INDIO, California — Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg stunned Coachella’s final night Sunday with a roster of guests way beyond what even the rumors could have predicted. Backed by a live band and unexpectedly artsy video screens, no less than Eminem, 50 Cent, Warren G and a hologram of Tupac graced the stage.
As if that wasn’t enough, Wiz Khalifa also joined the West Coast hip-hop legends for the anthem of the weekend, “Young, Wild and Free,” which had the crowd singing the chorus in unison: “So what we get drunk/ So what we smoke weed/ We’re just having fun/ We don’t care who sees/ So what we go out/ That’s how it’s supposed to be/ Living young and wild and free.”
Kendrick Lamar — who performed an afternoon set on the main stage Friday — also joined the pair for “The Recipe,” his new joint featuring Dre, who introduced him as “straight outta Compton.”
After their own “The Next Episode” and “Deep Cover (187 on an Undercover Cop),” Dre and Snoop covered House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” The hardest moment of the night came when 50 Cent stormed the stage for “What Up Gangsta” with Tony Yayo by his side, segueing into “P.I.M.P.” with tropical calypso steel drums and his 2003 breakthrough hit, “In Da Club.”
Snoop paid homage to his late homey Nate Dogg, performing “Ain’t No Fun” alongside Kurupt and Warren G as the screens displayed photos of Nate, Snoop and the rest of the Dogg Pound.
The appearance of the late Tupac in very realistic hologram form, which was amazing to some and creepy to others, brought “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”
Eminem even came out for “I Need a Doctor,” a dubstep-flavored “Forgot About Dre” and “Till I Collapse.”
Capping their historic set with “What’s My Name?” and “Still D.R.E.,” Dre and Snoop disappeared below the stage with the Good Doctor proclaiming to the adoring audience, “I wanna say thank you for the love for so many years.”
Sunday’s surprise guests didn’t stop there though, as Rihanna joined Calvin Harris for her latest single, “Where Have You Been,” and “We Found Love,” and Rage Against the Machine spitter Zack de la Rocha lent his lyrics to DJ Shadow.
Earlier in the night, the main stage was handled by French electronic duo Justice and the much-anticipated At the Drive-In reunion. The influential post-hardcore band had heads banging to “Pattern Against User,” “Lopsided,” “Enfilade” and slowed it down a bit with the melodic “Napoleon Solo.” After closing with their only minor hit, 2000′s “One Armed Scissor,” singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala advised, “Now go take a shower.”
Elsewhere, the Sahara dance tent hosted Avicii, the Weeknd grooved a huge crowd at the Outdoor Stage as he sang the sun down with his soulful jams, and Florence and the Machine had the ladies lifted with the frontwoman’s request that the “strong gentlemen in the house” offer their shoulders for “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up).” Beats Antique was clearly among the weekend’s highlights for many who caught their captivating afternoon display of belly dancers flowing to bassy beats.
In response to last year’s event selling out — a week after the 2011 lineup was announced — the festival is experimenting with featuring the same artists for two consecutive three-day weekends: April 13-15 and April 20-22.
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