Surprise guests stars and the return of some legendary rockers set the tone for Day 2 of Coachella.
Kesha led the charge of guest stars when the singer surprised fans during Zedd’s nighttime set Saturday to join the DJ for a rendition of “True Colors,” the title track off the EDM star’s 2015 album. It marked the “Tik Tok” singer’s highest-profile live performance since all the media attention surrounding her legal battle against producer Dr. Luke.
Kesha’s accusations of being drugged, raped and emotionally and verbally assaulted by the music maker were dismissed by a New York judge earlier this month. The accusations have been vehemently denied by Dr. Luke, who has never been criminally charged.
The 29-year-old singer did not address the crowd during her appearance.
Kesha wasn’t the only famous face who surprised Coachella attendees during the second night of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Panic at the Disco! singer Brendon Urie joined singer Halsey during her set, while rappers Run The Jewels got emcee Nas to hit the stage as well as an introduction video from Sen. Bernie Sanders.
British electronic duo Disclosure pleasantly surprised the crowd during their 50-minute set with a cameo by Lorde and later Sam Smith for their biggest hits “Omen” and “Latch.
But UK duo AlunaGeorge was the first of Disclosure’s special guests, hitting the main stage just moments after their own solo set at the Sahara tent. For frontwoman Aluna Francis, the annual festival is a non-stop reunion.
“This Coachella is insane. I’ve never been to a festival where I know so many of the artists playing,” Francis told CNN earlier in the day. “It feels very buoyant and like you’re at some sort of huge outdoor house party.”
Coachella turned into a nostalgic house party Saturday night as rap and rock legends took over the main stage.
Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube welcomed fellow N.W.A members MC Ren and DJ Yella onstage, thrilling fans but leaving them slightly disappointed that Dr. Dre was not in the house. The trio performed two songs now made even more famous by their megasuccessful feature film “Straight Outta Compton” before Cube brought out his son O’Shea Jackson Jr., who portrayed him in the movie, and Common, who currently stars alongside him in “Barbershop: The Next Cut.” Later rapper Snoop Dogg joined Cube for “Go to Church” before giving the crowd a small bit of the absent Dre’s hit “The Next Episode.”
Closing out the night was the highly anticipated return of Guns N’ Roses.
Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan put on a marathon-long performance with Rose being confined to sitting in a throne onstage due to a foot injury. The group also brought AC/DC guitarist Angus Young to the stage, just hours after it was announced Axl Rose would be joining AC/DC on tour as their replacement lead singer after Brian Johnson had to drop out due to hearing issues.
Even those festival goers watching other acts in other tents broke out into a run toward the main stage when they heard GNR classics such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
British singer James Bay, who’s been on a wave of success with his debut album “Chaos and the Calm,” was one of the many GNR fans excited for the band’s reunion set. Bay, who performed to an overflowing Mojave Tent earlier in the day and led the crowd in a sing-a-long of his mega hit “Let It Go,” told CNN after his set about his fandom for GNR as a child.
“When I was 13 I spent my pocket money on my first ever album that I sort of bought myself,” Bay said. “It was ‘Appetite for Destruction’ by Guns N’ Roses.”
The 25-year-old Grammy-nominated singer was in disbelief that he was playing the same festival as his childhood heroes.
“It’s mad isn’t it,” the singer said of being at Coachella with Guns N’ Roses. “If I could tell my 13-year-old self that I don’t think he would believe me.”