By Leighton Ginn
The second day was just amazing. I got off to a late start, but all four acts I saw put on tremendous shows.
The highlights: Angus Young of AC/DC is the surprise guest on Guns N Roses set. Earlier, GNR lead singer Axl Rose was named the lead singer for AC/DC’s world tour.
MC Ren and DJ Yella joined Ice Cube for an NWA reunion.
But Ice Cube had more surprises, including Snoop Dog and Common.
The Eagles’ Joe Walsh and Glenn Shwartz of the James Gang joined The Arcs and Dan Auerbach for an amazing performance.
I got the chance to see Chvrches when they made their Coachella debut two years ago. While I liked their set, lead singer Lauren Mayberry seemed a little timid and shy. Their sound was so good it might have been a little too perfect, sounding like their CD.
I compared Chvrches in their first Coachella to Kings of Leon. Very strong musically live, but not much stage presence.
Saturday was completely different, and a lot of that has to do with Mayberry on stage. She had a commanding presence and helped generate even more energy to their songs, creating a very rich experience.
Mayberry did more communicating on stage, with self-deprecating humor that endeared her to the crowd. There were so many people who would say, “she’s so cute” in a really affectionate way.
She joked about getting spf 85 sunscreen, and how wearing all black was a bad idea in the desert heat. Mayberry also said thanks to their new CD,
And Chvrches still sounded perfect on stage. With their biggest hit, “The Mother We Shared,” Mayberry had a stripped down opening for the song that was powerful and beautiful.
In my mind, I thought about Passion Pit. I had a friend who told me they saw them one year and didn’t think much of them, but then they became really good live.
Mayberry has also established herself as a very fierce front woman of a band that is destined to be a force.
Steve Miller should know who Dan Auerbach is, because he is a force.
Auerbach’s side project is just classic rock and blues with a little psychedelic feel. It felt perfect in the Mohave tent with a great crowd for an intimate setting.
A week ago, Auerbach and his Black Keys’ partner Patrick Carney inducted Miller into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. That turned out to be a disaster when Miller used the opportunity to rip the industry, and Auerbach has been vocal in how he regrets the experience.
With The Arcs, you get a feeling someday Auerbach will find himself being inducted. The Black Keys will go down as one of the best rock acts of this era, and real keeper of the art. The Arcs is much the same, with flavors from Texas and Nashville.
The big surprise in The Arcs’ set was an appearance from Walsh and Shwartz, who did two songs in an incredible showcase.
Coachella got what the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame didn’t, a performance of Ice Cube with NWA mates MC Ren and DJ Yella.
When Ice Cube was named to the Coachella lineup, it was suspected an NWA reunion could happen, especially with their blockbuster movie “Straight Outta Compton” generating so much interest.
And they didn’t disappoint, performing “Straight Outta Compton” and “Fuck da Police.” Ice Cube even said they were asked not to perform “Fuck da Police,” but they did it anyways with fans lifting the middle finger throughout.
But there was so much more to the set.
Ice Cube also brought out Common, as they performed their new song “Real People” on the soundtrack from their “Barbershop” movie that’s out now.
Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson also joined his father on stage in a Kobe Bryant Lakers jersey to perform “Dopeman.”
The final guest of the night was Snoop Dog, as the did two songs, “Go to Church” and “The Next Episode.”
The one thing missing from the show was an appearance from Dr. Dre. But there is Weekend 2.
Guns N Roses
This was a set I was a little cynical about.
A few years ago, Outkast has a reunion at Coachella and it fell flat. They were rusty and the show wasn’t as strong as people had hoped.
With Guns N Roses, it’s been so long since they’ve been together, and it’s been hyped for so long, it seemed like it might be doomed to fall short.
And then Axl Rose broke his foot before their Las Vegas shows to open the new T-Mobile Arena last week.
But these guys showed why they are legends, why there was so much anticipation and why they should remain together.
Axl performed in a throne that the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl created last year when he also broke his foot. Last year, Florence Welsh of Florence +the Machine broke her foot during the first weekend at Coachella and seemed to set a trend of lead singers performing seated. Maybe they should all get together and perform a “Game of Thrones” concert. Might as well add Ice Cube as well since he arrived on his set in a throne as well.
While not perfect, Axl provided the raw energy that made Guns N Roses one of the best rock bands of their era. “Welcome to the Jungle” “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O Mine” were just electric.
With all the jewelry he had on and with the scantily clad go-go girls, it almost felt like Axl had his Larry Flint thing going on.
Slash was masterful, and had a solo doing the “Godfather” theme that was just mind blowing.
If that wasn’t enough, Axl apologized for not being able to run around and do his thing, but he recruited AC/DC legend Angus Young for two songs, including “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Earlier in the day, it was confirmed that Axl will tour with AC/DC.