Coachella roundup: cancellations, cameos, headliner highlights

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The Independent Culture

The 2010 Coachella Festival, which ran from April 16 to 18 in Indio, California, began shakily as several overseas bands were forced to cancel their sets due to extreme travel delays. The show did go on as planned, and visitors were treated to a weekend of performances by up-and-coming bands as well as headliners Jay-Z, Muse, and Gorillaz.

UK indie rock band The Cribs and electro-pop idol Gary Numan were among acts forced to cancel their sets when volcanic ash from Iceland led to flight cancellations at Heathrow airport. Frightened Rabbit, Bad Lieutenant, Talvin Singh, Delphic, and Chicago band Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, in the midst of a European tour, were also forced to cancel.

On the opening day of the festival, a rumor circulated that Dr. Dre might make a surprise appearance during Jay-Z's headlining slot to debut the first single from his Detox album, reported Entertainment Weekly. While the rumor turned out to be only a rumor, Jay-Z's set did feature a surprise cameo by Beyoncé. Billboard reports that New York was a theme of the evening, with back-to-back acts LCD Soundsystem and Jay-Z both leading sing-alongs in honor of their native city.

On April 17, British art rock band Muse gave the headlining performance of the evening. Billboard reports that the day had a different balance without an iconic figure such as Jay-Z on the lineup. Muse did draw the biggest crowd of the evening, giving a trademark performance of "Big lights, big sound, big audience - big time rock 'n' roll," according to Spinner. The band's set included both a cover of Nirvana's "School" and elements of Jimi Hendrix's Woodstock rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Gorillaz was the Sunday headliner, and therefore the final band to play the 2010 festival. The band's set began when a recorded Snoop Dogg, projected from giant screens, announced, "Welcome to Plastic Beach." Those screens went on to show animation of the Gorillaz cartoon band, complete with Plastic Beach imagery of trash and undersea scenes designed by Jamie Hewlett. While Snoop Dogg was not there in the flesh, the band's set did feature cameos from Bobby Womack, De La Soul, and The Clash's Mick Jones and Paul Simonon.

More than 100,000 music fans attend the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In the decade since Coachella launched, the multi-stage event has grown in size and acclaim and is now considered the opener of the summer festival season.