By Piya Sinha-Roy
INDIO, California (Reuters) - British rockers Muse and R&B singer Pharrell served up musical highlights at the Coachela Valley Music and Arts Festival on Saturday amid windy weather and cooler temperatures.
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy delivered high-energy performances of the bands hits songs including "Hysteria," "Resistance," and "Magic," but a large portion of the Coachella crowd left the field early as high winds swept sand and dust across the festival field.
Muse performed a catalogue of its hits including "Time is Running Out," and "Starlight," where Bellamy walked through the crowd and climbed onto a platform among the audience during the song.
The band also sang a cover of grunge rock band Nirvana's "Lithium," dedicating it to Nirvana's late lead singer Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide 20 years ago.
Festival goers in the desert town of Indio, California, were alerted by text message of high winds on the field.
Ahead of Muse, R&B singer Pharrell brought uptempo tracks to the festival, kicking his set off with "Lose Yourself To Dance," his collaboration with French electronic music duo Daft Punk.
The singer sang some of his older hits with his group N.E.R.D., such as "Lapdance" and "She Likes To Move" and songs from his new album "GIRL" such as "Marilyn Monroe."
The 41-year-old singer got the crowd dancing with his 2013 hit collaborations, including "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke and "Get Lucky," with Daft Punk. Pharrell performed both solo on Saturday.
Pharrell brought out some star power for his set, collaborating with rapper Nelly on his 2002 hit "Hot In Herre," Busta Rhymes on the rapper's song "Pass The Courvoisier Part 2," Snoop Dogg for the rapper's songs "Drop it like its Hot," Gwen Stefani for her hit "Hollaback Girl," and DJ Diplo, part of the electronic music collaborative Major Lazer, for "Aerosol Can."
The dust storm caused problems for Pharrell, whose voice started cracking by the end of the set.
"I want you to be patient with my, the dust is messing with my voice right now," he said before leading the crowd into a sing-a-long of his Oscar-nominated song "Happy."
One of the biggest draws of the day was 17-year-old New Zealand newcomer Lorde. The singer has had a stellar year in which she saw her single, "Royals," top charts across the world, and won two Grammy awards. Her style of pop is infused with hip hop beats, making her a dance floor staple.
The annual three-day Coachella music festival, which featured the same lineup over two consecutive weekends, kicks off the summer live music season.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Sandra Maler)