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That wasn’t the only change: The fest went from being the coldest-ever to a record-setting hottest, with temps for the three days well into the triple digits.
Highlights from among the diverse offerings:
MORE: Squeeze plays Coachella
•AWOLNATION (Sail) proved it didn’t need help from a celebrity sit-in — which it got last week from Macy Gray— to satisfy a crowd. Aaron Bruno turned up his showmanship, crowd-surfing on an actual Styrofoam surfboard and allowing Blind Melon’s Christopher Thorn to extend his guitar solo.
•Not like David Guetta needed it, but he brought out another star (after last weekend’s Usher appearance): Sia surprised fans with new single Titanium. The DJ sampled Flo Rida’s Good Feeling and Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know. Then he climbed atop his booth and set off streamers during Turn Me On, his Nicki Minaj collaboration.
•A shirtless Joe Jonas was spotted dancing up a storm at Guetta’s set, while Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora took in The Shins from the VIP area. Other celeb sightings: Alexander Skarsgard, Nikki Reed, Paris Hilton, Alicia Silverstone and Penn Badgley.
•Radiohead sounded even better on second hearing. Portishead drummer Clive Deamer lent a more percussive sound without resorting to extreme looping. And Thom Yorke’s rhythmic dancing makes him a pretty entertaining frontman.
•The Shins played a mellow set featuring power-pop single Simple Song.
•”You gonna know my name by the end of the night,” Gary Clark Jr. boldly declares on Bright Lights. Consider your name known, Mr. Clark: The blues guitarist is one of the fest’s breakout performers. How to describe his sound? B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz and Prince in a blender.
•Feist performed with a small orchestra. The Canadian singer/songwriter sang like she was playing an instrument, and the string, brass and woodwind musicians sang like a chorus when called upon.
•Squeeze put on a polished show of new wave music, though they’re hardly new. “There’s a future for Squeeze,” says frontman Glenn Tilbrook, but one that’s different from the days when album sales made artists rich. “It’s more about giving stuff away and enticing (the audience) to come see you,” says Squeeze’s other half, Chris Difford. “It’d be nice for people to buy our stuff but I’d like them to have it anyway.”
•Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds performed a solid set, mixing Oasis songs and new material. The finale — 1996′s Don’t Look Back in Anger— provided a nostalgic singsong moment, and prompted one female fan to remove her top. Security gently suggested she put it back on. But in her defense, it was a very hot day.