During this year’s Beychella, the impeccable Beyoncé headlined to millions of screaming fans. She was the first black woman to headline the Coachella Valley Music Festival. This performance was amazing and historic; I recommend everyone to find some way to watch the full performance. It was nearly two hours long but trust me, it’s worth your time!
This Coachella performance was a celebration of African-American culture. From the start, Bey rolled out in a striking Balmain outfit inspired by Queen Nefertiti, taking a risk by celebrating black diversity instead of appealing to a majority-white audience. Throughout the performance, she reminded everyone how strong and beautiful black culture is. As she strutted down the stage in her outfit, I knew she was about to put on an incredible show.
Throughout the performance she celebrated HBCUs by incorporating an orchestra band, drum-lines, and black Greek letter organizations. The production for this concert was stocked with skilled dancers and about 100-plus musicians. Everything was coordinated and cohesive, which was impressive considering there were hundreds of people on stage.
I was also thrilled when she sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song known as the black national anthem that empowers you to stand tall and strong even during times of oppression. It made me so proud of my heritage.
This performance was filled to the brim with joyfulness, flawlessness, fierceness and unity. It made me want to get up and start dancing in my dorm room and sing along to every word. During her performance, she basically performed her whole discography so it was a great mixture of old and new Beyoncé. The transitions between her songs were nothing short of amazing and fluid.
Her backup dancers were also amazing and I loved that most of them were all black female dancers. Female empowerment was ever-so-present during the segment where she lined up her male dancers, which she called “bug a boos,” This was in reference to the popular Destiny’s Child song, “Bug A boo” in which they sing about an annoying suitor who tries to attract their attention. I thought this moment suggested that women have the power to be in control — we should never be passive. Queen Bey also played quotes from Civil Rights activist Malcolm X that portrayed black women’s struggles in America as their perseverance.
She also brought out some special guests including Solange Knowles, Jay Z, J-Balvin, and Destiny’s Child. When I saw Destiny’s Child make an entrance with their Charlie’s Angels-inspired pose, I was incredibly excited because as a 90s and early 2000s fanatic, I’ve always looked up to them. Girl power, all the way.
Another thing I appreciated about Bey’s performance was the combination of musical genres/elements such as hip hop, Latin pop, and Afro beats. She also payed homage to black southern music culture with the inclusion of traditional dance moves done at HBCU commencement ceremonies, such as the “Swag and Surf.”
After the HBCU-themed performance, Beyoncé announced that she was donating $100,000 to four historically black colleges and universities. (Supporting black education and empowerment? Just another reason to love her.)
Beyonce’s performance will go down in history because it solidified, yet again, that she is one of the best performers of this generation. Her Coachella set was named the most-viewed live performance on YouTube in festival history. The entire production was gorgeously put together and showed that black culture is beautiful — and will only continue to prosper.