Beyoncé became the first black woman to headline Coachella in a breathtaking set that featured her best material from a staggering back catalogue... and set a near-impossible standard for every headliner that will follow her.
Appearing at the festival in Indio, California, Beyoncé performed one incredible dance routine after another – those rumoured 10-hour day rehearsals ahead of the show certainly paid off, as she didn’t put a foot wrong.
Beginning with her 2003 debut solo single, “Crazy in Love”, she then transitioned into “Freedom”, “Formation” and “Sorry” from her 2016 visual album Lemonade. During “Sorry”, she mixed in verses from two fan favourites: “Me, Myself and I” and “Kitty Kat”.
She returned to the stage after a sultry rendition of “Drunk In Love” for tracks including “Diva”, “Flawless” and “7/11”. DJ Khaled’s voice was heard on the speakers at one point to announce: “After tonight, Coachella gotta rename Coachella the Beychella. New name alert: Beychella!” Beychella became the top trend on Twitter for the rest of the performance.
Husband Jay Z joined her for a rendition of “Deja Vu” ahead of their On The Run 2 tour, making sure the spotlight was focused on his wife with a no-frills rap cameo, while Destiny’s Child reunited in an incredible moment, for a flawless renditions of “Lose My Breath”, “Say My Name” and “Soldier”.
Her sister Solange joined her for a dance on stage, then Beyoncé took to the runway for “Single Ladies”, where she and two backing dancers performed the famous routines. “Run the World (Girls)” was a powerful salute to feminism where Beyonce shouted out to every woman present and thanked those who had paved the way before her.
On Twitter, the mood was fairly unanimous:
Pausing for a moment ahead of the show’s conclusion, apparently having barely broken a sweat, she addressed the crowds: “I was supposed to perform last year but I got pregnant, thank God,” she said. “I had time to dream with two beautiful souls in my belly and this is everything and more I had in my dream, so thank you for sharing this with me. I want to sing this last song to all my incredible, beautiful fans. Loyal fans. Ride or dies. I love y’all.”
Closing with an a capella “Love On Top”, the stage was filled with her band and a troupe of dancers who played her out to an instrumental of “Shining”, everyone was left wondering, really, if it wasn’t worth ending the festival right as she walked off stage. No one was going to top that.
If you failed to get your hands on a Coachella ticket this year, don’t worry.
Instead of waiting in neverending lines in the scorching desert heat, you can kick back on your couch and livestream the whole festival. Find out how here.
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