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Coachella warms up with Radiohead, buzz high for Dr.Dre

By Piya Sinha-Roy, Reuters
on Apr 16, 2012 08:06 AM EDT
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  • Thom Yorke (L) performs with Radiohead at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California April 14, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)

INDIO, Calif (Reuters) - British rockers Radiohead and folk band Bon Iver got thousands of fans dancing on day two of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and warm, blue skies chased away the cold and rain in time for Sunday's big closing act - Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

Buzz was running high ahead of the rap duo's headlining appearance, with rumors rife about potential surprise guests, as well as a hologram resurrecting late rappers Tupac Shakur and Nate Dogg, that are thought to be joining the pair for their hit, "California Love."

Sunday's line-up also features Gotye, Florence and the Machine, Calvin Harris, DJ Shadow and Avicii.

On a day of comebacks and surprises on Saturday, Usher turned up unannounced, jumping on stage in the dance tent with French DJ David Guetta to perform their single "Without You."

Guetta told Reuters before his set that he was curious to see reactions this year given the explosion of electronic dance music into the mainstream music scene.

"I'm very happy to play the dance tent. I'm going to play a lot of music, because when I play main stage, I have to play all my big hits. But I'm going to take this opportunity, I have so much new music," said Guetta.

British rock band Radiohead made their return to Coachella after performing in 2004, kicking off with "Bloom," before picking up the pace with "15 Step." Lead singer Thom Yorke shyly introduced the band before launching into a piano-led rendition of "The Daily Mail," putting a spotlight on his voice.

Some of the crowd initially dubbed them "Radiodead" after the opening set list included few of their biggest hits. But the band got the crowd dancing in the second half with hits such as "Karma Police," "Lotus Flower" and "Reckoner," and played out with a two-part encore.

Wisconsin band Bon Iver, winner of the best new artist Grammy award this year, saw lead singer Justin Vernon spruced up with a clean shave and a faux-hawk hairstyle for the occasion. He opened with "Perth" and "Minnesota, WI" before launching into the mystical melody of "Holocene," which reverberated around the polo fields under a starry night sky.

BELIEVING THE HYPE

Earlier on Saturday, New Mexico quintet The Shins made their Coachella debut on the main stage to liven up the crowds as the sun went down over the fields, with a cool evening breeze spreading the chill in the desert.

They played new hits such as "Simple Song," older classics such as "So Says I," and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Breathe," and lead singer James Mercer joked that he "finally believed the hype" of being on the Coachella stage.

As the temperatures dropped in the evening, thousands flocked to the Sahara dance tent, where Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia started a rave with a thumping set of hits, including new song "Calling (Lose My Mind)," featuring One Republic's Ryan Tedder.

For crowds looking for a break from the dance-heavy beats of the Sahara tent, musician Jeff Mangum's melodic set at sunset on the outdoor stage proved to be a popular choice, while Seattle's indie folk band The Head and The Heart graced the Mojave tent with songs such as "Down in the Valley."

Saturday's highlights also included newcomer Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover of TV series "Community," who was joined on the main stage by Danny Brown and Kendrick Lamar.

Rising star Azealia Banks, a rapper from Brooklyn, New York, broke out into renditions of Amy Winehouse's hit "Valerie" and Prodigy's "Firestarter" at the Gobi tent, while indie rock band Awolnation were joined by Macy Gray on their single "Sail," - a deafening collaboration between the two singers' unique voices.

Brit-rock band Kaiser Chiefs riled up the crowds with their classics such as "Ruby" and "I Predict a Riot," while former Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher, who performed with his new band Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, had the whole field singing along to a rendition of one of Oasis' biggest hits "Don't Look Back in Anger."

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