Saturday night of Coachella 2013 ended with much debate, as festival attendees all claimed to have the best night-ending show in front of them. But whether you were watching Phoenix collaborate with R Kelly for “Ignition,” New Order cover Joy Division song with 50% of its original lineup, or Sigur Ros explode with a monumental energy that was an unexpected revelation, Coachella succeeded in pleasing most everyone.
Earlier in the evening The Postal Service made their return to a mass audience, with Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis showing a strong chemistry through beloved hits like “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” and “Such Great Heights.” Gibbard also took his trademark shot at Los Angeles, this time claiming a song was about our hometown and beginning with the line “this place is a prison.”
The xx, though riding a reputation for being a bit snoozy in the live setting, proved to be anything but as they expanded on album versions of songs, playing to their subtle strengths and ultimately rewarding the attentive with definitive versions of “Reunion” and “Crystalized.” They announced from the stage that they had been looking forward to Coachella for so long and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else, and it was with a serious sincerity that humanized the icy trio.
Grizzly Bear also brought intensity to their set, and some lovely jelly fish lights that floated into the air. Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen and the rest of the New York-based band couldn’t help but watch their own stage production take shape in the Mojave tent, while “Yet Again” electrified the devoted fans. In the Gobi, Janelle Monae and Spiritualized both played to enthralled audiences inside, seeming to attract their core fans and undoubtably winning over any who might have passed by.
The day was owned by ridiculousness, with 2 Chainz and Major Lazer both attracting some of the most frightening and large masses of Coachella crowds that have been assembled. Major Lazer, the project from noted DJ Diplo, was easier to grasp, as they let a laptop play tunes as they pumped up the audience with dancers, Flaming Lips-esque hamster balls and enough other antics to fill up an hour set.
The best discovery was found by those that watched Savages’ mid-afternoon firestorm of a set. You didn’t need to know a single song to understand that those four girls are going to be big.
Check out photos of the day from photographer Chris Garmon in the gallery below, and look out for more Coachella coverage as the fest wraps up.