Postcard from Coachella: Dance music heats up the desert
April 15th, 2012
07:19 PM ET

Postcard from Coachella: Dance music heats up the desert

Warmer temperatures drew more crowds as the skies cleared for the second day of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The heat was at its peak late Saturday afternoon as rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals performed on the Outdoor Stage. While Potter and her band have graced the stage at other music festivals, Potter told CNN about her first experience at Coachella.

"It's not like any other festivals we've done before because it's so focused on really the diversity of music being almost like, I'm trying to think of a word beyond schizophrenic... Coachella is beyond eclectic," she said.

The current mainstream explosion of dance music was evident at day two of the festival. While main stage headliners Radiohead drew the seemingly largest crowd thus far, the Sahara Tent's last four acts of the evening brought out continuously impermeable crowds that spilled beyond the white canopies.

The sun began to go down during Martin Solveig's set, which brought the masses to an epic sing-a-long of his hit lyrics screaming "I just came to say hello." House music producer and DJ David Guetta, who hit the Sahara stage after a video-game-esque set by Sebastian Ingrosso, told CNN that it is exciting to see the new wave of dance music fans.

"DJs are getting bigger and bigger," Guetta said. "There's a generation of kids that are discovering their passion for music with dance music."

Keeping up the energy from Solveig and Ingrosso, David Guetta's set had concert-goers flooding the Sahara, including celebrity Coachella couples Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger, and Stephen Colletti and Chelsea Kane. The French DJ started his show with "Titanium," his new single featuring singer Sia. Then he strategicially lowered the audio for crowds to sing the lyrics "Fire away, fire away" back at him.

While Guetta did run through a few of his radio-friendly singles like "Memories" and "Love is Gone," mid-set he decided to strip away the lights on the tent and return to his house music roots by playing a new record he produced specifically for the Coachella "rave."

"I'm playing 'dance' dance. I want it to be a proper DJ set," Guetta explained.

Ultimately, the DJ decided to end by catering to his more mainstream fans as he brought out surprise guest R&B crooner Usher to sing the vocals on their collaboration "Without You." Kaskade closed the dance music party with another pulsating light show that kept fans from even thinking about the more subdued Radiohead performance going on across the polo field.

Other Saturday highlights included the veteran Buzzcocks, who rocked the Gobi tent with a resurgent energetic punk performance, Swedish electro-pop band Miike Snow's rousing set with a guest appearance by fellow Swede Lykke Li, and The Shins covering Pink Floyd's hit "Time" to a captivated yet somber crowd. Spotted in the audience - actor Gerard Butler.

More celebrities continued to blend in with festival folk as Josh Duhamel and Fergie, Tallulah Willis with a pack of teenagers, and pop singer Ke$ha were seen on the field. Rihanna also caught the A$AP Rocky show at the Gobi tent, but it was Sunday night's closers she was eagerly awaiting, tweeting, "Went supa light weight lastnight!!!!! Saved all my love for Snoop+Dre(n Co)."

Rihanna, you're not the only one.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Phil Spectre

    You have to practically be in the 1% to even afford to go to a festival like this. Rich college kids, celebs and mediocre music. This is part of the problem.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tevii

    "people yelling and loud noise", "It wasn't anything special. The music was too loud and we couldn't find the hot dog vendors" ...REALLY?? Some of you sound like you shouldnt have been there at all. I was there for all three days at it was amazing. But then again, I was there to FEEL THE MUSIC... not complain.... GUETTA and KASKADE were fantastic

    April 17, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Leucadia Bob

    April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DK

    Awwwww boo boo kitties, didn't bring your own water or food???? Ever been to Coachella? Even bother to research what it's like out there? LOL… boo boo kitties.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    I was there both Friday and Saturday. It wasn't anything special. The music was too loud and we couldn't find the hot dog vendors. Just too loud and too crowded.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Em

    Doesn't sound too good to me. Just a lot of young people yelling and loud noise.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • b

      This is a music festival... what the hell do you expect?
      loud noise and people yelling.. really? You come to post that it is loud.
      Are music festivals supposed to be quiet?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |

    More celebrities continued to
    blend in with festival folk as Josh
    Duhamel and Fergie,

    April 16, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kim Jong Un


    April 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |

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