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Coachella 2018: The 18 Best Things We Saw at Weekend One

From Queen Bey to Cardi B and beyond

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We run down the best of Coachella 2018, weekend one, from Beyoncé to Cardi B and the Yodel Kid himself.

This weekend, Coachella returned to Indio, and the small Southern California town once again became the center of the music world. Beyoncé reigned supreme, but rising stars like Cardi B, Brockhampton and, ahem, Yodel Kid all made strong showings. Here’s the best of what we saw.

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Koury Angelo for Rolling Stone

X Japan

While Beyoncé delivered the epic performance of her career across the field, X Japan landed in the Mojave Tent to deliver on the flash and melodrama that has made them hugely popular across the globe. They played to a modest but excited crowd, the front rows packed with true believers singing and weeping along. There were hard rock explosions and teary ballads, and cameos by Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit and Richard Fortus of Guns N’ Roses. “Jade” began with a speed metal riff and geysers of pyro, then shifted into an emotional glam melody and lyrics sung in English. The star behind the drums and piano was band mastermind Yoshiki, shirtless and wearing a leather neck brace. He ended the night with the band’s traditional show of unity, shouting “We are! We Are!” and their followers responding with a rousing “X! X!”

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Koury Angelo for Rolling Stone

Priests

The pitifully sparse crowd inside the Sonora tent during Priests’ set on Saturday afternoon made it feel like the D.C. four-piece had been stood up. Just before the band played “Nicki” (a taut homage to Nicki Minaj), singer Katie Alice Greer explained they’d even invited the Queens MC along to see the show. “I think she’s really busy,” she mused. But Minaj – and the majority of the festival crowd – missed out on a set of visceral post-punk, punctuated by Greer’s howl. As the global political climate appeared to darken during Coachella’s first weekend, Priests’ primal screams of alienation landed with a greater impact than usual.

Coachella Best Worst 2018 read watch

Koury Angelo for Rolling Stone

The Regrettes

This young punk quartet from Los Angeles makes garage-y pop-rock with bite and wild attitude. In the festival’s Sonora Tent, the Regrettes got the moshpit boiling with their take on 1973’s “The Ballroom Blitz” by the Sweet, remaking a classic bit of glam. Far away from the big stages in Indio, the band burned bright with a quick playful set.

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