The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is by far the most prominent music festival in the United States . It returned this month for the first time in two years (April 15-17 and 22-24) at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and the Weeknd with Swedish House Mafia are among the headliners this year, along with Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Jamie xx, Run the Jewels, Disclosure, Caroline Polachek, 100 gecs, and a slew of more artists.
Undeniably, this year’s set and lineup served its usual helping of iconic performances, debuts and moments that will go down in history. Here are 5 of our top moments:
1. 2ne1 reunites after 7 years for a surprise performance
The four-piece Korean girl group made a comeback this year and lit up the stage, performing their hit song ‘I Am The Best’.
CL noted that it was her idea to invite the rest of the girls to join her at the festival, bringing us major feels and nostalgia, in memory of the second gen of K-pop.
K-netz flooded Twitter and Instagram with fan cams, snippets of the show and emotional statements about how they missed seeing the girls together. 2NE1 and Blackpink are currently the only K-Pop girl groups to have ever performed at Coachella, so you see why this is a big deal even for non-Blackjacks!
Besides, Dara’s mohawk was pretty hard to ignore.
2. Lil Baby pays tribute to George Floyd
Lil Baby’s Coachella energetic, quick-paced set closed with a passionate statement against police violence in the United States on Friday (15 April).
The 27-year-old, along with regular collaborator Gunna and a team of equally compelling dancers- but the rapper proved that he isn’t solely devoted to music.
Photos of the Black Lives Matter protests that rocked the country in reaction to yet another incident of police brutality filled the screens behind him as he closed the concert with a strong and emotional rendition of the protest song “The Bigger Picture,” which he first released in 2020, mere days after he joined protests in Atlanta in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
Fans commended the rapper, not only for his electrifying work as a performer, but for using his platform to spread awareness.
Timothée Chalamet also seemed to be enjoying the show..
Timothée Chalamet watching Lil Baby last night at Coachella (📹 emmaleger) pic.twitter.com/ecS4T2zFRg
— Timothée Chalamet Fans (@TimotheeUpdates) April 16, 2022
3. Harry Styles x Shania Twain…
On Friday, Harry Styles surprised his Coachella audience with an unexpected guest: Shania Twain.
Styles’ set lasted only a few minutes longer than she did, so she didn’t make an appearance until the very end.
Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” began to play, leaving fans confused, until Harry joined in on the chorus, and the two danced about the stage, much to the delight of the audience.
Towards the end of the show, wrapping each other in a tight hug, Harry said, “In the car, with my mother as a child, this lady taught me to sing,”
“She also told me that men are trash. To you, for the memories you gave me with my mother, I will be forever grateful.”
Truly, the duo we didn’t know we needed.
4. Billie headlines the show- along with Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn
At Coachella this year, Billie Eilish made history by being the festival’s youngest-ever headliner. The twenty-year-old has been racing up the music step ladder for years now, so her mesmerising performance did not shock the audience – until she introduced Damon Albarn from Gorillaz.
As home film footage of her and Finneas as youngsters patchworks the screens, the English musician joined her to sing ‘Getting Older’. We even got to watch as they, accompanied by De La Soul, performed the peppy classic ‘Feel Good Inc.’
Despite the confusion (tons of viewers thought Damon was her dad), the trio made for a thrilling set that shows that Billie is in no way limited by her youth, but rather fuelled by it as she continues to own the stage with the finest rock stars.
She went from Soundcloud to headlining Coachella real quick.
5. Danny Elfman gives the Simpsons a heavy metal facelift
The iconic composer played a rowdy show loaded with classics, supported by a superb band and a full orchestra at Coachella 2022, coming up to the Outdoor Theater stage on Saturday night with a special Simpsons parody.
Fans responded most energetically to Danny’s renowned theme for The Simpsons- the one TV show that hasn’t lost an ounce of popularity throughout the years.
Custom animations of the characters played behind him as he went on with the show, utilising woodwind, brass, and string instruments to add just a mild, tasteful flair to it the existing theme.
Danny and his band also performed renditions of songs from his band, Oingo Boingo, as well as some of his solo works, in addition to a number of his most legendary film scores.
The 68-year-old singer-composer was one of the oldest performers at the festival.
Of course, the other acts didn’t fall short either- honorary mentions go out to Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion for debuting new songs on stage featuring feisty moves, Justin Bieber joining Daniel Caesar onstage…
And of course, Thai rapper Milli who ended her performance by feasting on mango sticky rice, causing the sweet treat to trend on Twitter.