Sure, a ticket to the first of Coachella's two weekend stand was a hotter “get” than the second, but after attending both of the three-day music fests, we can honestly say that for artists, ruffians, VIPs and press alike, weekend two was superior. Here, five reasons why:
1. The Weather
OK, that's an act-of-god matter, but we'll take mid-90s and sunny with a breeze at night over the debilitating windstorm of weekend one, any day.
2. More Special Guests
It's almost as if the acts got together backstage during weekend one, hung out a bit, and decided to give weekend two attendees more than just an R. Kelly gimmick. Yes, the “Ignition (Remix)” guy did not appear with Phoenix again, but it seemed like guests were popping up everywhere: Fall Out Boy backed 2 Chainz for a song, Purity Ring collaborated with rapper Danny Brown, and Wu Tang's The RZA rapped to a dancing young lady as folkie newcomer James Blake and his band laid down an intensely-grooving beat.
3. Added Production Value
Most likely a result of the weather, but still: it was a treat to see full shows from Vampire Weekend (playing under descending Roman columns), The Lumineers, (a stage set full of chandeliers and wood), and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (a phalange of moving screens), all of whom had limited production for week one.
4. The Snail: On The Move
Unquestionably the art star of this year's Coachella was a massive, interior-lit snail (officially called Helix Poeticus), which -- during both weekends -- slowly made its way around the field. For the second weekend, however, the people behind it got a bit more daring: as on, you could tail it all the way at the front of the stage, getting down to Divine Fits or turning its back on Of Monsters And Men, dragging a goopy trail of soap behind it.
5. More Covers and Better Set Lists
The Chilis dove deep into back-catalog and hit the crowd with "Scar Tissue" and "Soul To Squeeze;" The Faint unexpectedly blasted an electro'd take on The White Stripes' "7 Nation Army;" And Gaslight Anthem played a cover of "Plush" that was so faithful that we overheard a dude yell at his friends that it was actually Stone Temple Pilots playing. It wasn't (what with singer Scott Weiland's recent dismissal) -- but it's never too soon to start next year's rumor.