Arcade Fire hit out at ‘VIP room bullshit’ at Coachella during headline set

The first weekend of the California festival comes to an end with surprise appearances from Drake and Slash

Arcade Fire closed the final day of the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival last night (April 13) in Indio, California with a guest appearance from Blondie’s Debbie Harry.

Harry joined the band to perform Blondie’s 1979 single ‘Heart of Glass’, sharing vocals with Régine Chassagne whilst Win Butler played piano. “Cruise on, motherfuckers,” said Harry to the crowd during the track which segued into ‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’ on which Harry provided backing vocals before dancing with Chassagne holding multi-coloured streamers. “Debbie fucking Harry,” said Butler as the song came to an end.

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Arcade Fire were introduced by a man wearing a suit made of shattered mirrors and opened up their set with ‘Reflektor’, with Chassagne shining mirror discs strapped onto her hands into the crowd. “Alright guys, we’re gonna give you every ounce of what we’ve got if you give it back to us,” said frontman Butler before ‘Rebellion (Lies)’. Scroll down for a full setlist.

Butler later railed against the various VIP areas at the festival to cheers from the crowd, commenting: “I just want to say that there’s a lot of fake VIP room bullshit happening at this festival, and sometimes people dream of being there – but it super sucks in there, so don’t worry about it.” He also made a sly dig about the electronica/EDM heavy aspect of the festival, giving a “shout out to all the bands playing instruments this weekend” at the end of the set.

Other special guests yesterday included Drake, who came onstage during Jhene Aiko’s set to perform ‘From Time’ and Slash, who played ‘Ace of Spades’ with Motorhead. Justin Bieber also joined Chance The Rapper during the ‘Acid Rap’ artist’s main stage set. Bieber fans across the world expressed their disappointment with the show not being livestreamed, causing Chance to later tweet: “I asked that they not to live stream the coachella shows because I wanna see u in person. When we meet U’ll understand”.

Frank Turner opened his afternoon set with his band The Sleeping Souls with ‘Photosynthesis’, during which he revealed that the festival set was his 1558th show. Playing ‘Peggy Sang The Blues’, ‘Try This At Home’, ‘Recovery’ and ‘I Still Believe’ on the sweltering desert site, Turner told the crowd: “This is hotter than its ever been in England ever for the last 4000 years”.

Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes was joined by girlfriend Samantha Urbani of the band Friends for the length of his set, as well as rapper Despot during the song ‘Clipped On’. The band were watched from the side of the stage by Debbie Harry. “How you guys doing right now?” said Hynes. “Thanks for braving the heat and coming to see us play.” The set included ‘Always Let U Down’ and ‘Bad Girls’. Hynes also sang snippets of ‘Ms Jackson’ by OutKast and ‘Born To Die’ by Lana Del Rey – who also both performed at this weekend’s festival. Wearing an 1960s styled orange and pink dress, Lana Del Rey debuted her new song, ‘West Coast’ during her set last night, as well as playing ‘Summertime Sadness’, ‘National Anthem’ and ‘Video Games’.

The Naked And Famous made their Coachella debut playing ‘Punching In A Dream’ and ‘Hearts Like Ours’. “I’m gonna take a photo to remember this forever!” said the band’s Alisa Xayalith, before snapping the crowd on her iPhone, then launching into set finale ‘Young Blood’.


Neutral Milk Hotel continued their epic world tour with a sunset show. Frontman Jeff Mangum requested that no photos were taken by fans during the set, which included ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’ and ‘Ghost’, and also opted out of having footage shown on the big screens flanking the stage. “Would you mind putting the cameras and cell phones away. Let’s just be together,” said Mangum.

Calvin Harris’ main stage set drew a huge crowd. “I wanna see absolutely everybody’s hands in the air,” repeated the DJ and producer from behind a raised platform throughout his performance, playing a set that included Icona Pop’s ‘I Love It’, Simian’s ‘Never Be Alone’, The Killers’ ‘When You Were Young’ and his own ‘We Found Love’, ‘I Need Your Love’ and ‘Sweet Nothing’. However, there was no sign of guest vocalists Rihanna, Ellie Goulding or Florence Welch.

A sharp-suited, hat wearing Beck played a hit packed show, following ‘Devil’s Haircut’ with ‘Loser’, during which he danced across the stage. He also sang a portion of Donna Summer’s disco classic ‘I Feel Love’ and aired a “new version” of ‘Gamma Ray’ from 2008’s ‘Modern Guilt’ album. Strapping on an acoustic guitar, he played an impassioned ‘Blue Moon’ from new album ‘Morning Phase’. “This is for the end of the weekend,” he said before ‘The Golden Age’. Later, Beck’s son Cosimo appeared onstage to play tambourine during the finale of ‘Where It’s At’/‘One Foot in The Grave’.

Arcade Fire played:

‘Flashbulb Eyes’
‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’
‘Rebellion (Lies)’
‘Joan of Arc’
‘The Suburbs’
‘Ready To Start’
‘Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)’
‘No Cars Go’
‘Keep The Car Running’
‘It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)’
‘Heart Of Glass’
‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’
‘Normal Person’
‘Here Comes The Night Time’
‘Wake Up’