Important Imagery from Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella Performance

She’s the Queen that needs no introduction. So, if some of y’all have been under a rock and did not watch the live stream of her performance as the first black woman to headline Coachella, I have some things to share!

Nefertiti

Nefertiti was an Egyptian Queen that ruled during what is arguably considered one of the richest and most prosperous era seen in ancient Egypt. Beyoncé opened her Coachella performance in a stunning bronze outfit reminiscent of this ancient Queen.

 

Beyoncé has been giving us this imagery in subtle ways for a while now. This is notable for the first time with her Lemonade visuals in the song Sorry:

 

 

And again, in her internet-breaking pregnancy reveal in 2017:

She also recently debuted a merchandise line on her website with similar imagery and theme as we saw when she opened her performance.

 

Black Panther/Black Power

Beyoncé was quite non-political for a large part of her career. Her advocacy for BLM notably started after the tragic death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. From a creative standpoint, the video for her record-breaking song, Formation (2016), highlighted the issue of police brutality and racism in America.

For the live debut of this song during the 2016 Super Bowl, Beyoncé and her dancers were in costumes that very closely resembled that of the Black Panther movement 1960s and 70s. This was clearly making a statement about the social and political climate of America. 

 

She began her 2018 Coachella performance with the song Lift Every Voice and Sing by J. Rosamond Johnson which was dubbed “The Black National Anthem” by the NAACP nearly a century ago. She further showcased this powerful message through the costumes of all her band, orchestra, and dancers.

Representation

In the same vein as our previous subtitle, Beyoncé brings us proper, real, notable representation… she truly fulfills and executes it flawlessly. For many years, Beyoncé has toured with an all-female band, and in more recent tours and performances, this has extended to her dancers. On The Run Tour (2014) and The Formation World Tour (2016), these both featured an entirely female dance troop.

In her acceptance speech for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2017 Grammys (I’m paraphrasing here, it was a beautiful speech), she vowed to advocate for better representation and promised to work hard to make it happen. This way, her children can grow up watching and internalizing people that actually look like them.

This Coachella performance was the epitome of that very promise. The entirety of the performances and presences on stage last night were that of people of colour.

Here is a link to a tweet that showcases our Queen being size inclusive during one of my personal favourite dance break-downs she has done live.

With my personal bias aside, it was a meticulously planned, and brilliantly executed show. I would argue that it was the performance of our generation. The Beyhive is pretty extra. I’ll admit it, we are. But if your fave was executing at this level, you would be too!!