Madonna headlines mix at Coachella - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Madonna headlines mix at Coachella

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Posted: Monday, May 1, 2006 11:59 am | Updated: 4:58 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

INDIO, Calif. - Madonna thrilled thousands of fans at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Sunday, even as she brought a mainstream feel to the traditionally edgy event. A swollen outdoor crowd erupted in cheers after the Material Girl made her entrance inside a glittering disco ball that split in two and launched into "Hung Up" for her opening number.

She performed an abbreviated set of five songs in less than a half hour.

Not everyone was excited to see the pop star at the musical extravaganza best known for its lineup of indie-rock bands and dance-oriented DJs.

"I'm here for anything but Madonna," said Alessandra Ambrosio, a Brazilian model. "Madonna is too pop to be here."

More than 100,000 people came to the inland desert for two sold-out days of sun and sound. With 47 acts on Sunday's bill alone, fans had so many choices they had to miss some bands to catch others.

"It's hard - you make your decisions and you get to the point where you have to sacrifice," said Jon Hioki, 21, of Nevada City.

Sunday's lineup also included the up-and-coming Matisyahu, a Hasidic reggae and hip-hop artist.

Hours before Madonna, the San Francisco-based Mates of State, a husband and wife duo, performed their unique blend of alt-pop drum and organ music.

Jason Hammel, a former cancer researcher, bounced in his seat as he beat his drums furiously, while his wife, Kori Gardner, a former school teacher, swayed in her red summer dress and played complex passages on her organ. The couple has grown from Oakland party gigs to receive a wave of attention for their smart, singable tunes.

British chart favorite James Blunt drew a large crowds, playing to a wedged-in audience in the Mojave Tent. Near the tent openings, the crowd stood 20 deep to catch a glimpse of the singer as he crooned mellifluous tunes, capping his performance with the hit "You're Beautiful" from his album "Back to Bedlam."

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