April 14th, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

Coachella Weekend One | The Sights + Sounds Festival Recap from Guest Music Blogger, Molly

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OutKast, Main Stage closing set Friday Night
Friday night marked the reuniting of one of the most influential acts in rap music, albeit for a crowd that maybe wasn’t ready or as generally excited for such the momentous occasion. Saving radio hits for the closing numbers they pulled from a set list spanning their entire career, including “Aquemini,” “Skew It On A Barbeque,” and an explosive version of “Bombs Over Baghdad,” to start off the set.  Several guests joined them throughout their performance including Future debuting a new track, Sleepy Brown joining in for “So Fresh and So Clean” and most impressively Janelle Monae gracing the stage for her collaborative performance of “Tightrope,” with Andrew 3000. A weary crowd, half dominated by a pre-Stankonia generation of EDM enthusiasts, didn’t give quite the response that most would anticipate for the kick off to a massive summer festival tour. Die hard fans however, were pleasantly surprised by the song choice and were bouncing along in camaraderie the entire set.

Future Islands sunset set, Gobi Tent Saturday
Hot off the release of their 4th studio album Singles and their Late Night with David Letterman performance going viral, the Baltimore outfit took the tent by storm, Sam Herring pumped beyond belief. Not your typical rock band, Future Islands is fronted by easily one of the most enigmatic lead singers in contemporary rock. Hurling himself across the floor, throwing wild fists and debuting some brand new gyrating dance moves throughout the set, Herring was feeding off the love from his festival fans and reciprocating it full throttle for the bands Coachella debut. A set full of hits, pulling from their entire discography the band catered their signature hard rock to the festival environment. Speeding up each career spanning track into dance floor face melters, Herring’s signature growling vocals sparked cheers of enthusiasm from the afternoon crowd.

Check out the Showbams review of the Future Islands “Fauxchella” performance in SF HERE

Arcade Fire, Main Stage closing set Sunday Night
Closing out festivals isn’t anything too out of the ordinary for these festival veterans, however on their second round featured set, spots on the Coachella line-up they had to pull out all the stops. Touring in support of their critically acclaimed fourth studio album, Reflektor the band had various options of surprise guests they could potentially have join them on stage. Rumors of David Bowie or James Murphy, had crowds a buzz due to their direct involvement with the latest release. Halfway through the epic set of hits from both 2010’s The Suburbs and cuts off of the new album, the band broke into the opening notes of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, to be joined by Debbie Harry on stage for the full rendition. Sticking around to provide back-up vocals and ribbon dance around the stage with Regine, Debbie joined in on Arcade’s festival set quintessential, “Sprawl II.” Confetti canons spewed out into the crowd, during the climactic notes of “Here Comes the Night Time,” igniting the crowd for their closing number “Wake Up.”


Guest sets were prevalent this year with additional highlights including:

– Beyonce shaking her “jelly” on stage with little sister, Solange during her sunset set on Saturday.

– Jay Z and Puff Daddy, joined Nas during the 20th anniversary performance of his seminal rap album Illmatic

– Asap Ferg brought out the whole Asap Mob for a group “dis track” and Asap Rocky premiere track.

– Chromeo’s set included a collaborative performance with Toro y Moi, of the duet off of White Women, “Come Alive.”

– Girl Talk, pulled Busta Rhymes, Too $hort, Juicy J and Freeway into his remix set on Friday night.

– Mary J. Blige, came on for a rousing rendition of her alternate vocal version of “F for You” w/ Disclosure, Sunday evening.

– Pharrell, even though limited by vocal complications brought out an all-star guest list featuring, Gwen Stefani, Busta Rhymes, Diplo, Tyler the Creator, Nelly and Snoop.

Amongst other sets including Justin Beiber, Aluna George, Ellie Goulding, ETC.

Art Installations this year were a big hit, including a reflection field and glowing Lightweaver in the main field, illuminated spires and a living garden Catapillar surrounding the Gobi and Mojave Tents and lastly the biggest hit of this year’s Coachella’s sculptural enhancements the giant Becoming Human mechanical robot and mobile astronaut tribute to Neil Armstrong, Escape Velocity (pictured below).
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"Squared" Art Installation

“Squared” Art Installation

More Festival Goodness:
* Festival Playlist
* Coachella Tips
* Coachella Day One Recap
* Coachella Day Two Recap

man ray molly
Molly Kish is the Media Relations Coordinator and a Columnist for the website, Showbams. 28 years old and living in San Francisco, California she is a live music enthusiast with an expansive background in the Bay Area music scene. Over the past ten years she has been a featured writer, marketing manager, voice over artist, copywriter, and on-air talent for several nationwide and independent media outlets. Her feature articles, interviews, concert reviews and more can be seen via her Soundcloud and social media handles. Follow her at:
Showbams Website
Soundcloud Personal / SF Local Station

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