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Takeaways from Coachella 2024: Grimes DJ meltdown, Blur fall flat, Tyler shines & more

Takeaways from Coachella 2024: Grimes DJ meltdown, Blur fall flat, Tyler shines & more


Coachella’s first weekend of 2024 happened in Indio Valley in California and was livestreamed on Youtube all weekend and here are some of my non-exhaustive takeaways from the festival.

Blur did not land

Was Blur playing the main stage at Coachella a good idea in 2024? A clip doing the rounds on Twitter, showed the lack of crowd enthusiasm and response during ‘Girls & Boys’ and Damon Albarn appeared increasingly aggravated by the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd.

“You’re never seeing us again, so you might as well fucking sing it…” he said at one point.

‘Song 2’ appeared to pop off regardless but that song belongs to sports stadiums before Blur these days.

Where Blur ever going to be more warmly received at Coachella? They played in 2013 and it wasn’t much better then, so no, not really. Coachella in 2024 is not for the Blur fan generation, and Damon talking about a funny Tik Tok before ‘Song 2’ just underscored that.

Grimes has a mare

No one likes tech difficulties but Grimes’ DJ set disaster points to a lack of professionalism and preparation, as she blamed someone else – “outsourced essential things like rekordbox BPMs and letting someone else organize the tracks.”

Blaming someone who works for you is never a good look, but DJs with a modicum of experience will be scratching their heads. The relationship between you and Rekordbox (the DJ software that is industry standard for DJ playlists and preparation) is a deeply personal one, and not one that you can easily outsource to someone else. I would argue knowing how your Rekordbox is organised is a deeply intimate thing to most DJs so this excuse is absolutely wild cursed behaviour.

As for the decks showing her tracks at 370 BPM, whatever about the mix-by-ear crowd, Rekordbox’s limit is usually 180BPM so unless Grimes’ tracks didn’t go through the software at all (she does say she added a song 90 minutes before) and the CDJs were analysing live (maybe) the only other explanation is the crazy tempos are a personal assistant’s final blow-up act of revenge.

Anyone at the Irish show at the Olympia in 2016 will remember her equipment electrocuting her on stage that night. “There has never been a Grimes show without a major technical difficulty,” suggests there is a common theme here.

Tyler, The Creator brings the stage drama

Tyler, The Creator has been developing his festival stage show into a fully-fledged production in recent years, but his Coachella set felt like he notched it up a level in stage theatricality complete with canyon visuals, camping, pyro and robotic yaks.

Guests included Donald Glover, A$AP Rocky Charlie Wilson and Kali Uchis, the show was all about Tyler stalking the stage, joking about the “Epstein hours”, chiding the Coachella owner for the curfew and delivering highlights from his now significant discography like ‘See You Again’, ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ and ‘Earfquake’ in his dastardly playful tone. It played better than Friday’s headliner – the lower-energy Lana – which felt like it was one for the fans.

It’s a far cry from his Odd Future member Frank Ocean’s ice-rink debacle last year and a reminder that Tyler has been making messy, memorable, character-magnifying rap solid gold for 13 years now.

Other things that happened:

No Doubt / Olivia Rodrigo

If last year’s Blink 182 set was the crowning of 90s pop punk moment of 2023, 2024’s equivalent was No Doubt’s returning ska-pop greatest hits complete with Olivia Rodrigo joining Gwen Stefani on stage for ‘Bathwater’. Good wholesome pop fun.

Lil Yachty brought out Mac DeMarco

Victoria Monet called out to stop the genocide, and it’s not the first time.

Will Smith performed ‘Men In Black’ during J Balvin’s set.

Doja Cat went all out…

Justice’s live setup is insane fun.

Sky Ferreira popped up to kick off Kevin Abstract’s set with a cover of Lady A’s 2009 song ‘Need You Now’. It’s the closest we’ll get to an Irish gig after last month’s postponed show was properly cancelled in the reschedule.

Vampire Weekend brought out Paris Hilton and Abraham Lincoln to play Cornhole during a country covers mini-set. OK? OK.

Jamie XX, Floating Points and Caribou had a B2B on the Quasar stage. (offline)

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