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Coachella 2024 Weekend One Recap

Coachella 2024 Weekend One Recap

The 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicked off Friday, April 12, with the first of an estimated 125,000 fans making their way on to the grounds of the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California.

The three-day weekend fest, which will be repeated April 19-21, boasts a star-studded lineup with headliners Lana Del Rey, Tyler, the Creator, and Doja Cat.

Weekend One - Day 1 - Friday, April 12, 2024

The first day of this year’s Coachella was loaded with memorable moments, from the genesis of a new hashtag to a bevy of special guest stars to Lana Del Rey‘s profound — and profoundly weird — headlining performance. Among the established acts playing on Friday were recently-minted superstar Peso Pluma, Lil Uzi Vert and Justice, while rising artists like Chappell Roan, Chlöe and ATEEZ also got a chance to shine on some of the festival’s smaller stages.

Del Rey’s performance proved to be a showstopper from the very beginning, when the singer-songwriter rode the back of a motorcycle in a caravan to the main stage. The noteworthy moments continued with the appearance of special guest stars Jon Batiste, Jack Antonoff and Billie Eilish, the latter of whom performed a pair of gorgeous duets with Del Rey: “Ocean Eyes” and Del Rey’s breakthrough hit “Video Games.” The roughly 90-minute performance also boasted some truly stunning set design, a bizarrely alluring hologram moment, Del Rey’s trademark sultry vocals, a generous helping of faded glamour and even some stripper pole twirling by the singer herself for good measure.

Peso Pluma’s Revolving Guest Door

“Coachella!” screams Peso Pluma, signaling the beginning of his set, which served as night one’s pre-headliner — a.k.a. the last main stage performance before Lana Del Rey. After performing his opening track while wearing a slightly see-through mask — as though he pulled a pair of tights over his eyes — he tore it off in a celebratory manner, revealing his signature haircut and giving him a clearer look at the crowd that had gathered to see him play. Minutes later, he had another reveal in store, telling fans, “This is a special song for me,” as he welcomed Becky G to the stage for a performance of “Chanel.” And that wasn’t all: Throughout the set, Peso also welcomed Junior H for “El Azul,” Santa Fe Klan for “No Son Klle” and, finally, Arcángel for “Peso Completo,” off Peso’s upcoming album, Éxodo, which arrives this summer. “Muchas gracias Coachella,” concluded Peso. “Arriba Mexico!”

Bizarrap’s Headline-Making Surprise

After beginning his highly-attended evening set at the Sahara tent with what felt like a late-night rave — mixing on boards that surrounded him in a semicircle — Bizarrap, wearing his signature hat and sunglasses, delivered on an earlier promise. As he had teased online prior to his set, near the halfway mark the legendary Shakira stepped on stage not only for a surprise performance but an even bigger surprise announcement: After performing “La Fuerte,” Shakira revealed that she’s heading out on a world tour. “Finally we’re going on tour — starting here, in November! In this city!” Shakira declared. To celebrate, they then tore into a live rendition of Shak’s eviscerating “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” — teasing what is sure to be an unmissable trek ahead.

Sabrina Carpenter Shimmers at Sunset

In an all-gold outfit that shimmered against the setting sun, Sabrina Carpenter was resplendent during her Coachella debut. Even her mic was covered in crystals. Performing in front of a backdrop designed like a desert motel, the petite pop star and a cadre of dancers playacted a loose narrative about a turbulent relationship that was woven through the performance, a narrative structure during which Carpenter performed songs like “Tornado Warnings,” the live debut of her brand newest single “Espresso” and her colossally popular “Nonsense,” the outro to which was steeped in fest-centric double entendre: “All about the balls I’m Cinderella/Only use my mouth that’s acapella/I’m so glad you came for me Coachella”

The # CHLÖCHELLA Hashtag Is Born

When Chlöe made her solo Coachella debut Friday night, she followed in mentor Beyoncé’s footsteps by inspiring a custom moniker for her set on social media: # CHLÖCHELLA. The confident performance in the Gobi tent was a mix of her established songs (kicking off with 2021 debut solo single “Have Mercy”), her work in Chloe x Halle (“Do It,” which came out after the sister duo played Coachella in 2018) and even the live premiere of her just-released new song “Boy Bye.” A fan-favorite highlight was her cover of Missy Elliott’s cheeky 2001 single “One Minute Man,” which Chlöe introduced by saying, “This one right here is for all my ladies!,” before strutting across the stage in a lavender three-piece set, backed by the song’s original production.

Lil Uzi Vert Commands the Coachella Stage

His face highlighted with red glitter that matched his red hair, the intensely charismatic rapper made the festival’s biggest stage his own during a raw, magnetic performance that found him performing hits like “All My Friends Are Dead” and “I Do What I Want.” Starting the show in a billowing white shirt that he eventually removed, the artist announced that his leg was shaking because he had too much energy, which he worked to expend while dancing, running back and forth across the space, dipping into the crowd and rolling around on the stage.

Chappell Roan Makes Another Strong Case for Superstardom

“All the gays are here,” said a man standing near the Gobi tent stage as the buzzing crowd awaited Chappell Roan’s entrance. Hanging from the mic stand, a leopard print piece of fabric danced in the warm breeze, as if teasing the singer’s arrival. When Roan finally materialized — in white vampire makeup, heavy blush and bejeweled dog collar with matching cross affixed to her chest, not to mention a top bearing the words “EAT ME” (revealed after she changed out of a plaid, shoulder-padded suit worn early in the set) — she launched into an impassioned performance of several hits from her debut studio album, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, from “Casual” to “Red Wine Supernova” to “Pink Pony Club.” About midway through, she also treated the crowd to a rendition of her newest track, “Good Luck, Babe!”, which is currently gaining momentum on streaming platforms.

Tinashe’s Generosity

For her sunset performance at the tented Mojave, Tinashe took full advantage of the cooler temperatures by performing non-stop choreography — even on slower tempo, minimalistic songs like “Uh Huh.” When paired with her crisp and soaring vocals, it became clear why she opted for simple lighting over visuals, allowing her talent to take center stage — which she made sure everyone could enjoy. After asking, “I heard that Coachella brings out a lot of bad bitches — where my bad bitches at?” earlier in the set, she hopped on a portion of the stage that raised her several feet in the air, offering even the fans that extended well beyond the tent an opportunity to see her in action.

L’Imperatrice’s Futuristic Fits

Dressed in futuristic-inspired blue outfits with white circular shoulder pads, L’Imperatrice delivered a set filled with groovy riffs and general good vibes that perfectly complemented the breeze that seemed to pick up while they played, which could very well have been generated by the crowd’s synchronized swaying. Much of the setlist came from the band’s forthcoming album, Pulsar, which was advertised on the screen behind them throughout. “Merci beaucoup!” says vocalist Flore Benguigui ahead of the set’s last song. As the slinky synths and booming bass picked up, so too did the wind — culminating in a set that was cool in more ways than one.

Young Miko Proving Her Headliner Status

As a 44-second countdown click began to tick down on a larger-than-life-sized boombox, flames and sparks ignited from the main stage — alerting the growing crowd that Young Miko was about to wake the festival up. After opening her set with “Mona Lisa,” which she performed from atop the boombox surrounded by her live backing band, Miko stood with feet together and arms extended out, basking in the chants of her name. “Let’s f—ing get it, ya dig?” she said. Miko packed the set with familiar hits and new material off her recently released debut album, att. And by the set’s end, she proved that one day she will surely be back on this same stage.

Weekend One - Day 2 - Saturday, April 13, 2024

On Day 2, the masses gathered to see a dizzying number of artists, including the night’s headliner Tyler, The Creator, a reunited and exceptionally fun No Doubt, Blur, Vampire Weekend, Kaskade, Coi Leray, ISOxo, Knock2, Depresión Sonora, The Aquabats!, Young Fathers, and many others. The night also included its share of buzzy moments, like the surprise appearance of Billie Eilish at the festival’s Do Lab stage, where she played fans some snippets of forthcoming new racks; Olivia Rodrigo, who duetted with No Doubt and dressed as an early ’90s version of Gwen Stefani; and Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce spotted side stage for Bleachers, the group from Swift’s frequent producer Jack Antonoff, as well as in the crowd for her collaborator Ice Spice.

Vampire Weekend's Unlikely Guests

Vampire Weekend’s set started off conventionally enough, with the band (a late addition to the festival) delivering a tight, lively performance of songs like “Cousins,” “Unbelievers” and “A-Punk.” As they did at an Austin show celebrating the solar eclipse earlier this month, they ended the set with a prolonged “Cocaine Cowboys” jam that included parts of their own “Married in a Gold Rush,” Larry Gatlin’s “All the Gold in California,” Gram Parsons’ “Sin City” and the Grateful Dead’s “Cumberland Blues.” And then, during this final stretch, who should appear but Paris Hilton, who played a round of cornhole during her brief time onstage.

Billie Eilish Throws a Listening Party at Do Lab

Alongside her older brother/collaborator Finneas and a few dozen friends, Billie Eilish threw a combination club night-slash-listening party, debuting snippets of three new tracks (sample lyric: “I can eat that girl for lunch”) from her forthcoming album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, on the Do Lab stage. “Billie wanted to throw a party,” said the set’s emcee prior to her emergence onto the stage – and that she did, with the attending DJ playing a number of old favorites (presumably chosen by the singer herself) that included such party-starting bangers as 2Pac’s “California Love” and Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz’ “Get Low,” along with tracks such as Gotye’s 2014 smash “Somebody That I Used to Know” and The Killers’ enduring sing-along classic “Mr. Brightside.” The result evoked an all-night neighborhood block party presided over by one of pop’s reigning stars.

Bleachers Uplift the Mojave Tent

Jack Antonoff seemed to channel Bruce Springsteen’s ferocious, life-affirming stage presence at Bleachers’ no-holds-barred set at the Mojave tent, with the band performing such exuberant songs as “Rollercoaster,” “Modern Girl” and “Don’t Take the Money.” The frontman — now perhaps best known for his affiliation with Taylor Swift (who was spotted enjoying the set alongside boyfriend Travis Kelce) — sprinted, prowled and leapt across the stage, at one point imploring the crowd to “get up” on each others’ shoulders ahead of his bracing performance of the band’s “I Wanna Get Better.” It was a thrilling set that proved (if it even needed proving) that outside of his writing and producing work with Swift, Lana Del Rey and other major artists, Antonoff is a star in his own right.

No Doubt’s Surprise Duet With Olivia Rodrigo

When Olivia Rodrigo was tasked with choosing her “18 favorite songs” to celebrate her 18th birthday back in 2021, No Doubt’s “Bathwater” made the cut. Fast-forward three years, and Rodrigo — wearing a cropped white tank top that read “I [heart] ND” — popped up on the Coachella stage for a surprise duet on the Return of Saturn single, trading verses and sharing the chorus with Gwen Stefani. The two were playful throughout the song, with Stefani saying ahead of the bridge, “Olivia Rodrigo, why do the good girls, like me and you, always want…”

“…the bad boys!” Rodrigo finished with a theatrical flourish. Stefani even summoned her fellow singer/songwriter over at the end of the song by calling, “Come here, my little Vampire!”

Rodrigo has had quite a streak recently of paying homage to her heroes, from Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette to Jewel and the Breeders, and this latest stop on her appreciation tour couldn’t have been a better fit.

Ice Spice Debuts a New Song, Shouts Out Taylor

The megastar rapper — performing beneath a giant Ice Spice-styled balloon at the Sahara stage — brought the fire in a compact, fast-paced performance that featured hits like “Gangsta Boo,” “Barbie World,” “Boy’s a liar Pt.2” and “Deli” along with her latest (hilariously titled) single, “Think you the Sh– (Fart)” and a brand-new rapid-fire track that samples Sean Paul’s hit 2002 single “Gimme the Light.” One major highlight came when the rapper shouted out her most famous friend, “Taylor motherf—ing Swift” (who was in attendance at the show alongside boyfriend Travis Kelce) before launching into a performance of “Karma” to a delighted roar from the overflow crowd — though the slightest twinge of disappointment rippled through the audience when it became quickly apparent that the superstar herself wouldn’t be taking the stage.

LE SSERAFIM’s ‘Hot and Fun’ Debut

After ATEEZ’s Friday set, LE SSERAFIM held it down for K-pop on Saturday night in the Sahara Tent, and they were feeling especially feisty on the massive stage. “Coachella, are you ready to shake some f—ing ass?” Yunjin saucily asked the crowd – and judging by the screams, they were ready. The five-piece girl group gave fans lots of opportunities to dance through the 10-song set, but an uptempo highlight was the live debut of a new song, seemingly titled “Hot and Fun.” “1-800-HOT-N-FUN, that’s my number, hit my line,” they sing in the chorus. It looks like a “Hot and Fun” new era for the group is upon us.

RAYE Turns Her Set Into a Cathartic Group Therapy Session

Anyone heading to RAYE’s debut Coachella set in the Mojave Tent expecting to hear “Escapism” and “Worth It” — her pair of My 21st Century Blues singles that she performed on Saturday Night Live last week – found what they came looking for, plus a hell of a lot more. The set took a serious and empowering turn when she introduced Blues’ “Ice Cream Man,” which she wrote about the sexual assault and rape she faced at the hands of a producer, calling it “the saddest song I’ve had to write and sing.”

The crowd had RAYE’s back the whole time, cheering on her strength in performing the song, wiping away their own tears and wrapping their arms around their fellow crowd members. There wasn’t anyone within my eye-shot who wasn’t visibly moved by her speech and the performance.

After seeing the audience’s reaction, RAYE adjusted the final line of the song: “I see some very f—ing brave strong women with me.”

Nelly Furtado Leaves Her Blood Onstage

Nelly Furtado and Dom Dolla have been making loads of appearances together since releasing their 2023 collaborative single “Eat Your Man.” But none of these performances have found either artist actually bleeding for each other, until tonight.

While onstage during Dolla’s night closing show in the Sahara Tent, Furtado took a bad fall while performing the aforementioned track, hitting the floor of the stage with a thud. She got back up immediately and, like a pro, kept singing. And ever graceful, she met the situation with a sense of humor, posting on Instagram after the set that she “literally left it all on stage, including my blood. All for you, Dom Dolla.”

Blur Spotlight the Indigenous People of Coachella Valley

Blur returned to the Coachella Stage, for the first time since they headlined back in 2013, for a 12-song set that peppered in hits (“Song 2,” of course, as well as “Girls & Boys” and “Beetlebum”) among a greater cause. To honor the Coachella Valley — which is home to Indio, Calif., where the festival takes place on the Empire Polo Field — Blur invited the Torres Martinez Cahuilla Bird Singers, part of the original indigenous tribes of Coachella, to perform on their stage. They first did a traditional Bird Song, along with tribal dancers, and then joined the band for “Death of a Party” from their 1997 self-titled album, as well as “Tender,” the lead single from 1999’s 13. The final song’s core message – “Love’s the greatest thing that we have” – was especially poignant with the choice of backing vocalists.

Tyler, the Creator Hosts Childish Gambino

The “This Is America” singer (a.k.a. Donald Glover) became the night’s first special guest when he came out to duet with Tyler on “Running Out of Time,” a track off the latter’s 2019 album IGOR, during the rapper’s headling performance. At one point, the two dipped and swayed around one another as they harmonized, with Tyler later explaining, “I used to hate that n—a. Seriously. I don’t know why, I gotta go to therapy to figure it out.” He added, “but this n—a put this song called ‘Urn’ out…I was at conflict with myself, like…how could a n—a I hate so much make something so good?” Clearly, that beef has been squashed.

The Last Dinner Party have officially gone global

One of the most talked about bands at the moment, The Last Dinner Party, has proven they have officially gone global as the Coachella crowd waited in anticipation for the barock sounds that they offer so eloquently. The band took to the The Gobi Tent and delivered an arty throwback. 

Their mastery over their instruments is steadily setting them out as great songwriters and a must-see live band, which was well on display at Coachella. The American crowd was in awe of the band as hits such as ‘Sinner’, ‘Second Best’, and ‘Nothing Matters’ were perfectly played. 

Weekend One - Day 3 - Sunday, April 14, 2024

Who wants a Sunday surprise?

Day 3 of Coachella 2024 was all about the surprise guest. Honestly, an entirely new, parallel Coachella lineup could be constructed out of the unannounced artists who popped up on stages across the Empire Polo Club grounds on Sunday, April 14, 2024.

The night’s headliner alone brought out three guests, with Doja Cat enlisting A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage and Teezo Touchdown for her festival-wrapping set. Then we had Reneé Rapp inviting Kesha to duet on “Tik Tok”; Tems drawing both Wizkid and Justin Bieber out for their “Essence” remix; and J Balvin getting Will Smith back in his Men in Black suit for an otherworldly cameo.

A few other special guests from Sunday: YG Marley brought out his mother, Lauryn Hill, to perform a series of solo and Fugees hits with her, and they teamed up on a couple of songs by his late grandfather, Bob Marley, as well. Oh yeah, and Busta Rhymes popped up with YG too, for “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” and his feature on Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.” And if that isn’t enough, Katy Perry was there too! She joined her best friend Mia Moretti for her DJ set on the DoLab Stage.

Bebe Rexha Gets Her Coachella Moment

“I always thought I wasn’t cool enough for Coachella,” Bebe Rexha told the crowd in the middle of her debut performance at the festival. But whatever she may have thought, her evening mainstage show proved that she deserved to be there as much as anyone else, with Rexha — who wore a tight black bodsuit and boots — sounding and looking like every bit the big stage pop star.

The setlist included her 2019 Chainsmokers collab “Call You Mine” and her 2017 Florida Georgia Line hit “Meant to Be,” and the show found Rexha dancing hard and in one moment grinding on the floor in a sequence she herself referred to as an “onstage orgy.” But for all the sex appeal, there was also a level of heart-on-her sleeve authenticity, as Rexha told stories about continuing on after getting dropped from her label (“I said, ‘You know what? F— this. I’m going to write the songs, and when I sell the songs I’m going to say, “You’ve gotta keep me on it”‘”) and dealing with haters by understanding that hate “is just confused love.” (It was also endearing when, after gazing deeply into the camera, she then cracked a wide smile and stuck out her tongue.) Rexha closed the show by bringing out David Guetta to perform the pair’s massive 2023 dance hit “I’m Good (Blue),” closing the show by turning it into a full-on EDM dance party that, based on all the cheering and dancing, everyone seemed to think was indeed pretty cool.

Tems Brings Out Justin Bieber & Wizkid for ‘Essence’ Surprise

Tems had a striking debut Coachella set in the Mojave tent, backed by a gorgeous outdoor setting on the stage that perfectly matched her warm, powerful voice. She live-debuted an unreleased song from her upcoming debut album, teaching the audience the “love me jeje, love me tender” chorus so they could sing along like it was already a hit. And then she treated the crowd to “Essence,” with Wizkid joining her onstage to perform the 2021 Hot 100 top 10 smash. But that was only the beginning of the surprise: Their remix collaborator Justin Bieber then popped onstage as well and completely shattered the decibel levels in the tent. Tems tried to prepare us when she tweeted earlier in the day: “Coachella! I’m too exciteddd I have a surprise tonight.”

J Balvin Brings Out a Man in Black

J Balvin‘s heavy use of sci-fi imagery during his performance on the main stage — including two massive flying saucers and an animatronic Grey Alien head that swiveled eerily back and forth in the center of the stage — proved the perfect setup for the night’s big special guest: Will Smith, who hit the stage for a brief rendition of “Men in Black” (in full suit-and-sunglasses regalia from the film) as Balvin bounced and slid and made his neck work in choreographed tandem with the Oscar-winning movie star. Elsewhere during his set, the Colombian superstar gamely performed such hits as “Mi Gente,” “Con Altura,” “Ginza” and his Cardi B collab “I Like It Like That” — joined throughout by collaborators Jowell & Randy and De La Ghetto.

Reneé Rapp Duets With Kesha on ‘Tik Tok’

Reneé Rapp drew a huge, enthusiastic crowd to the Outdoor Stage on Sunday for her debut Coachella set (or “baby’s first ‘Chella,” as she called it), and it all kicked off with an intro from The L Word stars Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig and creator Ilene Chaiken. “You’ve gotta say what every lesbian wants to hear,” Moennig said, before yelling to wild cheers: “Who’s ready for a f—ing Reneé Rapp concert?” Rapp kicked off the 14-song set with the Snow Angel single “Talk Too Much” and wrapped with the title track from her 2023 debut album. While she went it alone for the bulk of the set, she did have two special guests: her girlfriend Towa Bird, who played guitar on “Tummy Hurts,” and a surprise appearance from Kesha to duet on her 2009 Hot 100 nine-week No. 1 “Tik Tok.” In response to a series of sexual misconduct allegations against Diddy, the pair did a little surgery on the song’s opening line, changing it to: “Wake up in the morning like ‘F— P. Diddy.’”

Victoria Monét Encourages Fans to Exercise Their Right to Smoke

Just before Victoria Monét busted out a performance of the JAGUAR II track “Smoke” during her solid, sex-positive set in the Mojave tent, the red-lingerie-clad rising star — who also performed renditions of songs such as “Jaguar,” “Moment,” “Coastin'” and “Ass Like That” — coaxed the crowd to “hotbox” the performance space, in her words, “’cause it’s legal.” A considerable number of Monet’s fans apparently didn’t need to be told twice, as within seconds, pot smoke emanated from various sections of the audience before coalescing into a massive single cloud that hovered above the crowd. Let’s just say that by the time Monet launched into her breakthrough hit “On My Mama” at the end of the set, the Mojave tent was vibing. But in truth, no cannabis was needed; Monet had the crowd entranced from the get-go.

Doja Cat Keeps It Weird

With her main-stage performance (which made Doja Cat the second Black woman to ever headline Coachella), the rapper squashed debate about whether she was a big enough star to headline the fest — not by pandering to its audience, but just by embracing her signature strangeness. Think playful wigs, a mud pit, a fake Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, dancing yetis and other elements presented with total dedication to the bit.

Closing out the festival as its Sunday night headliner, the rapper performed a lot of her show while wearing a white fur two-piece outfit, looking hot in every sense of the word despite the fact that temperatures were in the high 50s and a biting wind was blowing across the polo field.

No matter. With the performance, Doja squashed debate about whether she was a big enough star to headline Coachella — not by pandering to the audience, but just by embracing her signature strangeness. Think playful wigs, a mud pit, a fake Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, dancing yetis and other elements presented with total dedication to the bit. This performance happened upon an industrial, multi-tiered stage rig built from scaffolding and multiple walkways jutting out into the crowd, a setup upon which Doja and her crew of dancers prowled.

Altogether, they not only filled the space — a significant task on a stage that size — but made it their own. The performance (which was very short on crowd banter) was a touch theatrical, but never felt inauthentic, ultimately functioning as either a reminder of or introduction to Doja’s charisma, talent and oddball sensibilities.

But it wasn’t a greatest-hits set, with Doja totally avoiding smashes like “Woman” and “Say So,” and instead focusing on more recent material, much of it — “Demons,” “Fuck the Girls” “Acknowledge Me,” “Gun” — from her 2023 album, Scarlet, and its deluxe edition, Scarlet 2: CLAUDE, that dropped earlier this month. With the performance, Doja became only the second Black woman to headline Coachella, following Beyoncé’s landmark Beychella set in 2018.

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