Most Important Shows of The Decade

Daft Punk | 04/29/06
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival | Indio, CA

Photo of Daft Punk at Coachella 2006 by Casey Flanigan
Daft Punk built a pyramid of lights and broke down walls. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo were hardly the first act to blur genre lines, but what they did at Coachella in 2006, their first U.S. appearance since 1997, shattered the boundaries of electronica. Transformed into robots and perched inside a 40-foot shape-shifting LED covered pyramid, the French duo manipulated the crowd's movements (serious dance party) and emotions (laughter and tears were both common) with brilliant super anthems like "Around The World," "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and "One More Time." It was pop music, but smart, funny and designed to make you think as well as move. It brought elements from the dance world into stadium rock and the over-the-top production felt like a Broadway play from the distant future. And the fact that two guys not playing any traditional instruments could be this completely captivating was revolutionary. When that pyramid touched down in Indio, all of a sudden music made by machines was for everyone. Rockers pumped their fists, hip hop enthusiasts bounced, teenage girls screamed, doubters instantly became believers and everyone was blown away by the most elaborate, intricate and arguably greatest light show ever put together. It was a life-affirming experience that brought every person to the table, and no one has come close to duplicating it since. (Kayceman)

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