By Shannon Carlin & Scott T. Sterling
Pharrell Williams, who played right before Muse on the Outdoor stage, used his solo set as a career-spanning showcase, touching on his string of chart-topping collaborative hits from last year (namely Daft Punk‘s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines”) to a show-stopping revue of his chart history, bringing out a cavalcade of guest stars including Snoop Dogg (“Beautiful,” “Drop It Like It’s Hot”), Nelly (“Hot in Herre”), Busta Rhymes and Puffy Daddy (“Pass the Courvoisier”) and even No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani, who hit the stage for a rousing rendition of her Pharrell-penned 2004 solo single, “Hollaback Girl.” After having a baby only a little more than a month ago, we should add. His decision to pull out a couple of N.E.R.D. songs (including “Lapdance”) got Tyler the Creator so excited that he hopped from the VIP pit to the stage to turn it up with Williams’ dancers. Pharrell even called up producer Diplo for “Aersol Can,” his collaboration with Major Lazer. Of course, he also highlighted songs from his recently released GIRL album, including “Marilyn Monroe” and “Happy,” which became a dance party with Pharrell pulling the Haim sisters, Lorde and Busta up to the stage to show off their dance moves.
(Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)
The unexpected dust storm that blanketed the Coachella grounds also claimed Williams’ voice, which had grown so hoarse from the swirling winds that he eventually had to hand off the microphone to a roadie, unable to finish the song. Still, it was an exhilarating show that bodes well for fans planning to see him on a handful of dates opening for Bruno Mars later this spring.