acts like Guided by Voices and T.S.O.L., getting ever more rare at Coachella as the fest trends towards electronic dance music.  Plus, it had couches and air conditioning.

The Lemon Twigs perform on day one of the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival on Friday, April 14, 2017 in Indio, Ca. (Micah Escamilla, The Sun/SCNG)
The Lemon Twigs perform on day one of the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival on Friday, April 14, 2017 in Indio, Ca. (Micah Escamilla, The Sun/SCNG)

7. Best blasts from the past: Todd Rundgren and Michael McDonald

A pair of stars who released great albums long before most of the attendees at Coachella were even born were among the true surprise guests at the fest.

On Friday, for “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” from his landmark “Something/Anything?,” ending with the icon shouting, “Twiiiiigs!” as a blessing for these young carriers of the power pop glam rock torch.

The next day, former Doobie Brother and always smooth singer  for “Show You the Way” from Thundercat’s new album “Drunk” and the Doobies’ classic “What A Fool Believes.”

8. Earliest dance party: Quitapenas

The Inland Empire-based band’s name means without worries, and people let them go during the Latin and tropical flavored dance party in the Sonora tent at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon when people are generally too hung over to even bother showing up at the venue, let alone dance. Not this crowd. Quitapenas had the audience creating an impromptu limbo line followed by multiple conga lines.



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