Coachella Week Two: Five Sahara Tent Faves

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Colin Young-Wolff/ LA Weekly

For some of us, two weeks of Coachella meant we got to head back to the desert and enjoy three more days of music-filled greatness. The weather change was crazy; for the first week, we had to battle a storm. The second, it was triple-digit temperatures. We still can't decide what was worse--dancing our asses off in the cold rain or missing lots of DJs because it was too hot to go in early. 

Most of the artists played pretty much the exact same set as week one, with the exception of celebrity surprise guests. Week one David Guetta brought out Usher to sing "Without You" and Calvin Harris had Rihanna perform "Where Have You Been" and "We Found Love." Week one was also noticeably more crowded and flooded with celebrity guests.

The hype and the energy at the festival in general was more magical week one because no one really knew what to expect. They hadn't been bombarded through Facebook updates, Twitter news feeds, and Instagram posts yet so there was a lot more anticipation and excitement. Regardless, having two weeks of Coachella meant you could see acts you missed the week before...and in my case (gasp!), venture out of the Sahara tent. Week one we featured Dada Life, Madeon, Alesso, Calvin Harris, Kaskade and Swedish House Mafia as the top EDM favorites. Since their sets were pretty much exactly the same, here are our the top five favorites of week two.

Shannon Nehls

5. Avicii

Sunday April 22

Changing the Avicii time slot to 9:40 p.m. made it so that most fans could watch the beginning of Avicii and then still make it to see the epic Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg reunion on the main stage at 10:35pm. He opened his set with Vitzis' Old School intro of "Levels" and the crowd went wild! The Sahara tent was filled with colorful lights, lasers, and crazy shapes from the entire stage to the ceiling. Tim Bergling aka Avicii was actually on top of a giant LED head that seemed to be changing effects along with the music. The giant head actually sang to the vocals as he played a mash-up of Gotye "Somebody That I Used to Know" and "Levels." With all the stimulating visuals and graphics getting to see Avicii was a week two highlight and preview to his upcoming L7els tour.

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Shannon Nehls

4. David Guetta

Saturday April 21

After an embarrassing set at Ultra Music Festival I wasn't even going to check out David Guetta at Coachella, but as luck or fate would have it I ended up in the Sahara tent when he opened with Alesso's remix of "Titanium" featuring vocals by Sia. The crowd was singing along word for word with their glow stick hands in the air. The energy was great everyone was clapping and jumping up and down as he played the Nicky Romero remix of Flo Rida's "Wild Ones." At one point he turned off all the lasers, lights and crazy production to drop Laidback Luke's "1, 2. 3. 4" featuring Chuckie and Martin Solveig and the crowd just kept raging! By playing all his top hits like "love is gone" and having Sia come out on stage to perform "Titanium" at the end when he closed out I'd say not only did he redeem himself, but made the Sahara tent dance party straight into the Kaskade set.

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Shannon Nehls

3. Sebastian Ingrosso

Saturday April 21

It's no surprise that Ingrosso, who is one third of the super DJ group Swedish House Mafia, would be a stand out favorite of the weekend. It pretty much was like watching Swedish House Mafia in the Sahara tent sans the fireworks and fire production. As he played the Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike vs. SHM Dark Forest Edit of "Leave The World Behind" the entire tent went bananas into a hard hitting dance party! The flashing lights went along with the music but were different from what I remembered week one proving that he's not just a DJ pressing play on stage and rather feeding off the energy and crowd. The build up was amazing and by the time he dropped "Greyhound" fog blasted into the crowd, lasers were going all different directions and everyone had surrendered to the music.

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Michael Silver

2. Porter Robinson

Sunday April 22

Porter Robinson has come quite a long way in the few years he has been producing and DJing. His Coachella set was a perfect example of how progressive his music has become. From hard hitting electro, dubstep inspired sounds and amazing vocals Porter's 4 p.m. set was definitely one not to miss! Everyone was dancing their asses off in the Sahara tent as he played the perfect blend of his own produced songs like "Say My Name" and "Language" mixed with other hard hitting songs of the moment like Knife Party's "Internet Friends" and Bingo Players' "Rattle." He even included classics like Deadmau5's "Animal Rights" mashed up with Benni Benassi's "Satisfaction." You could only imagine how delighted the crowd was as he blew us away with his performance. He didn't even need all the fancy lights, logos and visuals to keep us entertained, his music was enough to keep us raging!

Michael Silver

1. Nero

Sunday April 22

The stand out EDM performance week two which I missed on week one was Nero who performed live with the beautiful Alana Watson. Nero's music is where EDM is headed in the next generations. The fact that they play with keyboards which they use to control Ableton and have a third member who's actually singing vocals to their songs makes it a much more "band" experience with the electronic drops, sounds and distortions that EDM fans love. Even though their set was moved to be mostly in the day it didn't seem to phase anyone. Sure the visuals might not have been as cool as if they were in the dark but from what I experienced they still melted everyone's faces off with their dirty dubstep songs and futuristic electronic sound. When they played their song "Promises" which they collaborated with Skrillex the entire Sahara got down with the bass drops and cheered for Alana's enchanting voice.

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Shannon Nehls

Honorable Mention

Sub Focus

Saturday April 21

Even though he was not in the Sahara tent Sub Focus managed to blow the crowd away as he closed out the Mojave stage. He was inside of an enclosed fish eye orbital looking contraption that changed colors and flashed LED visuals to his drum and bass, dubstep, and electro songs. Sub Focus was the best dance party of the whole weekend as he played "Rock It" and "Out the Blue." The LED circle he was in was a visual stimulation unlike any I have seen since the likes of Daft Punk, Deadmau5 and Skrillex. Also equally outstanding was the MC who was speaking over the beats to get the crowd rowdy and vibing all the beats. The whole time in the Mojave tent I felt like I was in the Sahara dancing up a storm. With crazy visuals, live elements, and amazing bass kicks this had to be my favorite performance of week two.

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