Indio, California was ablaze with music, good vibes, and bros once again this past weekend for the sixteenth annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Coachella has long embraced electronic music as a major staple of its festival lineup before many other major US festivals, and this year was no different. The electronic side of the spectrum featured acts from the big room, bass music, techno, and indie electronica worlds, and was mostly centered around the arched Sahara tent and the massively improved Yuma tent. The latter boasted almost three times the space this year and more disco balls than a clothing-optional club in the ’70s, including a shark-shaped fixture positioned directly in front of the DJ booth.
Unfortunately, not all of the sets from Coachella are available online, but of the ones available, we chose eight that are required listening for anyone who didn’t make it, or anyone who simply wants to reminisce on their time in the picturesque Southern California desert.
Even if you’ve seen Dillon Francis live twenty times, you still probably get massive FOMO if you even consider not going to his set at a festival you are attending. We succumbed to the FOMO and hit up his Saturday set, where he was sporting a new, cubic-esque stage with plenty of cats and Dillon faces thrown into the visuals for good measure. In a true display of his prolific artistry, the vast majority of his set was made up of his own tracks, including his new collaboration with wee Martin Garrix, who showed up onstage to intro the track. Even Diplo dropped by to extol Francis, yelling to the crowd “I just wanna say right now that Dillon Francis is the future of music!” View the tracklist here.
New-ish superduo Darkside consists of Nicolas Jaar and Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington, and on Saturday the eclectic outfit brought guitars, keyboard, and DJ decks to the Gobi tent for a dark and tantalizing performance. The set primarily consisted of tracks from their 2013 album Psychic, with Harrington’s brooding guitar providing a grounded base for Nico’s heavy kickdrum and piano accents. Check out their setup here.
Do we even need to sell you on this one? The biggest breakout dance act in recent memory, Disclosure, ripped the Outdoor Stage a new one on Sunday with a set that culminated in a climactic cameo by Ms. Mary J. Blige during their F For You collaboration. Watch a video of the appearance here. The lady’s still got it.
The boys of Flosstradamus literally turned the crowd into a mosh pit on Sunday. Prior to dropping Mosh Pit, the duo instructed that they wanted the entire crowd to mosh… and they did. We’re glad we survived it. Otherwise, the Mojave tent set was full of massive trap, tribal, and hard dance heaters that would even leave a Southern trap purist with a smile on their face.
The Glitch Mob
Given the breadth of genres the trio that is The Glitch Mob has covered, one is never quite sure what to expect when seeing the versatile group in a live setting. This time, the boys brought a heavy dose of electro and glitch hop to the Sahara tent on Friday, featuring several tracks from their new album, Love Death Immortality.
We at LessThan3 are thrilled that the GTA boys are getting booked at festivals like Coachella. Armed with a tribal-tinged flavor currently unmatched in the “EDM” world, GTA brought the Sahara tent to its knees on Saturday with more snare drums than you hear at a DCI Competition. Check the full setlist here.
It doesn’t matter how jaded you are toward mainstream dance music, there is something magical about seeing an unsuspecting crowd of dance music virgins get aurally pounded for the first time with live four-on-the-floor beats. This is exactly what happened during Calvin Harris’ mainstage set, with the man throwing down a set that even raised the eyebrows of long-time Harris fans for its sheer intensity. Harris reported the following day that Coachella officials had informed him he drew the second biggest crowd in Coachella history, the first biggest being 2012’s Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg/Tupac hologram performance.
Skrillex showed up with a brand new design for his Mothership stage and enough energy to power all of Manhattan to close out the Sahara tent on Saturday. Special guest appearances included A$AP Rocky on Wild For The Night and the vocalist from Niki & The Dove to perform her poignant vocal on Sonny’s new take of Niki & The Dove’s 2012 release, DJ, Ease My Mind. Find the full tracklist here.