But let’s get on to the music, because that’s the real reason everyone comes to Coachella (well, aside from maybe getting the chance to show off their new outfits). As with previous years, the line-up was pretty damn impressive across the board, with almost every artist fitting in with the festival’s vibe perfectly and only a few missteps to be found.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first: Calvin Harris was the biggest disappointment of the entire weekend and probably one of the worst Coachella headliners in recent memory. I’m sorry, but how is this guy still the highest paid DJ in the world? Not only did he not fit into the overall lineup given the type of artists that the festival had booked, but his set was so robotic, dated and just plain boring that I found myself wishing that I had chosen another stage to be at.
Comprised mostly of his older material remixed with banging beats, Calvin’s set got stale really fast and about halfway through, I think that more of the crowd was focusing their attention on his girlfriend, Taylor Swift, dancing in the pit than they were on the DJ.
Don’t get me wrong, Harris is an extremely skilled songwriter, and there’s no doubt that the impact he’s had on the music world is immeasurable, but his Coachella set just wasn’t up to par. He’s a boring performer and tossed out a set that felt recycled and predictable the whole way through. Not even special guests like Rihanna, John Newman and Big Sean could save what was ultimately a disappointing finale.
Also falling into the disappointing category was the much-anticipated Guns N’ Roses performance. While it was fun to see the guys up on stage together again, it just never really felt like they were able to gel. At least, not like they used to. It also didn’t help that Axl had broken his leg beforehand and didn’t have much mobility up there. Though it wasn’t boring or rote like Calvin’s set, it just didn’t quite live up to the insane amount of hype that preceded the performance.
And while we’re on the topic of hype, Ice Cube didn’t bring out Dr. Dre like we were all hoping for, but his set was nevertheless a strong reminder of N.W.A.’s incredible impact and influence on the hip-hop scene. With appearances from Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson, Snoop, MC Ren and DJ Yella, among others, it was a powerful hour of music that no doubt put a smile on the face of many fans who’ve never had the chance to see the legendary artist live.