The 2016 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is back for a second weekend, and it has Prince on its mind. Artists ranging from soul legend Mavis Staples to reunited dance rockers LCD Soundsystem performed stirring tributes to the late, genre-hopping artist on Friday. Additionally, the festival grounds were awash in a purple glow, courtesy of some well-placed lighting from promoter Goldenvoice. What did Day 2 bring? An appearance by Dr. Dre in reunion of the surviving members of N.W.A. during Ice Cube's set, for one. Our writers and photographers are there so stay with us for live coverage from the Empire Polo Field.
- Set times
- PHOTOS: Up close with Coachella revelers
- PHOTOS: The scene at Weekend two
- PHOTOS: Weekend one: The bands, tents and scene on day one | day two | day three
- 12 acts to catch beyond the headliners
- Surprise performances include: Kanye West, Bernie Sanders, Rihanna and Kesha
- Coachella: Plenty of bros, but where are the female headliners?
- Who's at Coachella? Keeping tabs on the kings and queens of the desert
- Fashion gallery of desert looks, what's the floral crown of 2016?
"I wanna peer over the edge," Grimes sang in the opening number of her late Saturday evening set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Then for the next 50 minutes, she and three dancers ran through nine highly kinetic songs that toyed with pop's boundaries.
While as thrillingly relentless as any of Coachella's more traditional electronic-driven dance acts, Grimes' songs never stop flirting with unpredictability. Her upper-register voice wafted in the Indio desert wind one moment, and then she'd fall to the ground to let out a hair-raising, punk-rock worthy howl the next. Meanwhile, an upbeat guitar clashed with frantic beats and placed an optimistic spin on her determined, don't-back-down vocals.
Grimes also had a tough gig last night. She was Coachella's main counter-programming to headliners Guns N' Roses, performing with its classic lineup that paired vocalist Axl Rose with guitarist Slash for the first time in about two decades. Still, placed in Coachella's mid-size dance tent, Grimes easily filled it and had an adoring crowd that was clearly ready for more. Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, even apologized for the set being so short.
But she made the most of the time she had, performing in front of a backdrop that at times flashed a drawing of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and bringing out like-minded genre-bending artist Janelle Monae for the wickedly off-kilter "Venus Fly," where synthesizers stuttered and stopped and the voices of the two singers skidded around a bass that was equally as slippery. "Scream," with a guest rap from young Taiwanese artist Aristophanes, was the rare Coachella moment that felt borderline dangerous. When Grimes wails, you stop and take notice, a skill she shares with the leader of the band that was over on the main stage.
Indeed, Grimes can not only dish out rock 'n' roll with the best of them, she also presents a vision where it could head. Closing number "Kill V. Maim," which she said was her favorite song to perform live, is a punk versus EDM mash-up, with guitars, rhythms and a booming bass all fighting for control. It was a battle of live instruments against pre-recorded ones, all trading knock-out blows. Grimes snarled one moment, went slyly defensive in the next and capped it off with a demented, demonic cheerleading routine, in which she spelled out the word "behave" and then punctuated it with a mission statement: "Never more."