Beyoncé Killed It! How Coachella Became ‘Beychella’
To say Beyoncé killed it at Coachella is an understatement. The first Black woman to headline the 18-year-old music festival, Beyoncé’s performances had DJ Khaled renaming it Beychella.
Beyoncé was supposed make history last year at Coachella, but rescheduled after becoming pregnant. And it was worth the wait. “According to TMZ, Beyoncé hired up to 100 new dancers one week before her Coachella debut. Reports also said she’d rehearsed 11 hours a day and required dancers and crew to sign non-disclosure agreements,” Rolling Stone reported.
She started the show by saying: “Thank you for letting me be the first Black woman to headline Coachella. Ain’t that ’bout a bitch?”
The reviews are only but glowing. And of course, being Beyoncé she didn’t just perform–she sent a message, paid homage, and schooled people about who she is and where she comes from.
“It was rich with history, potently political and visually grand. By turns uproarious, rowdy, and lush. A gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction,” The New York Times wrote.
Beyoncé took over Coachella’s main stage, on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club here, arriving to trumpets, trombones, saxophones in the tradition of historically black college football halftime shows.
“Big-tent festivals, generally speaking, are blithe spaces — they don’t invite much scrutiny, because they can’t stand up to it. But Beyoncé’s simple recitation of fact was searing, especially on the same night that, in Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame finally inducted Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 15 and 45 years after their deaths, and also Bon Jovi, a band in which everyone is very much alive,” added the Times. “She was arguing not in defense of herself, but of her forebears. And her performance was as much ancestral tribute and cultural continuum — an uplifting of black womanhood — as contemporary concert. She sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the black national anthem, incorporated vocal snippets of Malcolm X and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and nodded at Ms. Simone’s ‘Lilac Wine.’”
The nearly two-hour, 26-song show had only a few breaks, and it was full of highlights including her performance of “Déjà Vu” with her husband, Jay Z, and then the Destiny’s Child reunion. She also teamed up with her sister, Solange, on “Get Me Bodied.”
Rolling Stone called the set and costume design “Flawless.”
The Times concluded, Like no other musician of her generation apart from Kanye West, Beyoncé is performing musicology in real time. It is bigger than any tribute she might receive. History is her stage.”
And as always there is more behind the spectacular. “Thus begins a show that is somehow not just about Beyoncé. She makes it about far more than her or her career: it’s about Black excellence, female power and the unrelenting possibility of self-belief. She has only a handful of white dancers among a reported 100. Her set is in thrall to soul, jazz, gospel, dance, melody and music itself. With her second song, Freedom, she creates a literal movement with her orchestra in motion; it feels like a march for purpose,” The Guardian reported.
Beyoncé had Coachella renamed after her, Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize, & Black Panther has made more money than Titanic.
Black history month is every month, every day, every year, all the time.
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) April 16, 2018
BEYONCÉ. AT. COACHELLA. WAS. THE. BEST. THING. I. HAVE. EVER. WITNESSED. I just watched history in the making. #BeyChellla
— Little Mix (@LittleMix) April 15, 2018
If you missed Beyonce's epic Beychella (or whatever it used to be called) performance because certain horrible people didn't wake you up when it was on (yes I'm still salty over it) you can do as I and the two oldest kids just did and watch it here: https://t.co/3ghpZMvVjj
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) April 16, 2018
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