Coachella 2024: surprises, technical problems and a distinct lack of vibes

The dust has settled at the Indio Empire Polo Club after weekend one of Coachella 2024 closed Sunday with a five-star performance by Doja Cat. The first installment of the annual bash brought many surprises, technical difficulties and good times. Enter NME as we recap what went down and prepare for the weekend.

To see the future

Every year at Coachella, there are several standout performances from young artists that make you hit the metaphorical crystal ball and start predicting the headlines of the future. The first NME Cover star Chappell Roan’s set made him the first candidate for this role in 2024, and the singer turned the Gobi tent into a huge procession of joy and happiness. The overwhelming response, along with his infectious, theatrical presence, gave glimpses of a steady ascent of the festival for Roan to come, hopefully ending up at the top of the bill.

On Friday night, K-pop boy group ATEEZ also made their commitment to the future high with their first Coachella performance. The eight-piece group are known for their big concerts that use production but didn’t let the restrictions of the festival stop them from impressing. There were nods to traditional elements of Korean culture and world-building groups, such as the saloon-like bar that appeared behind them in the middle of their space. Along with performances fueled by aggressive energy, ATEEZ hinted that their historic relationship with Coachella may not end with them becoming the first male K-pop act to take part in the festival.

Indio, CA – April 12: Chappell Roan performs on the first day of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Indio, CA. (Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A distinct lack of vibes

“Sometimes Coachella has a dead-as-hell crowd, but tonight was great,” Tyler, The Creator told the audience during his Saturday headline set. He may have been blessed with an enthusiastic response, but that wasn’t the case for everyone in Indio this weekend. Those who gathered for Doja Cat in the afternoon were unfazed by the star, even as she brought out giant dinosaur bones to slowly follow her down the runway – if there ever was a time to to show emotion, it was. then. Blur’s main stage, too, was greeted by a damp squib from the crowd who chattered through the bulk of the setlist and responded to Damon Albarn’s efforts to mix the songs with an eerie silence: “You’re no longer you’ll see us again, so you can too. fucking sing it”, he teased during ‘Girls & Boys’.

It would be easy to chalk this up to cheering for Coachella to die, but that wouldn’t be true. There was a lot of energy in certain pockets of the festival, perhaps not what middle-aged Britpop is looking for. Instead, it was EDM bands that electrified the crowds the most, while quieter, more subtle artists like Lana Del Rey were met with scorn. After a year of slow ticket sales, it wouldn’t be surprising if the 2025 lineup featured more dance music at the top of the bill.

The Doja Cat
Doja Cat CREDIT: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Coachella

Coachella is still the best festival of surprises

Despite the lack of energy in the main field, Coachella 2024 supported its reputation as a festival of surprises. Billie Eilish and A$AP Rocky took to the stage not once but twice over the weekend, while Childish Gambino, 21 Savage, Will Smith, Paris Hilton, Kesha, Justin Bieber, Mac DeMarco, Lauryn Hill, and many more stand out with them. . It could be a big two weekends, with rumors swirling about a certain Miss T Swift. Whether he appears on stage or not, it’s clear that the desert festival is still a sunny weekend for artists.

The heroes of the 1990s returned

This year’s lineup boasted two of the most popular ’90s legends that made a huge profit – No Doubt and Sublime. The latter unveiled its new lineup, and Bradley Nowell’s youngest son, Jakob, took his father’s place in front of the mic. Young Nowell apparently had no trouble fitting into the band, and looked at ease on stage, teasing the crowd.

On Saturday night, No Doubt performed for the first time in nine years, and Coachella-goers filled the main stage to get a glimpse of their big comeback. Even its biggest comeback couldn’t raise such a high profile – until Olivia Rodrigo joined the band on ‘Bathwater’ and, later, Gwen Stefani stepped up to the plate to engage the audience in a call-and-response. during ‘Just a Child’.

INDIO, CALIFORNIA – 13 No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and Olivia Rodrigo perform at Coachella Stadium during the 2024 Coachella Valley Music Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2024 in Indio, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for No Doubt)

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