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.

How Coachella pulled off the Guns N' Roses reunion

Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses onstage at Coachella (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses onstage at Coachella (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

There were no surprise guests for the Guns N’ Roses’ Weekend 2 performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and none were needed.

The band seemed intent on proving it’s ready to embark on a summer tour with reunited members Axl Rose, Slash (Saul Hudson) and Duff McKagan, who adorned his bass with a purple Prince symbol in tribute to the artist, who died last week.

The hard rock outfit performed for more than two hours in a focused set that looked and sounded arena-ready. Guitarist Angus Young of AC/DC dropped in with the band for Weekend 1, but there were no shouts for “Angus” on Saturday night. Slash had the guitar pyrotechnics covered.

So how did it all come together? This was a reunion that few expected to happen and many thought would break apart in band drama before the group got out of the rehearsal studio.

One of the keys was Paul Tollett, the president and chief executive of Goldenvoice, who started Coachella in 1999. He launched his career as a rock promoter in Los Angeles in the 1980s, and one of the up-and-coming bands he promoted was Guns N’ Roses.

In an interview a few hours before Guns N’ Roses took the stage Saturday, Tollett said he didn’t want to be seen as taking credit for the group’s return. But when pressed on how came together, he replied, “I went to them.”

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