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20 Best Things at Coachella 2014’s Second Weekend

Surprising cameos, fun covers and the coolest recycling bin in town: the most memorable moments from Weekend Two


Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella; Koury Angelo

For two weekends every year, there is an oasis in the California desert, when the Empire Polo Club in Indio transforms into the Coachella music festival. From Skrillex, Arcade Fire and Pharrell Williams to the artisanal ice cream, our team found the 50 best parts of the festival's first week. Now, join us for 20 things we got to catch up on for weekend two. By Steve Appleford

Sleigh Bells, Weekend 2, Coachella 2014

Koury Angelo

Most Dynamic: Sleigh Bells

From the dependably fierce vocals of singer Alexis Krauss to the flashing white panels of light behind the band, Sleigh Bells managed to be both experimental and human. "Minnie" from last year's Bitter Rivals was set to buzzing slashing guitar while "Tiger Kit" moved with sudden shifts in tempo and intensity, ending with an angry, dismissive shout of "Make like a banana and split!" The dancing never stopped.

Koury Angelo

Best Backstage Perk: Halloween Candy

While Coachella fans are in the trenches, pressing against the barricades and dancing past the midnight hour, things are a bit different backstage: air-conditioned trailers, icy tubs filled with water bottles and Heineken, motorized carts to putt you around. Most welcome and surprising has to be the small buckets filled with the same candy every kid brings home on Halloween night: lollipops, gummi bears, bubblegum, Smarties and peppermints. 

Superchunk, Weekend 2, Coachella 2014

Koury Angelo

Best Reason to Embrace the Nineties: Superchunk

Raging and infinitely tuneful, Superchunk rose from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in time for the Nineties alternative explosion, and spawned the Merge Records label, which continues to release exciting new music. The band got active again late in the last decade (they played Coachella in 2009), and today are still fully engaged with delivering buzzing riffs of straight ahead alt-rock in the form of the self-explanatory "Slack Motherfucker" beneath the chandeliers of the Gobi tent.  

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

Best Chill-Out Spot: Vertical Farming at the Caterpillar

In the past, large-scale sculptures at Coachella have involved a lot of fire and brimstone, from the Tesla coil's bolts of electricity in the early days to a metal flame-breathing dragon more recently. The furthest thing imaginable from that was this year's "Caterpillar" by Mike Grandaw, who built a huge insect-shaped sculpture using living plantlife – with palm trees for antennae and beds of flowers and other plants for its outter skin, much of it placed vertically. It was a living, breathing gathering spot for relaxing breaks away from the music stages.

Koury Angelo

Best Comeback One Weekend Later: Outkast

When a major act stumbles in the spotlight, it's a shock to everyone involved, and opening weekend at Coachella 2014 didn't go well for the reunited Outkast. Their headlining set suffered from scattered pacing, weird staging choices and a general disconnect from the fans already excited to see them. That all changed on weekend two, and the distinctive hip-hop superstars many of us remember from a decade before were back in full, free from the restrictive onstage cube of last week, opening again with an excited "B.O.B." and this time fitting in "The Whole World" with guest Killer Mike to close it out. No disappointments for miles around.

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