Coachella 2012: Top Five Acts at the Sahara Tent
Timothy Norris/LA Weekly
By Alejandra Loera
The weekend is over and Coachella came and went in a blink of an eye. It was pure amazingness, and there were so many talented artists to see. For electronic dance music fans though there was one stage we couldn't stay away from. The infamous Sahara tent continues to grow year after year and has hosted some of the top EDM artists in the world, including Daft Punk and Paul Oakenfold. This year was no exception as the production continues to grow at all music festivals. These were the standout performances at the Sahara tent from Coachella weekend one.
Sunday, April 15
This Swedish duo never fails to show their crowd a great time, and Coachella was no exception. They came out full force with their bananas and champagne ready to show the desert how to party! Everyone loves doing the Dada and going bananas over their energetic sets. Their Duck Sauce remix of the "Big Bad Wolf" had everyone going nuts, howling along and jumping up and down with excitement. They had giant blow up letters covering the stage with their name spelled out along with blow up champagne bottles and bananas floating around the sea of dancing people. I was almost tempted to get on a giant inner tube and crowd surf, but was a little scared of all the floating champagne spraying everywhere! Hey, there's always week two or EDC right? At any rate, it was an epic dance party, and that's what everyone going to this tent was hoping for!
Friday, April 13
French 17 year-old electro producer Madeon is another up-and-coming DJ who killed it at the Sahara tent. He played remixes of everything from Skrillex to Blur's "Song 2."
His electro/dubstep sound was just what I needed to forget about the cold and break a sweat despite the weather. You could never tell that his first performance was in April of last year as he takes control of the stage and crowd like he has been doing this for years. For someone who is influenced by the Beatles and Daft Punk, Madeon was just my cup of tea as the sun started to set across the desert
Friday, April 13
Swedish DJ/Producer sensation Alesso blew the crowd away on Friday with his progressive house sound as lasers and lights filled the Sahara tent. He choose hard hitting remixes of Swedish House Mafia's "Greyhound" and "Antidote." The flashing LED walls with his name and everyone's fist pumping hands in the air made for the perfect photo op during his memorable performance. By the time he played his remix of "Pressure" the crowd was lost in a trance dancing the night away. Yes maybe he did play "Levels" but that doesn't take away his EDM cred. His new single "Calling" with Sebastian Ingrosso is already in every DJs hand and you can expect to hear it all over the club scene this summer.
Saturday, April 14
As Kaskade closed out the Sahara tent on Saturday you could tell that the main stage headliners had a lot of fans absent. Not sure if it was because Radiohead is so mellow or
because Kaskade is more current, but the Sahara tent was the place to be that evening. As he opened with "Eyes" the excitement in the tent was magical and full of EDM love. Coachella was the perfect place for him to promote his new "Freaks of Nature" tour which will go all across North America. I saw kids everywhere sporting the masks and tattoos. It is no doubt Kaskade is on his way to being a common household name. His set at Coachella was some of the hardest I have ever see him play as he rocked the house with most of his own produced original tracks like "Room for Happiness" and "Angel On My Shoulder" like I have never heard them before. It was a pure hard hitting dance party and everyone was raging!
1. Calvin Harris
Sunday, April 15
The Sahara tent was already as packed as ever on Sunday night with huge LED lights and screens adding to the excitement of this massive dance party. As soon as Rihanna came on stage and surprised everyone the crowd went wild and absolutely lost it. Katy Perry was with her getting the crowd excited as Riri sang "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been." These collaborations just go to show how big the EDM crossovers really are. Calvin Harris has really blown up in the US with hits like "Awooga," "Bounce" and "Feel So Close." Collaborating with Rihanna and then having her surprise everyone with a performance at one of the biggest music festivals in the US just skyrocket his popularity. It was the perfect example of how music can bring different people together and be enjoyed just the same. Even Katy Perry enjoyed it getting as wild as everyone else, crowd surfing near the end.
Honorable Mention - Swedish House Mafia
Friday April 13, 2012
Even though they weren't at the Sahara tent Swedish House Mafia turned the Main Stage into a dance party on Friday night. They opened in typical SHM fashion with a visual light show that changed with the beat of "Greyhound." Everyone was clapping along, jumping up and down, shuffling and enjoying the set any way you could possibly think of. When they dropped their SHM "Antidote" vs. Knife party mash-up the crowd just lost it and went wild! With hard hitting banging dance music, original tracks with amazing vocals and remixes, fireworks, and fire bursting from the stage what more could you possibly want from a dance party? Swedish House delivered a performance just like they would in Miami or at Electric Daisy Carnival and now the rest of the music world got to experience it without stepping into the Sahara tent.
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