Stagecoach 2022: Festival wraps up with performances from Yola, Diplo and more


Accompanied by a horse and a carriage, Stagecoach has made a comeback.

Held annually on the weekend after the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival ends, the Stagecoach Festival and its two stages are the hub of country music on the West Coast. The Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif., is transformed for the third weekend in a row, trading polo horses for a large sculpture of the animal Friday through Sunday.

Read on for Stagecoach Day 3’s Daily Bruin coverage.

English artist Yola uses her acoustic guitar to accompany her performance, which featured purple neon letters of her name in the background. The singer performed “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by fellow Brit Elton John during her set. (Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin)


On Sunday afternoon, Yola painted Palomino purple and pink.

Lively drums and a tambourine led the way as Yola entered the Palomino Stage at 4:30 p.m., and she wore a pink belted dress and purple eyeshadow. Scratching and slamming, the singer harmonized with two male backing vocalists for the opener, “Barely Alive.”

Yola then swapped out her acoustic guitar for an electric one as the opening notes of “Starlight” shimmered. Her guitar strap was decorated with her name — which matched the purple neon “Yola: Stand For Myself” behind her — and a Black Power fist above it. Synths and a thicker bassline ushered in “Dancing Away In Tears” as Yola strutted the length of the stage and danced in her knee-high black boots.

About halfway through her set, Yola took a moment to speak to the crowd, announcing, “I’m English!” Surprise!” The singer wasn’t the only international performer at Stagecoach this year, with Canada-based South African artist Orville Peck performing on the same stage the night before. She performed “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” from her fellow Englishman Elton John vigorously, adding John’s accent at the end of “vodka”.

Closing with “Stand for Myself”, Yola had Palomino on her feet with her arms in the air.

(Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin)
Former Motown Records Vice President Smokey Robinson gestures with his microphone while donning a detailed costume. The singer truncated his performance and played several hits, including “My Girl” by The Temptations. (Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin)

Smoke Robinson

Smokey Robinson brought Motown to the hoedown.

Ready to perform for an hour, the former Motown Records giant took to the Palomino stage at 7 p.m. in style. The evening sun had just reached the stage as 12 members of the band walked around wearing monochromatic white or black outfits. Robinson slipped onto the stage donning a black suit jacket encrusted with gold patterns all over for “Being With You” and continued to hold one of the two backing vocalists tenderly as they stared into each other’s eyes.

After performing several songs and half unbuttoning his see-through black shirt, Robinson threw his jacket to the crowd while chanting his name. He then featured the following track as his international hit for The Temptations. “My Girl” quickly started playing as the background changed from “Smokey” in shimmering silver letters to glowing red hearts.

Robinson skimmed through tracks such as “Just To See Her”, which he pushed himself to, drawing loud cheers. But after gesturing for dramatic effect on “The Tracks Of My Tears”, Robinson left the stage 22 minutes early and did not return, leaving the crowd confused.

And with his departure, Robinson left onlookers in the smoke of the dusty twilight.

(Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin)
The Black Crowes performance features a cartoon rendition of two black crows on the stage behind the band. The band’s set took place during strong gusts of wind, which led vocalist Chris Robinson to notice the toughness of the crowd’s cowboy hats. (Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin)

The black crows

The Black Crowes flew in the desert wind.

The rock band took to the Mane Stage at 9.40pm with their logo of two crows displayed in cartoon style on the screen behind them. Despite intense winds blowing dust onto the pitch, frontman Chris Robinson continued to play with enthusiasm, waiting 30 minutes to notice that the audience’s cowboy hats had to be fitted snugly enough to beat the winds that blew them away. in San Diego.

Then the group continued with “Soul Singing”, as two female backing vocalists echoed Robinson. Deep pinks and reds replaced the previous sunny tones for the more balladesque “She Talks To Angels” that followed.

Heartbreaking electric guitar riffs stayed in the background as the brothers’ matching manes blew in the wind. Robinson tilted the mic stand to lean into the breeze, rounding out The Black Crowes’ discography with soulful harmonica and emphatic leaps for the penultimate song, “Thorn in My Pride.” Finally, the night ended with a rainbow of lights for a cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle.”

Although the conditions were difficult to tolerate, the Black Crowes music flowed easily.

(Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin)
DJ Diplo points skyward as he stands in front of the stage illuminated with cool tones and beaming lights. The artist closed Stagecoach 2022 as the last performance of the festival, with techno spins on Latin tracks such as “Gasolina” and hip-hop songs such as “Low”. (Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin)


Diplo lowered Stagecoach before leaving the desert.

Before the DJ emerged on the Palomino stage at 10:50 p.m., the celestial hum raised anticipation as festival-goers awaited the final performance of Stagecoach 2022. Framed by two semi-circles dotted with white lights radiating outwards, Diplo took the stage in the dark with a fringed jeans jacket and bandana.

The recent cowboy convert wasn’t alone for long, however, as two women took up pole dancing left and right. After a techno pirouette on “Body” by Loud Luxury, he interrupted his fervent rotation of country hits for the crowd to shout the chorus of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.”

The background alternated between featuring footage and animated footage of Joshua Tree National Park and other trippy footage and featuring Diplo-branded Western scenes. The DJ’s name was spelled out on barrels that rolled from the stage’s left screen to the right – the first performer to use all of a stage’s screens for coordinated visual effect – and stuck on beer cans labeled “Diplo Light”.

Country music wasn’t the only genre on the menu, as Diplo played Latin artist Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” and then transitioned into a hip-hop segment with Fetty Wap’s “679” and Lil’s “Low.” Jon & The East Side Boyz. The festival’s closing act featured the final number from the headliner of Day 2 – Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” – overlaid with a staccato beat.

Closing out the night, Diplo proved that country music can be so much more.

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