April 17th, 2010
05:21 PM ET

Day 1 at Coachella: Jay Z, Danny DeVito and a volcano

A ferris wheel! A VIP Rose Garden! 15,000 more concertgoers per day!

The 11th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival may be bigger than ever, but the jury's still out on whether it's better. On Friday -

Day 1 of the three day event - ticketholders had to wait on line for an average of one to three hours just to enter the premises. Once inside, they joined 75,000 other music lovers in fighting their way across the crowded grounds of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California - only to stumble upon actor Danny DeVito shaking his groove thing to deadmau5 in the dance tent.

At the opposite end of the property, Jay-Z was holding court on the main stage - the first time a rapper has ever headlined Coachella, which prides itself on being a mecca for fans of indie rock and dance music. An audience of mostly young, white hipsters enthusiastically sang along to a battery of Hova's greatest hits - from "Big Pimpin'," to "99 Problems" to "Empire State of Mind." "I feel like I'm at home right now," he told the audience in a hoarse rasp. "I appreciate the love." A couple of times during the evening, he alluded to losing his voice - but it didn't damage the way he attacked his rhymes or affect his trademark flow.

At one point, a clearly amused Jay-Z tried to teach the crowd how to swing a towel over their heads, hip-hop style. "If you don't have a towel, use your jacket," he advised. And sadly, a rumored duet with Dr. Dre never materialized - but there was one special guest at the very end of his set. To no one's surprise, Beyonce glided out from the side of the stage in a black hat and cut-offs, to join her husband in sweet rendition of "Forever Young" that ended in fireworks.

It certainly wasn't indie rock, but it was the best another genre has to offer - much like Prince's appearance at Coachella in 2008 and Paul McCartney's headlining slot in 2009.

Other big crowd pleasers during Friday's festivities: Vampire Weekend had the crowd dancing in the grass with its infectious Afro-Pop, Passion Pit raised heart rates on the smaller outdoor stage, and The Specials delivered a set of their best-known ska-punk hits from the UK in the early 80s. Actress-turned-singer Zooey Deschanel charmed audiences with partner M. Ward and their retro-inspired project, She & Him, and Josh Homme received a hometown hero's welcome as he hit the stage with Them Crooked Vultures - his supergroup with Dave Grohl and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones.

Missing in action: The Cribs and their newest member, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Ash from the volcano eruption in Iceland grounded the group in England (Bad Lieutenant and Frightened Rabbit also cancelled out of their Saturday slots for the same reason).

Despite all the frustrations due to the massive crowd, perhaps John Lydon said it best as he left the stage with his post-Sex Pistols act, Public Image Limited. "For all of you who missed it, you missed a good f-ing evening. For those of you who didn't - not bad, huh?"

Check out photos from the first day at Coachella.

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. stock recommendations

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    April 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
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  3. Jacob Patel

    body odor is nasty that is why i always take a bath twice a day.""

    June 29, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michael

    Jay Z's set was AMAZING. Beyonce being there made it all the more surreal – after all the heat, sweat, beer, and body odor of the day. I didn't think it could be topped, but the rest of the weekend had just as many surprises and fun in store – Guetta's performance being another real highlight (in terms of fun and sweat). http://thesmogger.com/2010/04/16/an-oasis-of-fun/

    April 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Feeniegal

    I hope those who went had fun. It's about the fun in my opinion. I personally couldn't have fun in crowds that large...but anywho

    April 19, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Austin

    If no one noticed, Coheed and Cambria are in the 2010 lineup. They are both innovative and good while not be mainstream.

    April 19, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. TGboy

    Listen, JayZ is a very smart dood. Who cares if his music sucks, which is does. Hes very successful at what he does. You guyz are all crazy who havent been to a festi. I was at Coachella for Festival 8 with PHISH and it was one of the best tiems in my life. PHISH killed it. Thats the type of festival ya'll need to go to. Not this mainstream crap

    April 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Maoriao

    jay-z is a retard far from the line of genius. Greased face ugly. Wearing black, stank when he preformed live, it made me hurl

    April 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. surinder

    send vampire weekend back to 1960s flower power, send muse back to the 80s

    coachella lineup 2010 is a joke

    jay z headlining

    have they no shame

    April 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cj from saginaw

    Jay-Z have all the money in the world, but he is one ugly mother-f#*%er

    April 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. surinder

    hip hop/pop/boyband disney stuff appears at "live festivels" cuz rock is dead

    vampire weekend gimmee a break

    April 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lmbarry

    yeah tillzen- i guess we all should just stop doing any kind of recreational activity. we should probably just close down the movie theatres while we're at it. I'm sure that would be a help to the economy. these festivals pump tons of money into the economy and provide work for a lot of people. the people at these festivals are just trying to have some fun. We should all be trying to live our lives to the fullest. Are we not allowed to have a fun weekend every once in awhile or are we supposed to live just to serve our country? And I guarantee you festival folk are at the top of the list of people concerned and doing something about the problems in our country.

    April 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. surinder

    the words hip hop and live should never be used in the same sentence

    April 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rrjolay


    April 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rrjolay


    April 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Daniel

    What about Faith No More? Not a damn thing. Hell, Danny Devito did a semi-streak on stage through their last song and not a peep about it!

    April 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  17. disco

    Well, just like Wu Tang Clan says, Cash Rules Everything Around Me, CREAM get the money, ya'll! Coachella is dead as a music lover's festival. It's nothing but a commercial carnival now. But that's fine if all you're wanting to do is go and play with a mass of people and friends and don't really care about the un-represented and innovative music. When you bring someone big like Jay Z, you've exposed it to commercialism and big record labels and will completely void out the true indie and underground artists. TIme to search for a new truly indie and underground festival. Anyone know of one that is true to its original mission of displaying the indie and underground.

    April 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Hank McWilliams

    Zukibandit - Please tell me more about Cal Jam, thanks.

    April 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  19. loco13

    who cares. don't but what thet are selling and go and have a good time. Someone has to be making money or else it wouldn't be happening. Get use to it

    April 18, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  20. radiomuse

    Shocker! Some people still like going to music festivals for....music!!! It's not unpatriotic, its not anything, it just is. Some of us love music enough to put up with the bulls**t of a festival, just to enjoy some of our favorite bands. As for Jay-Z, not every lineup will be perfect. I'd love to go see Thom Yorke and Atoms for Peace on Sunday though. Uggh!

    April 18, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  21. mensaman

    People show up hoping it's the next Woodstock or like the very first Burningman.
    Someday they may get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle, but most festivals are junk food for the "I was there's".

    April 18, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  22. DaReal

    Yes Jay Z sucks, and yes Jay Z is that ugly black person and now Im going to cancel that rhetoric with this for all the haters. I love his sucky black ass. "HOVA, HOVA, HOVA. Get some Jay Z in your life it will make you feel a whole hell of alot better. HA Can't knock the hustle"

    April 18, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  23. pstrong

    Rocklahoma - awesome? Hahaha... a festival for a bunch of washed up 80's bands that were terrible even in their 'prime' is considered awesome??

    April 18, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  24. Chris Shilling

    The Eagles of Death Metal should have headlined.

    April 18, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  25. Ricky

    Sometimes I get carried away reading these comments....some interesting debates. From someone who is directly involved with many festivals; the general public needs to realize that Jay Z/Muse et al are the reason that a burger is $10 and a beer $12. They get paid millions for 2-3 hours of service. Festivals don't turn a profit until, usually, after its 5th year. The same holds true in sports....it's all a trickle down effect and the consumer gets it the worst in the end.......however, I would pay those fees to see those bands. Great lineup this year.....unfortunately I have to work.

    April 18, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  26. price

    if U attend a rap festival set-up, and don't feel you received your money's worth......good for you and the acts you supported. The big rap act genre is all bout getting the paper! As is the huge commercial rock tours and smaller 10 bands per stage "festivals". The charge their customers 4$ or more for a bottle of water that costs them less than 20 cents. Music will not have any value again until we have to pay for it....Through legitimate downloads or some other licensing.Great music will be undermined by this system of huge events catering only to the most popular acts, which seems to be the antagonist of the original Warped tour!

    April 18, 2010 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  27. skippy

    JayZ & Beyonce @ Coachella.
    say no more.
    i'll pass.

    April 18, 2010 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
  28. daviddancer

    ugh. Glad I got to see Proxy in a room with about 50 other people in Boston the other night...

    April 18, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  29. Hater

    I agree with the comment about musical festivals becoming OVER once they are big enough to turn a profit. Rocklahoma was amazing it's first year in 2007 because nobody knew about it. Now it's a joke.

    April 18, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  30. mangochutney

    hold on children the sixties were real

    we all had a good time til nixon started
    his war on drugs. pot disappeared from
    the streets but you could get heroin any
    where. wonder who thought that up???

    we fought hard and stopped a war. don't
    think for a minute that because you can
    get naked and high under the sun that it
    is going to last forever.

    the big party only lasted from sixty six
    to seventy, maybe, depending on where
    you were, who you were, but it was big,
    and included, right out there in the open
    folks, lots of white haired hippies who
    were doing their thing, waiting for that
    renaissance to return. and return it did,
    and will again.

    people get ready, there's a train a comin,
    you don't need no ticket, you just get on board.

    stop talkin, start doin. tomorrow arriving any
    minute, waiting for you.

    April 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  31. JDF

    I agree with tillzen. Music fests today have failed to bring the love in favor of the drug.

    April 17, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  32. april

    coachella is in my town and i missing out this sucks!

    April 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  33. april

    coachella is in my town and i missing out this sucks

    April 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Sebastian van Gorder

    In response to Tillzen's comments, perhaps attending a festival is more patriotic than joining the armed forces to avenge 9/11. If the rest of the world could conduct themselves like the people who drive around the country attending these events things would be much more pleasant here on Earth. I went to the first three Bonnaroo's and they were great. I wasn't chasing the 60's – I didn't live through them in the first place. Then I started a business and quit being able to check out of town for five days at a time. And, as the festival became more popular, they started bringing in more 'mainstream' acts but I used to love it. The people who went to the festival those years were all very respectful of each other and of the facility – They used to pass out garbage bags at the end of each set and ask from the stage that the fans clean up before they left. No fights, no angry-gorilla-security types. You could lay around in the grass and listen to Tortoise sipping beer from a real glass bottle and nobody gave you trouble because you didn't smash it and walk away. As more people heard about it, more fools started showing up to sell drugs and cause trouble and the atmosphere changed. And the band lineup changed as well. But the promoters had an opportunity to make more money and expose their brand to more people and they took it. Coachella has done about the same thing over the years. That is life. Experiences are fleeting, but memory persists. And I grew up and ended up with some real responsibility. But I don't see how that is unpatriotic – It seems capitalistic enough to me and nobody gets killed.

    April 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  35. john

    Wow. You guys are Grade A losers! You've obviously never been to a music festival. Probably b/c noone would invite you. You seem like miserable bores. If you think people go to try and "capture the '60's". It;s called fun. Look into it.

    April 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Jay Sosnicki


    April 17, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  37. RAF

    DEADMOU5 SOLDIER FIELD CHICAGO !!!!!!!!! JULY 2nd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  38. halhiker


    Coachella has gained a well deserved reputation of having great music, sunny weather and a peaceful atmosphere. It's eclectic mix of bands has given plenty of new bands the exposure needed to reach young excited fans they never who never would have known them. The people getting out and enjoying some music for a weekend helps the local economy and creates work for hundreds if not thousands of people. That in itself is a service to the community.

    No one there is chasing the 60's because they, unlike you, understand they are over. Those who idolize the 60's never lived in them.

    April 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  39. joee

    wish i was there! deadmau5 is sick!

    April 17, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  40. 2 cent

    Hey Danny! Get out of your moms basement. Are u really fat and ugly, and can't get a women? Jay-z has more money then you'd probably see in your whole life. Get a clue.

    April 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  41. 2 cent

    Danny, you sir, are an idiot!

    April 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Danny

    Is J zay that really ugly black guy?????????/

    April 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  43. zukibandit

    Interesting comment, tillzen, but those on site for the festivities are focused on one thing and it has nothing to do with patriotism! Getting bilked by vendors, suffering miserable conditions by promoters after paying stupid entrance fees and wanting to be a part of something memorable, (in their life) is all part of the experience. Hopefully, an educational experience. I can only hope that for the most part, they all learn that this is a carnival that has been organized by a bunch of Carnies whose main goal is to part them from their money. Does anybody remember "Cal Jam"?

    April 17, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  44. peace4all

    tillzen –


    April 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  45. tillzen

    Music Festivals walk that razors edge between mattering and being fast food. If they become well known enough to turn a profit then by definition they are OVER.Those who travel the country attending festivals are chasing the ethereal ghost of the 60's, which ironically never really existed.

    At the end of the day, you dispose of your cash frivolously, chasing nothingness when your nation needs you! We need your service, your youth and your strength.. THAT was the 60's. Random acts of service and kindness. And mayhem.

    You got serve somebody ... as it stands now you belong to Apple and T-Mobile and KFC. And being served.

    April 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |

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