"My legs!" she cried! No bother, the music extravaganza known as Coachella raged on for Saturday, Weekend 2. The Violent Femmes played their debut album again, Baauer dropped "Harlem Shake" again (as production people bit their nails that he would run out of time), The Make-Up's Ian Svenonius choked on mics atop the audience again, and Phoenix was alas R. Kelly-less and the xx was Solange-less the second time around. But there was more, oh so much more to experience that we haven't covered during Weekend 1.
We're breaking from the :), :/, and :( format, because really, there wasn't anything to :( about -- except seeing the completely naked dude being escorted out of the main stage. It was "eh". Otherwise, we saw 2 Chainz pack out his tent wearing three chains, Portugal. The Man made a perfect sunset performance, Simian Mobile Disco got the crowd pumped while playing an assortment of vintage boards, and experienced some more particularly high highlights from Saturday, Weekend 2!
1. Miraculously Getting an Artist's Wristband
Total. Game-changer. Press this year was only given general admission to cover the festival, but the patron saint of Coachella shone down on us and slipped us an all-access pass to the backstage area and side stages. But even with better views of all the bands, our job got harder now that we could see everything. Miles were clocked on Saturday for sure.
Ever wondered what backstage at Coachella looks like? It's actually not that great, mostly a dusty service road. Even the section where all the artists hung out was quite small, with just a maze of trailers and folding tables. The artists did however have a pop-up banquet hall complete with chandeliers to feed them, from which we were able to nick some waters.
2. Danny Brown Getting the Crowd Crazy
One of the most underrated rappers out right now, Detroit's own Danny Brown's nasally voice, madman's presence, and downright perverse rhymes makes him a complete stand-out in today's hip-hop. Although he may not be able to gain more than a ravenous cult following, he is definitely an artist for any hardcore hip-hop, or just overall music fan to keep tabs on.
3. Descendents Are the Cool Dads You Wish You Had
All grown up, but singer Milo Aukerman still looks like the iconic drawing that adorned the backs of millions of patched-up jackets and vests the world around. The irreverently misspelled Descendents stirred the Outdoor stage into a boiling, moshing punk stew, playing classics like "Suburban Home" and "Silly Girl" to an absolutely reveling crowd.
4. Janelle Monáe Literally Swimming Through the Audience
Janelle Monáe is an act never-ever-ever to be missed. Although she played one of the smaller tents at the Coachella, she could burn down the Hollywood Bowl and Madison Square Garden any night -- she's Little Richard, Prince, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, and Mick Jagger all in one! Clad in an all-white equestrian look (we're in the Indio Polo Field after all) with a matching backup band, the singer slayed demons, dance moves, and high notes, making for what could be the best performance this weekend. We haven't been so floored since seeing Kraftwerk at the 2008 Coachella.
Along with a set of her hits, she flawlessly covered Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". Then taking stage diving to the next level, Monáe "swam" through the audience so far out that her band had to take their bow without her. This chick is everything.
5. Sigur Rós Calms the Desert Demons
After another day of blazing sun, breathing dirt, and overwhelming crowds, the festering pit of humanity that Coachella can be was cleansed and swaddled like a newborn baby by the transporting sounds and visuals of Sigur Rós. The Icelandic band's inimitable music cast a spell over the crowd as they stood amongst floating lights and projections of dreamscapes. It was a moment that brought a tear to Coachella's collective eye.