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1st weekend of Coachella brings wind, guests (w/video)

  • Pharrell Williams performs at the 2014 Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Indio. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

It might seem crazy, what I'm 'bout to say, but Pharrell Williams kind of blew it Saturday night at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where in spite of a hot streak that's included some of the past year's biggest hits -- "Happy," "Get Lucky," "Blurred Lines" -- the singer-rapper-producer seemed not quite ready for his prime-time performance.

Williams himself might insist he was the victim of the blowing: At least three times he complained about the "stupid" wind that turned Coachella into a dustbowl Saturday; he said it was ravaging his voice and had forced him to scale back his stage production. And, indeed, by the end of his hour-long set, his vocals had become not much more than a hoarse bark.

But as much as you felt for the guy, who seemed genuinely sorry that his big Coachella debut wasn't going according to plan, you had to wonder why none of his handlers had put the most important lesson of pop stardom into his head: The show must go on.

2014 Coachella Music And Arts Festival


Especially when the show has so much else going for it.

Wearing a hoodie, scarf, denim cutoffs and, of course, one of his trademark hats, Williams was a perfect picture of the goofy cool he's made his own lately. He had a set list packed with an insane number of all-time jams, and a muscular six-piece band capable of handling them.

And he had superstar pals, such as Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg, eager to join him onstage.

Yet Williams couldn't be consoled: During "Get Lucky," the Grammy-winning Daft Punk hit he sang and co-wrote, he simply hung his head and allowed his recorded vocal to carry the song for him. Next weekend at Coachella's encore run, he said, he'd make up for the performance even if he had to wear a gas mask.

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