Coachella Highlights, Part 2: On the way into the festival in the morning, we heard some people discussing who they were looking forward to checking out. Blackpink was not on that list. “Respect to the music, but it’s just not me,” said that guy. Apparently, he was in the minority.
The crowd was simply ecstatic to see Blackpink on Saturday evening, and so they should be. The South Korean pop band have performed at Coachella before but this was the year that they truly arrived. They’re big league, top of their game, and other relative and appropriate superlatives. The light show was spectacular, the songs super-catchy — it was just a joy to behold.
The early airborne part of that light show was provided by SKYMAGIC, which saw 500 drones create magic (pictured above). “The 8-minute display opened with a celebration of Coachella favorites from the past twenty years, before transitioning into the world of BLACKPINK, as the global sensation arrived on the Coachella main stage,” reads the press release.
Earlier in the day, Pittsburgh-based singer and songwriter Ethel Cain proved that she has the ability to rip out your heart with her voice. Like, tear it out. Apparently, her devastatingly emotional style is inspired in part by Gregorian chants, which sort of adds up.
Jazz/soul supergroup Dinner Party features Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin and Kamasi Washington, and their smooth set was a highlight of the early part of Saturday. British pop star-in-the-making Charli XCX sounded autotuned to death, but there was still fun to be had. And dancehall artist Shenseea put in a high energy performance. We only caught a few songs, much like former Weekly cover stars Sofi Tukker.
There was rock to be had at the Sonora Stage, and the females were leading the way (after Debbie Harry ruled Friday). The Linda Lindas are one of the most exciting indie punk bands in L.A. right now, and they didn’t let the region down at Coachella. The Japanese and English languages interchange as the double Lindas rattle through their dynamic punk. Their cover of the Go-Go’s’ “Tonite” was perfect, and their own tunes are both intense and memorable. Watch out for a forthcoming cover feature in these pages.
The Linda Lindas returned to the stage later to join the Breeders for a run through “Saints.” Former Pixies bassist Kim Deal (she plays guitar here), her sister Kelley Deal and the band played a great set that included a Beatles cover (“Happiness is a Warm Gun”), a Pixies tune (“Gigantic”) and of course their own iconic “Cannonball.”
Incidentally, the art installation pictured is called Holoflex by Güvenç Özel, and as cool as it looks in the day, it looks insane at night. The whole thing appears to be moving, like there’s a track negotiating its way around it. Beautiful stuff.
We caught a little bit of Rosalia on the Coachella Stage, and then we got excited about boygenius.
This writer recently interviewed all three — Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker — and they said of the recent album that, “A lot of the songs are about each other, so letting people in on that relationship a little bit. And then there’s repeated imagery. Like there’s the ocean—we spent a lot of time at the ocean together, so it felt kinda rife with symbolism or just the actual setting. There’s fire and drowning and cars. A bunch of cars.”
That honestly and authenticity was present and correct at Coachella, because that’s who they are.
In the middle of Blackpink, we ducked out to catch a few minutes of Underworld, but it wasn’t nearly enough. But damn, we had to get back for that K-pop.
Coachella Highlights, Part 2
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