Beychella: Beyonce Brings the HBeyCU College Experience for Her 2018 Coachella Set
It’s a wrap for Coachella, Long live Beychella!
Beyoncé didn’t come to play - she came to slay! After postponing 2017’s headlining Coachella slot, due to her pregnancy with twins Rumi and Sir, Bey
made a historic return to the main stage to close out the second night (April 14) of the festival in Indio, California. Queen Beyoncé gave her throne a temporary location on the Coachella main stage, headlining the festival for the first time and making history! Not just in her own career by turning her music and performance into high art, but at the festival, by being the first African American woman to headline Coachella since its debut in 1999.
It was a meaningful, forceful and radical performance by Yoncé including surprise appearances from Jay-Z, a dance off with Solange, a Destiny’s Child reunion and much more. The overall performance was rich with history, potently political and visually grand with captivating choreography and musical direction.
The show began with horns: trumpets, trombones, and saxophones by an ecstatic marching band that backed Beyoncé for majority of the night as if it was an HBCU football halftime show, or should I say - HBeyCU!
I feel it’s safe to say that Beyoncé University is real and officially has its own Divine Nine. Now introducing Beyoncé Delta Knowles Fraternity Incorporated, established in 2018 (or Beta Delta Kappa with the Delta reminiscent to the diamond that represents “The Roc”). Its founding members are from the spring line “Bug a Boos” consisting of nine men who had to pledge and prove their worth to the queen herself before crossing.
Bey took the crowd back to college. On stage she was joined by a tiered set of bleachers that scraped the sky with a brass band and approximately 100 dancers, singers and musicians. In addition to the usual breath taking back-up dancers, there was a stunning tableau of fraternity pledges, drum lines and rows of female violinists. Beyoncé recreated the historically black college experience, which can’t authentically be done without a marching band. She was accompanied by a 200-person band, forming a drum line with a majorette and stepping like she graduated from Spellman.
The crowd also got glimpses of her roots throughout the performance. Whether Bey was singing “Déjà Vu” and bringing out Mr. Carter to hit the stage, sharing a sisterly bond by dancing to the extended version of “Get Me Bodied,” with younger sister Solange, or performing a series of classics from her Destiny’s Child days with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams as if the chemistry had never wavered. She also paid homage to those who shaped her upbringing and musical DNA by covering Nina Simone’s “Lilac Wine” and “Strange Fruit” and Dawn Penn’s “You Don’t Love Me.” She even incorporated the band and dancers by covering Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up,” “Getting To The Money” “Swag Surfin,” and many more.
The cameras captured the force and determination in Beyonce’s dancing for almost two hours with only a few intermissions. Throughout the performance, there were close-ups of her Queen Nefertiti-channeling glam, Black Panther inspired looks and formations along with lung-busting take them to church solos.
Overall, Beyoncé’s entire Coachella set was an elaborate probate, step show, and homecoming all wrapped in one and we’re all ready to sign up for classes. She really is one of the greatest performers and stars of our generation. Her Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival performances this weekend and next are her only solo U.S. dates this year. Watch the full performance here: Beyonce's Full Live 2018 Coachella Performance by OnSmash.com