If Weekend One of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was all about the surprise guests and surprise song debuts, Weekend Two was characterized by more polished sets. The second frame of the desert celebration may have generated less buzz, but the performances spoke for themselves. Below is a breakdown of what you missed — from Kendrick Lamar’s alter ego to Hans Zimmer’s time in the limelight.
Audio couldn’t kill the radio star
After being plagued by audio issues during Weekend One, prompting them to walk off the stage twice, headliners Radiohead returned to Coachella to deliver a glitch-free show. “Maybe this time you can hear me,” Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, whose musings were often incomprehensible, said loud and clear halfway through the band’s set. The English rockers kicked off their show almost 15 minutes late (giving some fans a scare), with “Daydreaming,” from their latest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” and closed with favorites like “Fake Plastic Trees.”
Travis goes high
In addition to sparking rumors about dating reality star Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott’s Weekend Two set was also memorable for his pleas to the audience to form mosh pits — a sight more common in tents like Sahara than the Outdoor Theatre. Scott, who played his music in almost chronological order, beginning with early hits like “Upper Echelon” (featuring T.I. and 2 Chainz), “Mamacita” (ft. Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug), and “Don’t Play” (ft. Big Sean), told security to turn a blind eye and let his concert-goers fight.
Step in the name of love
The pop duo Capital Cities got the whole crowd two-stepping on Friday night, yelling out “right, right, left, left, twirl” before a trumpet solo mesmerized the already-smitten crowd.
Hey DJ, play that song
EDM superstar Dillon Francis drew one of the biggest Sahara crowds of the weekend, even without an appearance by G-Eazy. He did, however, have a little help from Bill Nye. He opened his performance with a clip of “the Science Guy,” prompting some puzzled, albeit intrigued, looks.
Lady Gaga dazzled yet again, lighting up the Coachella main stage on Saturday — literally and figuratively. The pop star kept her Weekend One set list, but changed up some of her costumes. The consummate performer managed to get the crowd singing and dancing to “P-p-p-poker face” one minute and shedding tears during her acoustic rendition of “The Edge of Glory,” dedicated to a friend battling cancer, the next. The Grammy winner also shared several anecdotes about her life, better acquainting the audience with Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, instead of Gaga, the stage persona.
Gucci Mane was one of the only performers who brought out special guests on both weekends. After a star-studded set with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Yachty, and Migos, Mane invited 50 Cent for “What Up Gangsta” and “Many Men (Wish Death)”; Chief Keef for “I Don’t Like” and “Faneto”; and A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti for “Telephone Calls” during the late-night slot.
On a new level
Even without assists from Drake, Ty Dolla $ign, and Migos, Future held his own on Saturday night with a rousing, high-energy set consisting almost exclusively of his hits as the jumbotrons behind him on the main stage featured scantily-clad women. Future delivered arguably the second-best rap show of the weekend, after Lamar’s headlining act.
Martin brings mayhem
Troye Sivan took the stage with Martin Garrix on Saturday night to premiere their new song, “There for You.” The surprise collaboration riled up the already-rowdy crowd, which at times got violent, pushing and shoving each other in the Sahara tent packed to the brim.
DAMN. is right
As expected, Lamar — taking the stage at 10:35 p.m., exactly when he was slated to appear, unlike his fellow headliners — delivered a flawless concert that spotlighted his lyrical prowess. The ninja-themed set that introduced audiences to Kung Fu Kenny was a repeat of last week’s act, without the support of fellow Coachella performers Future, Travis Scott, and Schoolboy Q. The Compton native performed new songs from his just-released album “DAMN.” for the second time after debuting them last weekend at the fest. The stripped-down set also included chart-toppers like “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Goosebumps.”
Music for screens
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise at Coachella was Zimmer’s performance — which mesmerized the masses, drawing one of the weekend’s biggest audiences. The legendary composer and his 40-plus-piece orchestra and choir brought the scores from his classic films to the Outdoor stage. The cinematic ride included “Inception,” the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, “The Lion King,” “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Interstellar,” and “Gladiator.” “They were right, I had to leave that dark room,” he said. Pharrell Williams didn’t return to perform “Freedom,” but Lebo M. was was back for “The Lion King.”
On each other’s team
Lorde kept the crowd dancing for almost an hour, closing her set with her biggest hits, “Royals” and “Team.” She ran off stage, high-fiving her fans after telling fest-goers to “lose it” with her to new breakup jam “Green Light,” and show off their best “ugly dancing.” The crowd obliged.
Parting is such sweet sorrow
Porter Robinson and Madeon played the final show of their joint “Shelter” tour on Sunday. The producers said this would be the last time they would take the stage together. They met when Robinson was 14 and Madeon was 12. Robinson got emotional during the act, saying, “This dude is trying to wave goodbye before the final song, trying to make me cry.”