First Pharrell, music’s top producer, touched the stage around 10pm with his backstage area looking like the Grammy Awards roster. Jay Z, Beyonce, Diddy, Nelly, Jermaine Dupri, Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Iovine, Andre Harrell and Busta Rhymes looking on with heavy anticipation. Most of them waiting on their cue to get onstage.
“Alright Pharrell,” Hov, who would later perform “Dead Presidents” and “Where I’m From” on the Nas set, said aloud as Skateboard P and his extra crisp sounding live band rocked the crowd to start with numbers such as “Hunter” and “Come Get It Bae” off of his G I R L LP.
Not too long after, Pharrell was performing a classic Hov rapped on in the past, “Frontin.”
From there, all hell practically broke loose, in the most splendid way with Williams, much like he did at the 2014 NBA All-Star game, parading out his platinum plaqued homies to thunderous approval by the audience.
First Nelly with “Hot in Herre,” then Diddy–who also later came out for “Hate Me Now” on Nas’ show and Busta Rhymes–who roared like a dragon storming the front gates of Castle Grey Skull–for “Pass The Courvoisier.” Snoop Dogg would make his entrance later for “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Beautiful” as well.
Tyler, the Creator jumped on the stage for “Lap Dance” and even Diplo the producer shared the spotlight with his fellow beat maven.
The most shocking moment for Pharrell however, hands down, had to be the appearance of Gwen Stefani. The fashion innovator and musical icon brought back one of her most famous catalog staples with “Hollaback Girl.” Jesus man! Pharrell, make this tour immediately.
By the end of his set however, Williams’ voice was shot. There had been a sand storm all day and night and it had affected his singing. Williams was visually dejected during “Lucky” when he couldn’t sing the chorus.
The enthralled audience didn’t care. The tens of thousands sang along with him. If you looked at the very front of the stage, you could see Tyler the Creator standing in front of crowd barrier urging Williams on and singing as well. They were willing him to win.
The closer, “Happy,” kept the jubilation going with the spectators taking action as singing and Williams even brought some on the stage to dance as well. Pharrell didn’t leave without making a promise that even if he had to wear a gas mask when he returns to Coachella next week, his voice will withstand the elements.
“I wanted it to be so much hotter… the dust and the fuckin wind!” He said.