Coachella 2012 – at least the unprecedented first weekend of it – was epic once again, and Fender was there to cover all the proceedings.
Sunday continued to bring several excellent performances after a jam-packed Friday and Saturday.
Here are a few shows that must be noted:
The British trio played the Main Stage at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., at 2:05 Sunday afternoon, and the audience couldn’t have been more receptive to their hard rocking sound.
With a new album, Sweet Sour, out this year, Band of Skulls has already found willing followers of such tracks as “The Devil Takes Care of His Own” and “Bruises.”
But their bombastic closer, “Death By Diamonds and Pearls” had the crowd pumping their fists in agreement to Matt Hayward’s pounding drums and Russell Marsden’s guitar wizardry.
Another English band, Wild Beasts have received notoriety in their home country, earning a Mercury Prize nomination for their 2009 release, Two Dancers. With Smother having come out in 2011, the buzz has spilled over into the U.S.
And rightfully so, judging by their performance Sunday at the Mojave Tent.
With Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming trading bass, guitar, vocals and keys, along with guitarist Ben Little, drummer Chris Talbot and touring keyboardist Kate Larkin, the band creates walls of sensuous sound coupled with risqué lyrics to match them.
There are ribbons of guitar buoyed by a few blips and baps of the keyboard or bass, all creating a dream-like sequence to get lost for a bit. Perfect for the final day of Coachella.
Carrie Brownstein – formerly of Sleater-Kinney – made a point to thank the audience at the Outdoor Stage for watching her hit IFC series Portlandia, but this show was about punk and rock music.
The all-female quartet, clad in no other colors aside from black and red, delivered in spades, with Brownstein and guitarist Mary Timony sharing vocal duties while Janet Weiss annihilated her drum kit and Rebecca Cole filled in the holes with vocals and keys.
Wild Flag released an eponymous LP in 2011 to critical and cultural acclaim.
Fans ate up every one of Brownstein’s leg kicks as they blazed through a set rife with the post-punky Wild Flag cuts, including “Glass Tambourine,” “Racehorse” and “Romance.”
The Grammy Award-winner and her stellar band were on point Sunday just as the stars came out.
Wearing a dark blue leotard and a cape to match, Florence Welch was a vision. And that voice… Think of any singing competition and Welsh would give all contestants a run for their money.
Florence gracefully wailed her way through several songs off her latest, Ceremonials, with “What the Water Gave Me,” “Shake It Off” and their incredible closer “No Light, No Light.”
Harry Potter actress Emma Watson chose to celebrate her birthday by catching the set sidestage.
“As far as I’m concerned I turned 22 when @flo_tweet sang “What the Water Gave Me” at Coachella,” tweeted Watson.
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre
Not much to say about this expect that Dre and Snoop have such incredible stage presence that that there couldn’t have been many thoughts denouncing the LBC duo.
Both Dre and Snoop slinked around the Main Stage, throwing out hits like “Gin and Juice,” “California Love” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
They also brought up collaborating heavyweights, such as Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Tony Yayo.
But the most amazing part of the final act of Coachella was that Snoop Dogg actually rapped with a hologram of the deceased Tupac Shakur.
Shakur did “Hail Mary” solo, and Snoop joined in for “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”
Yes, it was. But that’s the beauty of this yearly event.
It’s just Coachella, and there’s nothing else like it.