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Those that came early enough Saturday afternoon to see Brooklyn metal prodigies Unlocking The Truth were treated to an epic performance by these sixth grade (!) slashers. The young performers were not shy about sassing their tech when bassist Alec Atkins’ monitors were failing, but were surprisingly humble with small smiles after asking the massive crowd, “How many of you know who we are,” and about 80 percent of the audience’s fists began pumping in the air. About a third of the way through the band’s set lead guitarist and singer Marcus Brickhouse shouted at the crowd “Spin it!” before yelling to drummer Jared Dawkins to “Go Jared,” creating a massive circle pit. At the end of the boys’ set people were shouting for more, but the folks at Coachella wouldn’t let them go over their allotted set time, so the threesome crowd-surfed off stage to make the last song as memorable as possible.
The rest of the day was highlighted by numerous surprises. Heineken had promised to snapchat fans throughout the day with clues as to who their special surprise collaborators would be at the collaborative themed “Heineken House.” Although the snap chats didn’t always work, their collaborations were a huge success with the first surprise being a Saturday performance from GZA and Prodigal Sunn collaborating with DJ the Gaslamp Killer. At the same time GZA was tearing it up, Solange brought out her sister Beyonce for the end of her final song. Diddy was rumored to be appearing during Guy Gerber’s DJ set, but was a no show. Don’t think though that this was a Diddy-less Choachella, as he along with Nelly, Gwen Stefani, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Tyler the Creator and Diplo showed up to perform with Pharrell Williams. The biggest shocker of the evening was when Jay Z came out during Nas’s 20th anniversary performance of Illmatic. After the headliner was finishing up The World Is Yours, the former New York nemeses performed Dead Presidents II as well as Where I’m From. Right when you thought that was it, Diddy joined in during Nas’s encore to perform Hate Me Now.
Other highlights from the day included a surprisingly happy Francis Black during the Pixies’s set. Queens of the Stone Age lead singer Josh Homme remembering growing up in nearby Palm Desert saying, “The dust would blow forever and I would break everything.” Captial Cities gave one of the highest energy performances of the day with a majority of the oomph coming from trumpeter Spencer Ludwig who stole the show. Although Pharrell showed off some serious pelvic thrusts, the most sexual thrusting of the day came from Foxygen’s Sam France whose skinny jeans showed off, uh, unneeded details. And Julian Casablancas And The Voidz’ set, Casablancas yelled to the audience members who were leaving his performance, “This music is meant to alienate the right kind of people!” Touché?
Photos by Annie Lesser