INDIO, California — Acquiring the nickname "Blowchella" on its final day, the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was pummeled by strong winds Sunday as obsessive music fans converged on the Empire Polo Club fields.
Rivaling 2012's "Coldchella," the conditions led some festivalgoers to skip out early, while others rode it out, seeking shelter while squinting and covering their faces with bandanas, scarves and anything else they could find.
Wu-Tang Clan, who performed a 20th anniversary show, dubbed the blinding dust storm "Hurricane Wu," and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis quipped, "I feel like I'm in 'Lawrence of Arabia.' "
RHCP started with a slow burn, going uncharacteristically light with "Monarchy of Roses" and "Otherside." But, of course, they soon picked up the pace, getting the crowd going with "Can't Stop" and Josh Klinghoffer's shredding guitar solos on "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" and "Tell Me Baby."
After the "Under the Bridge" singalong, legendary bassist Flea gushed, "I love you from the core of my f---ing spleen." "By the Way," backed by infrared images of the foursome, was an obvious crowd pleaser. Following Chad Smith's funky drum solo and Flea tearing up his crunchy bass, RHCP began their encore with "Around the World," followed by "Give It Away."
Wu-Tang Clan stormed the stage with their debut single, "Protect Ya Neck," and "Bring Da Ruckus." They slowed it down with "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By," recorded with Mary J. Blige and featuring Method ...