The 10 Best Sets From Coachella 2015
Those that couldn't attend Coachella this year eagerly watched the live stream as artists performed career-defining sets. Coachella is arguably the biggest festival in the United States, and a successful performance at the Polo Fields represents a rite of passage for many musicians. The event may be over, but some of these sets still have us buzzing. Here is our list of the ten electronic sets that really shined. Whether it was due to a special guest or a debut of a brand new song, these ten artists exceeded expectations.
Coachella typically puts one EDM act on the mainstage each year. For 2015, Kaskade was selected to follow in the footsteps of artists such as Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia and The Chemical Brothers. Coming off the release of his new single "Never Sleep Alone," Kaskade brought a brand new production to Coachella's mainstage, one that garnered amazing responses from his record-breaking crowd. With people like Usher and Robert Pattison watching from the VIP area, the California native kept the energy high throughout his hour-long performance and even debuted a new track accompanied by his own vocals.
2. Todd Terje and The Olsens
While not a common name in mainstream EDM, Todd Terje received crossover recognition last year with his highly-lauded LP It's Album Time. His disco stylings came full force for a rare live set on Friday night, complete with his backing band The Olsens and a special appearance from collaborator Bryan Ferry. Pit against NERO and Porter Robinson, Terje managed to draw a considerable crowd for his special live set.
3. Porter Robinson
Porter Robinson brought his immense Worlds Tour production to Coachella, enhancing the already excellent lighting and sound seen and heard in the Sahara Tent. Robinson debuted several new live edits and premiered a new remix for the new NERO track "The Thrill," making the most of every minute of his set. Robinson's transition from high-energy electro to a cultivated sound suited the Sahara well and foreshadowed a future diversification of the musical offerings of the stage.
4. Duke Dumont
This was Duke Dumont's second consecutive appearance at Coachella. This time around, the house producer took advantage of the stage to tread new ground. As opposed to playing a usual DJ set, Dumont unveiled an elaborate live setup with a live drummer and synth keyboard player. Additionally, Dumont played a variety of IDs, all of which will presumably appear on his upcoming debut album. The performance was capped off by guest appearance from vocalist James Vincent McMorrow, collaborating on an unreleased ID from Dumont's future catalogue.
5. Clean Bandit
This breakout electronic band made their Coachella debut in a huge way, playing the main stage early in the day to a well-attended crowd. Clean Bandit hit mainstream success with their Grammy-winning single "Rather Be," and that success was felt during their set. Equipped with live instruments and vocalists, Clean Bandit made a powerful impression and a strong case for a promising career. They even paired up with fellow Coachella act Marina and the Diamonds to premiere a new song.
Having previously played the Do Lab stage, ODESZA made a huge impact during their primetime set on the last day of the festival. The duo brought their live setup, but they took it to the next level by bringing out a handful of special guests. From the USC Drumline to live vocals from Shy Girls, the ODESZA set lived up to their successes and seemed to sit well with the enormous crowd huddled underneath the Gobi tent.
Before taking the stage at the Mojave tent, Gesaffelstein announced that Coachella would be his last live show. It remains to be seen exactly what the announcement means, but either way his set provided a remarkable swan song for his live performances. Manning a golden table and puffing on a lone cigarette, the French producer played through a number of tracks from his album Aleph, filling Coachella with dark techno. He finished his weekend two performance in a perfectly rebellious fashion, ignoring signals to end his set and forcing the Coachella's sound crew to cut his music off themselves.
8. DJ Snake
Coachella is known for its special guest appearances, and DJ Snake's sets bore host to numerous surprises from collaborators to unexpected cameos. Weekend one featured guest spots from collaborators AlunaGeorge and MØ, while weekend two brought unexpected guests - rappers DMX and Rae Sremmurd. Among these special guests, DJ Snake played everything from his anthems to deep cuts from other artists' catalogues.
9. Jamie xx
Another consecutive returning artist, Jamie xx went from spinning in the deep-themed Yuma tent to the larger Gobi tent this year. The xx producer used his set to showcase his DJing and production skills, teasing tracks off his upcoming album In Colour like "Loud Places" and "Gosh" and playing unexpected bombs such as the Tame Impala single "Let It Happen." The British producer did not bring an elaborate rig, but his lighting and sound design brought the atmosphere of a rave to the Gobi tent on the final night of Coachella.
10. Bonobo b2b Chet Faker DJ Set
While headliner Drake closed out the mainstage, the Do Lab was preparing for its second surprise closing set. After playing the unannounced set the first weekend, Bonobo brought along singer/producer Chet Faker for his weekend two performance. Faker had played on the Saturday prior and later announced he would be playing a DJ set at the Do Lab on Sunday. As fans crowded the stage so as not to miss a moment of the surprise set, they were certainly not expecting to see Faker and Bonobo team up for a lengthy set, filled with originals from both artists. These fortunate fans witnessed one of the characteristically sweet surprises that Coachella has become famous for.