“Thank you for letting me be the first black woman to headline Coachella,” said Beyoncé on Saturday night. “Ain’t that ’bout a bitch?”
An unprecedented move in the luxe festival’s 19-year history, one-third of this year’s lineup is comprised of female artists – and at the helm of this progress is none other than Queen Bey herself. Generations past once looked fondly on Woodstock 1969 as a crucial turning point in American culture; but in 2018, our Woodstock, our Monterey Pop, our Isle of Wight, is definitively Beyoncé live at Coachella.
After postponing last year’s Coachella appearance due to her pregnancy, this year’s Coachella marked her first live performance since giving birth to twins Rumi and Sir Carter last June. “I was supposed to perform at Coachella before, but I ended up getting pregnant,” she explained to the crowd of diehard fans who exchanged knowing laughter and cheers. “So I had time to dream and dream and dream with two beautiful souls in my belly,” she continued, “and I dreamed up this performance.”
Besides a fantastic case for maternity leave, Beyoncé’s comeback show was a spectacle well worth waiting for. Preparations for Saturday night’s show were made with a doggedly Spartan discipline – and who would expect any less? 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. Rumors abound of guest appearances – and to the satisfaction of 125,000 Coachella attendees, as well as millions streaming at home via YouTube, the generous leak in Page Six confirmed the Destiny’s Child reunion. Otherwise, Bey and her team maintained a sphinx-like enigma surrounding her performance. Here are the most noteworthy moments of her spectacular 26-song set:
1. Beyoncé U: Bow Down, Freshmen Bitches
Don’t get it twisted: Beyoncé may have taken a year-long sabbatical, but class was back in session Saturday night – and the queen of pop came prepared to school the masses. She emerged onto a catwalk as Queen Nefertiti reincarnate, donning a flat-topped black and gold headdress. The formidable drum line rumbled behind her to opener “Crazy in Love,” slowed down to the tempo of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
9. Destiny’s Child reunion
Two decades since the release of the self-titled debut by Destiny’s Child, it seemed only fated to have the three muses come together for their emerald anniversary. Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams rose like Charlie’s Angels on either side of Beyoncé as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech, “We Should All Be Feminists,” resounded across the field. The trio delivered a blissed-out medley of “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name,” and “Soldier,” after which the bedraggled, festival-worn crowd instantly gained a second wind.
SOURCE: Suzy Exposito