INDIO, California — Acquiring the nickname "Blowchella" on its final day, the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was pummeled by strong winds Sunday as obsessive music fans converged on the Empire Polo Club fields.
Rivaling 2012's "Coldchella," the conditions led some festivalgoers to skip out early, while others rode it out, seeking shelter while squinting and covering their faces with bandanas, scarves and anything else they could find.
Wu-Tang Clan, who performed a 20th anniversary show, dubbed the blinding dust storm "Hurricane Wu," and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis quipped, "I feel like I'm in 'Lawrence of Arabia.' "
RHCP started with a slow burn, going uncharacteristically light with "Monarchy of Roses" and "Otherside." But, of course, they soon picked up the pace, getting the crowd going with "Can't Stop" and Josh Klinghoffer's shredding guitar solos on "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" and "Tell Me Baby."
After the "Under the Bridge" singalong, legendary bassist Flea gushed, "I love you from the core of my f---ing spleen." "By the Way," backed by infrared images of the foursome, was an obvious crowd pleaser. Following Chad Smith's funky drum solo and Flea tearing up his crunchy bass, RHCP began their encore with "Around the World," followed by "Give It Away."
Wu-Tang Clan stormed the stage with their debut single, "Protect Ya Neck," and "Bring Da Ruckus." They slowed it down with "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By," recorded with Mary J. Blige and featuring Method Man, who got his own special shout-out on the group's "Method Man."
Vampire Weekend referred to "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" as "one of our summertime jams," with frontman Ezra Koenig saying, "It's perfect for a night like this." Fan favorite "Cousins" and new track "Diane Young," from their upcoming Modern Vampires of the City, rounded out the set.
Pretty Lights attracted one of the weekend's biggest crowds to the Outdoor Stage. The DJ's blend of electro, hip-hop and soul mixed in Radiohead's "Everything in Its Right Place," Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" and Pink Floyd's "Time."
Nick Cave brought his Bad Seeds and proved his stage presence is truly boundless, jumping into the crowd. Following a captivating rendition of "Stagger Lee," the band was joined by a children's choir for "Push the Sky Away."
Dead Can Dance soothed tired ears with a mesmerizing performance, Dinosaur Jr. inspired the most chaotic mosh pit of the weekend, and Paul Oakenfold mixed in the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Otherside."
Tame Impala, the Lumineers and Social Distortion also performed.
Coachella kicked off Friday with Dog Blood (Skrillex and Boys Noize), Blur, the Stone Roses and a reunited Jurassic 5. The festival's Saturday was heavy with hip-hop, featuring performances by 2 Chainz, Pusha T and a surprise guest spot by R. Kelly with Phoenix.
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