Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has always been known as the place for performers to show what they've got coming for the next year. Consistently the festival books headliners that put on life-changing, once in a lifetime performances, but this year it felt like something fell a bit short.
Calvin Harris is the first electronic artist to be booked as the premier headliner in the festivals history. Previous DJs to receive high placement on the lineup include David Guetta in 2015, Skrillex in 2014, and Swedish House Mafia in 2012.
Having made $66 million in 2014 according to Forbes, Harris is the cash king of electronic music, so it makes sense that he would be billed the highest slot at one of the worlds premiere festivals.
His Coachella debut came back in 2014 where he garnered the second largest crowd in the festival's history at the time, second to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. This year was his time to shine, to do something never before seen and blow our minds.
So what happened?
He played one of the most cookie-cutter sets of all time. It was literally exactly like watching him play in Las Vegas or any other festival, just with higher production value.
He played out all his hits, which by now have been heard millions of times, without really throwing anything new in there. At least play a remix or a mash-up, not the entire original song! We know the song. We wanted to be surprised.
Coachella headlining sets are generally littered with A list cameos and special guests, and in that respect Calvin still fell short. Bringing Rihanna out was great and all, but it was just to have her sing their hit track that came out back in 2011. We've seen that before. Big Sean singing IDFWU is tight, and John Newman is great, but was it really worthy of the headlining set?
You are closing out the festival, show us something new! Instead, we were met with a set of songs we all knew that generally stuck around 128 bpm with the occasional slight drop in tempo.
He had the opportunity of the lifetime, and wasted it!
The production was cool, very cool. But it was still not nearly as awe-inspiring as Swedish House Mafia's was back in 2012. When this year's lineup was announced, I remember telling my friends that Calvin was going to have to have some massive surprises in store and a slew of new music to go down in the history books as one of the best headliners ever. I thought maybe he would do what Outkast did, after their first weekend headlining set was disappointing, they came back the second weekend with a vengeance and wow'd the audience!
I was extremely disappointed in what actually happened, and I know a lot of other people were too. If you had not seen Calvin before you probably loved the set, but he plays in Vegas all of the time so you really didn't see anything too special.
This might just be evidence of the EDM craze dying down, or perhaps he thought the "normal" routine would suffice to make the crowd engaged. No matter what you think of his music, Calvin Harris is talented producer, probably one of the best in the world, I just wish he had used those talents to make this set truly unforgettable. We'll just have to wait and see what else he has in store for 2016.