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Beyoncé Returns To Coachella With A 2-Hour Performance

By Noel King | NPR
Monday, April 16, 2018

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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