Phoenix joined by R. Kelly at Coachella amid Daft Punk rumors

Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:51am EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

INDIO, California (Reuters) - Grammy-winning French indie rock band Phoenix headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival on Saturday, bringing R&B singer R. Kelly as their special guest on stage amid rumors that French electro duo Daft Punk would join them.

Phoenix's lead singer Thomas Mars, Deck d'Arcy, Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai, played a selection of old and new songs against the star-lit backdrop of the festival, held in the desert in Indio, California.

The band, which is due to release its album "Bankrupt!" on April 22, sang new songs "Entertainment" and "The Real Thing". It also serenaded the crowd with favorites from its last album, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix", such as "Lisztomania" and "Fences".

Kelly's appearance came as a surprise to an audience expecting to see Daft Punk after a teaser music video by the electronic group was played at the start of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' set on Friday.

He joined Phoenix for a mash-up of his hit single "Ignition" with Phoenix's hit "1901".

This is the third time Phoenix has performed at Coachella and its first time headlining the annual three-day event.

"Our vision of Coachella is that you can never be medium. It's either fantastic or a big catastrophe, we don't like medium things. For us, it's always been an extreme experience. The first time we played was our worst show ever, and the second time was one of our best shows ever, it's either a huge failure or success," Mazzalai told Reuters ahead of the band's set.

After the success of the 2009 album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix", which spawned hits such as "1901" and won a Grammy for best alternative music album, Phoenix returned to the studio to record "Bankrupt!".   Continued...

Alternative rock band "Phoenix" performs at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California April 18, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni