Beyoncé Returns To Coachella With A 2-Hour Performance At Coachella, Beyoncé gave a headlining performance that blended artistry and political messages. Fans are already calling it a highlight of her career.
NPR logo

Beyoncé Returns To Coachella With A 2-Hour Performance

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/602772309/602772310" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Beyoncé Returns To Coachella With A 2-Hour Performance

Beyoncé Returns To Coachella With A 2-Hour Performance

Beyoncé Returns To Coachella With A 2-Hour Performance

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/602772309/602772310" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

At Coachella, Beyoncé gave a headlining performance that blended artistry and political messages. Fans are already calling it a highlight of her career.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

What a scene it was. Thousands of people converged in California over the weekend for the music and arts festival Coachella. There were dozens of performers, but, really, there was only one who actually mattered - Beyonce.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DJ KHALED: After Beyonce perform, after she done the dance, Coachella got to rename Coachella to Beychella (ph).

MARTIN: That's producer DJ Khaled coining Beychella as the new name for the festival.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Beyonce was the first African-American woman to headline the festival. And her almost two-hour-long set was an ode to black American culture.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BEYONCE: (Singing) Lift every voice and sing.

KING: She performed "Lift Every Voice And Sing." She sampled Nina Simone's "Lilac Wine" and played a quote of Malcolm X. She also played her hits. She even reunited the band that made her famous, Destiny's Child.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DESTINY'S CHILD: (Singing) Can you keep up? Baby boy, make me lose my breath.

MARTIN: Mikael Wood is a pop culture critic for the LA Times. He was one of the lucky people who got to see the Queen Bey in action. He says right before the performance, there was this buzz in the air that he had never felt at Coachella before. And Beyonce delivered. She had around a hundred musicians and dancers on stage with her, paying tribute to the step teams and marching bands at historically black colleges and universities.

MIKAEL WOOD: I think the thing that was so incredible about it was how thoroughly imagined it was. You can kind of think that, oh, maybe Beyonce was interested in that aesthetic, and so she would kind of borrow a few elements from that tradition. But this was a total commitment to that.

KING: And that total commitment paid off with near universally positive reviews. It seemed like everyone on the Internet went crazy in love.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BEYONCE: (Singing) When I talk to my friends so quietly, who he think he is? Look at what you did to me. Tennis shoes, don't even need to buy a new dress. If you ain't there...

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.