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Coachella 2013: The dance card gets busy early

April 13, 2013|By August Brown
  • Fans in the Sahara tent dance to Dog Blood at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival Friday night.
Fans in the Sahara tent dance to Dog Blood at the Coachella Music & Arts… (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles…)

This post has been updated. See below for details.

INDIO -- Anyone wondering if the lack of dance megastars at this year's Coachella means that they've de-emphasized big dance music, don't worry. This year's Sahara tent somehow managed to be even bigger than in years prior, by an obvious margin.

Gone is the typical A-frame enclosure -- instead there's a positively titanic, rounded arena for rave gladiators. The digital wall of visuals expanded to the upper nooks of the roof to make an aquarium of sub-bass topped with throbbing LEDs. The DJs look up to the challenge of filling it.

By late afternoon Friday it was already spilling bodies out the side, as Nicky Romero and the Skrillex/Boys Noize side project Dog Blood laid down harsh house. The latter is maybe the only arena-DJ-caliber act on the dance card today, but the undercard is holding its own.

FULL COVERAGE: Coachella 2013

The swank new Yuma tent had at least a half-hour line for entry at Four Tet's early evening set of screwball psychedelic floor fillers. As night draws near, the dance scene may get even more enthused -- the headliner is low-end artisan Bassnectar, and underground titan Seth Troxler holds court to close out Yuma.

Early signs suggest that Coachella's experiment in going deep with dance music has already paid off in enthusiasm.

Updated, Sun., 8:45 a.m.: An earlier version of this post mispelled the group Boys Noize as Boys Noise.

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