From Kacey Musgraves seizing her yee-haw moment, to Ariana Grande pushing through technical difficulties, to Rivers Cuomo doing what he does best––here are ten of the most memorable moments from Coachella's opening weekend.
1. Weezer is Joined by TLC's Chilli, Tears for Fears to Perform Classic Covers
In January, Weezer released the Teal Album––a collection of 10 goofy covers. They performed three covers from that album this Saturday during their Coachella set, in addition to some fan favorite cuts from the Blue Album. During the show, Weezer brought out none other than TLC's Chilli to perform the R&B group's hit single "No Scrubs." Earlier in the set, Weezer was joined by Tears For Fears for a rendition of their 1985 single "Everybody Wants To Rule The World." Watch both below.
2. Kacey Musgraves Seizes Her Yeehaw Moment, But The Crowd Fails To Giddy Up
Kacey Musgraves has been thriving this year. Her highly anticipated Coachella set was just as iconic as expected, especially during her performance of "Velvet Elvis," where she tried to start a call-and-response that didn't exactly take off. When the crowd gets a little too trigger-happy on their haws, Kacey exclaims, "I didn't say fuckin' yee," and she's not wrong! Watch it all go down below.
3. Billie Eilish's Coachella Debut Solidifies Her As The Voice of A Generation
Riding on the tails of the release of her chart-topping debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, last month, Billie Eilish took the stage for her Coachella debut this weekend and made it clear that she's here to stay. The 17-year-old singer may have been a little late to the performance, may have forgotten a few words, but all the hiccups in the world would not have been able to outshine her energetic set and undeniable star quality.
4. Ariana Grande Brings Out NSYNC, Experiences Sound Difficulties with Nicki Minaj
Ariana Grande made history and closed out Coachella's opening weekend with her Sunday night set. As the youngest ever female headliner, Grande kicked off her set with "God Is A Woman" and created a pop fantasy world for the audience. She brought out NSYNC (minus JT) to perform "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" before launching into the beloved 2000s single "Tearing Up My Heart," with original choreo and all! Later, Nicki Minaj came out to perform "Side to Side" and "Bang Bang" but unfortunately experienced sound difficulties for the rap portion. She later brought Mase and P. Diddy to perform a surprise rendition of "Mo Money Mo Problems," as a tribute to the late Mac Miller, Biggie Smalls, and 2Pac.
5. Childish Gambino Debuts New Song During Emotional Coachella Set
Childish Gambino's new movie starring Rihanna, Guava Island, premiered Thursday night at Coachella. During his opening weekend set, Childish brought the heat with a new song, and also performed a soulful spin on Gnarls Barkley's hit single "Crazy." He also reflected on the loss as he dedicated "Riot" to Nipsey Hussle, Mac Miller, and his father.
6. Cardi B and Selena Gomez Join DJ Snake's Set to Perform "Taki Taki"
DJ Snake brought his hour-long set to a close on Saturday with a bang. The french artist-producer brought out Cardi B, Ozuna, and Selena Gomez to perform their dancehall hit "Taki Taki." It absolutely goes off. Watch below.
7. Tame Impala Saves The Day After Major Headliners Drop Out
Tame Impala performed their fourth Coachella set this yet, but this time they became the de-facto headliner after Solange and Kanye dropped out. Tame Impala's new album is in the works and it's sure to be incredible, but so far they've only shared two tracks: "Patience" and "Borderline," which they performed on Saturday. Their Coachella set would have been a great opportunity to give fans another peek at the new record, but they mostly played it safe with much of the same material they've been touring with for the last few years . However, that's not to say their performance wasn't great. Their set was a sturdy showcase of their festival chops, with quintessentially trippy visuals (not to mention a giant UFO) and a solid setlist of chilled out, psychedelic bliss.
8. BLACKPINK Make History as the first major K-pop Girl Group to Perform at Coachella.
Just after they release their record-breaking EP, Kill This Love, BLACKPINK continues to win over the hearts of the American music festival demographic with their Coachella debut. Their Friday night performance at the festival marked the K-Pop Girl group's first full-length concert in America. Watch the performance, and their incredible choreography, below.
9. J Balvin brings out Rosalía to perform 'Con Altura'
Colombian star J Balvin dedicated his 2019 Coachella set to a celebration of Reggaeton. Last year, he performed with Beyonce for a remix of his song "Mi Gente," but this year was focused on uplifting Latino and Spanish-speaking artists. This culminated in bringing out Rosalía, clad in a hot pink Louis Vuitton jumpsuit, to perform their hit collab "Con Altura." Later, he brought out dancehall legend Sean Paul, as they teamed up for "Contra La Pared." Balvin's set exploded into a dance party as he played his hit "I Like It," sans Cardi B but with all the same intensity. Rosalía also performed her own incredible set, making this one of the biggest years for Latin music and Reggaeton at Coachella ever.
10. Queen Janelle Monáe Dances With Lizzo
From her immaculate, afro-futuristic fashion to her latest genre-defying record Dirty Computer, Janelle Monae never disappoints. Her mainstage performance on Coachella's opening night was an expectantly iconic performance, with an unexpected drop in from Lizzo. Watch the clip of them twerking and having a better time than everyone else below.
Sara is a music and culture writer who lives in Brooklyn. Her work has previously appeared in PAPER magazine and Stereogum.
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