Coachella Goes out With a Bang

Sunday -- and Coachella's first weekend -- ended the way the festival started: with big name and surprise guests.

It was nonstop. On Friday, Kanye took the stage twice and LCD Soundsystem’s reunion tour ended the night. It was a seemingly endless roster of special guests on Saturday with appearances by everyone from (a digital) Bernie Sanders to Lorde and Sam Smith to Snoop Dogg to Angus Young. And on Sunday, the initial three days of 2016’s Coachella Festival ended the same way it started -- with a bang.

Given the fact that festival closer Calvin Harris is currently dating pop superstar Taylor Swift, most fans thought they would see the couple shutting things down together on Sunday night. But that was not the case. Much to the surprise (and delight) of fans, Harris instead opted for a duet with Rihanna on their 2011 hit, "We Found Love." The Harris-penned song, featured on albums by both artists, became even more interesting with Swift watching from the wings. But ultimately, there was no time to think about issues of upstaging. Fans seemed more than elated to just get a few minutes with Ri-Ri.

Sunday also marked the festival debut of San Diego’s lone Coachella representatives, Prayers. The pioneering cholo-goth duo overcame initial technical difficulties to win over a decently sized, early-day crowd assembled in the Mojave Tent for their 1:40 p.m. set. With multiple shout-outs to San Diego, Dave Parley and Leafar Seyer (Rafa Reyes) shined for those already indoctrinated and introduced their original style to an entirely new group of fans.

There was plenty of other great music on Sunday as well.

Rancid and the Vandals gave punk fans something to cheer about, Grammy-winning newcomer Chris Stapleton added some country flair in preview of his upcoming Stagecoach appearance, and Kamasi Washington ripped through the only jazz set of the day.

Not to mention, Major Lazer, Sia and Beach House also played.

With such a diverse and impressive set of surprises and performances earmarking weekend one, it’s exciting to think of how artists will tweak things when this all starts over again in just a few days. 

Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of

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