Red Hot Chili Peppers play Coachella through sandstorm

Story highlights

  • A sandstorm whipped through the last day of Coachella
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers closed out the festival, playing their hits and "Beast of Burden" by the Rolling Stones
  • The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr says there's no reunion with Morrissey in the works
The first weekend of this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival was blessed by gorgeous sunny weather -- until a sandstorm swept through the desert Sunday night.
The swirling dust clouds prompted Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis to quip, "I feel like Lawrence of Arabia. ... I'm going to go home and throw up a sandbox for my small child."
One of his band mates -- it was hard to see which through the haze -- added, "I feel like Woody Guthrie during the Dust Bowl."
The Chili Peppers, who were headlining Coachella for the third time, soldiered through cuts from their current album, "I'm With You," mixed with hits like "Under the Bridge," "Dani California" and "Give it Away."
An enthusiastic crowd sang along, their voices slightly muffled by the scarves and pieces of clothing they'd pulled over their noses and mouths. A few resourceful concertgoers even managed to get their hands on surgical masks.
Ironically, the weather conditions seemed to benefit electronic artist Derek Vincent Smith, who goes by the moniker Pretty Lights. Performing in the adjacent Outdoor Theatre, his show featured a dazzling display of lasers and lights, whose brilliant hues were enhanced by the dusty backdrop.
The most coveted souvenirs from Sunday night were Wu-Tang beachballs. The legendary rap icons kicked it old-school, tossing out oversized black-and-yellow inflatables stamped with the group's trademark "W." In the crowd, three blonde girls tussled over one beachball, while a man nearby hugged his tightly against a chainlink fence, trying to deflate it before a shirtless guy in an Indian headdress could snatch it from him. It was a scene straight out of WWE with a soundtrack provided by one of the greatest rap groups of all time.
The dust hasn't even settled on this year's Coachella -- or in this case, been swept away -- but festival goers were already speculating who might appear on the 2014 bill. Disappointment ran high when this year's line-up failed to include the Rolling Stones, especially after a Coachella date briefly appeared on the Stones' website in December then mysteriously disappeared. There was speculation that the Chili Peppers were a last-minute fill-in -- a point the band not-so-subtly referenced during its Sunday night set, when it played a snippet of the Stone's "Beast of Burden."
One act you probably won't be seeing at Coachella anytime soon -- the Smiths. Even though the band's guitarist, Johnny Marr, played three Smiths songs during his solo set on Friday, he tells CNN it isn't true that festival organizers are constantly throwing big bucks at him and Morrissey to reunite on stage.
"No," he says with a hint of steel in his soft speaking voice. "It's just kind of my nature to move forward."