Out of Town / Photo
Coachella Photos: First Sunday. Dr. Dre, Hologram Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Wild Flag, and more.
by Josh Bis
on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
Sunday was the warmest and most crowded of the first three days of Coachella, and, yes, it did conclude with a hologram of Tupac performing on the mainstage. His technological resurrection launched a thousand twitter jokes and a few ghost accounts (I'm hoping for a virtual Beatles reunion next year), but "he" was just one of the many guests who arrived after Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg emerged from the stage onto a virtual Compton to host a festival-capping party / history lesson / variety show. Since the entire festival was turned over to their performance in what might have been a festival first — even Prince had to compete with other acts — almost everyone attendance surrounded the stage, waving their hands in the air like they just didn't care on command. Other guests included Wiz Khalifa, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Warren G, plenty of giant joints, and maybe also a Nate Dogg hologram.
The day also featured a infectiously theatrical early afternoon set by Santigold who performed with a pair of dancers, modern oompa loompaesque rhythm section, a stuffed horse, and a stage full of kids pulled up from the audience that included a couple of toddlers and maybe also recently "freed" Earl Sweatshirt. Wild Flag turned the midday temperature up even further for a modest but devoted audience; the Hives returned to Coachella after nine years with no noticeable dampening of energy or hilarious egomaniacal attitude; Goyte held a tent full of people hostage waiting to hear "Somebody That I Used to Know", the song that catapulted a twenty year career into overnight international success; the Weeknd spun drearily cinematicNoir & B to a massive crowd of kids who've never needed to pay a cent for one of his albums; and Florence + the Machine bewitched hordes of devotees. Seriously, with the flowing cape, barefoot dancing, and incantations, she might be one of the good ones, but I'm pretty sure that she is (or believes herself to be) some sort of mystical creature.
Returning from Beirut (my predictable, but always beloved festival favorite) to catch some of the fiery At the Drive In reunion, I wondered whether Justice had raptured the massive audience away to dance heaven with their glowing white cross. Either that, or maybe everyone sprinted over to catch the end of Girl Talk. I'd worried that the massive audience for the French DJs would leave no one to pile onto the Outdoor Stage to dance with Greg Gillis and his mixtape masterpieces, but he seemed to be doing just fine from the look of the confetti explosions from across the field.
Oh, and celebwatch. I'll have to try harder next weekend because I only managed to see two yesterday: HBO werewolf Joe Manganiello (who merited a dedication from At the Drive In) gamely posing for photos with fans between tweets and WB vampire Ian Somerhalder (BOONE!) trying to get some fries to go with Dre & Snoop's performance. The poutine wagon, though, was closed and neither of us were famous enough to convince them to throw one last batch in the fryer. Good stories, right?
A bunch of photos of bands and fans after the jump. As I said, I'll be returning next week to see how it looks and feels to photocopy an entire festival. While I expected to be a bit more exhausted, I have to say that as I was filing into the parking lot I was relieved that I'll get to do it all over again in a few days.