Last month, Madonna told Us Weekly, “The lifelong ambition I still want to fulfill is to go on a dream date with Drake — and only kiss him.” And Sunday at the Southern California desert’s Coachella music festival, the 56-year-old diva’s fantasy became reality, when she made a cameo during the 28-year-old rapper’s headlining set… and gave him a deep-throated onstage kiss that made her 2003 VMAs makeout session with Britney Spears look like nothing.
Drake introduced his special surprise guest by performing — what else? — “Madonna,” a track off his latest album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. That was Madge’s cue, and out she pranced wearing a gold grill, Pretty Woman boots, and T-shirt emblazoned with “BIG AS MADONNA” (a line from Drake’s “Madonna” song). Then, after singing a medley of “Human Nature” and “Hung Up,” she went for it, planting a massive, passionate smooch on a shocked and awed Drake.
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Drake didn’t seem as enthusiastic about the kiss as Madonna was, bursting into giggles, wiping his mouth, and exclaiming, “Holy s—, what the f— just happened?” once she mercifully released him from her clutches. But Madonna was already making her mic-dropping exit, her Drake dream fulfilled, bidding the bewildered Coachella audience farewell with “I’m Madonna, bitch!” as she quickly vanished like a Tupac hologram.
For a short time after this incident, the Coachella live stream on YouTube malfunctioned — prompting home “Couchella” viewers to joke on Twitter that the Madonna/Drake kiss had broken the Internet.
This wasn’t Madonna’s first Coachella performance. In 2006, back when “Hung Up” had just come out, she played the dance tent and created quite a scene. There’s little doubt that her 2015 Coachella appearance will go down in the festival’s history books as well.
[Photos: Coachella 2015, Weekend 1]
Several other divas dominated Coachella Sunday — which was refreshing, considering that over the years, a largely male-centric lineup has earned the festival the derisive nickname “Brochella.” Earlier in the day, wearing her amazing Technicolor dreamsuit that looked like something designed by Lisa Frank and making her sixth Coachella appearance, Jenny Lewis brought some welcome feminine energy to the Outdoor stage — particularly when she was joined by fellow ladies of the desert HAIM for a raucously hair-flipping rendition of the brand-new tune “Girl on Girl.” But the “Just One of the Guys” chanteuse let the men get in on the action, too. Lewis dueted with her singer-songwriter boyfriend Johnathan Rice on “The Next Messiah” and, most excitingly, she reunited with her former Rilo Kiley bandmate Blake Sennett (who’d performed earlier at Coachella with his new band, Night Terrors of 1927) on Rilo’s “Portion for Foxes.”
Welsh indie-pop starlet Marina Diamandis, of Marina & the Diamonds, also charmed the afternoon masses, celebrating the release of her effervescent, operatic new album Froot on a main stage festooned with giant apples, while rocking a seemingly Ms. Pacman-inspired cherry headpiece that was way cooler and cuter than any flower crown spotted on the Coachella grounds. Diamandis claimed she was “hungover as f—,” but her performance was totally fruitful, pun intended.
Later in the evening, the stunning St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, played a phenomenal art-rock set for the “analog witnesses” and “freaks and others of Indio,” full of angular and aggressive guitar licks and the kinetic postmodern choreography she displayed during her much-hyped Saturday Night Live appearance last year.
And Florence Welch, backed by her trusty Machine, rocked the main stage, playing three songs from her forthcoming third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful: “What Kind of Man,” “Ship to Wreck,” and the title track, which Welch said was inspired by the Los Angeles skyline. The triumphant set climaxed with Welch stripping off her white tuxedo jacket to reveal a bra top, after which she joyously sprinted through the audience waving a scarf like a rhythmic gymnastics ribbon as she belted “The Dogs Days Are Over.”
Other Sunday highlights included a high-energy Gobi Tent set by U.K. indie three-piece the Cribs (finally playing Coachella after an Icelandic volcano eruption sidelined their travel plans in 2010), and Ryan Adams’s sundown revue, which took place on an Outdoor Theatre stage decorated with giant amps that looked like they’d been borrowed from Friday headliners AC/DC and old-school upright arcade games. Adams unfortunately had to cut his set short (he joked that he’d planned to play a 17-minute number that would end with him getting punched in the groin by his bandmate and breathing fire), and his finale performance of the hushed and poignant “Come Pick Me Up” was marred by bleedover noise from Kaskade’s nearby main stage show. But it was an otherwise blissful performance.
And that’s a wrap! Coachella 2015 has come to an end… at least until next Friday, when it starts all over again for Coachella weekend two. See you then.
All photos: Getty Images