After three years, crowded festivals are finally returning. The first Coachella weekend was a success, and artists like Harry Styles proved that live music is more alive than ever.
One of the biggest consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic was the indefinite pause of concerts. Artists worldwide had to cancel or postpone their tours, and some people even believed it would be the end of music as we knew it. But after successful vaccination plans, we are seeing the revival of live shows. Latin America just got a festival round-up with Lollapalooza in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Estéreo Picnic in Colombia. And now, it was the turn of the US public to one of the biggest festivals worldwide: Coachella.
With two weekends and over 125.000 attendants per day, the California valley hosted the first round of live concerts. The artists did not disappoint, bringing their best shows to prove to the fans that live concerts are worth it. Billie Eilish, who is only 20 years old, broke the record as the youngest headliner ever. She invited Khalid and Damon Albarn, the frontman from Gorillaz, to perform with her for her first concert, giving the crowd a show they’ll never forget. The following weekend, she brought Hayley Williams from Paramore, incentivizing her to sing her hit song “Misery Business.” It has been years since the last time Hayley performed that song, even though it is one of the most famous songs of her band because she felt as though the lyrics are not lined up with her current beliefs. But with this decision, she created a Twitter phenomenon because the public loved this song.
But it was not all easy for Billie Eilish. Before the festival, she had to face a scandal with Kanye West, the former headliner for the Sunday date. Just months ago, Travis Scott, one of his closest friends, had a horrific experience at the Astroworld festival, with eight deceased people and lots of injured during his set. Weeks later, during an Eilish concert, a fan was having problems breathing in the barricaded area. She stopped the concert to ensure the person was alright, prioritizing their health over the show. Kanye took this as a shade strategy towards Scott, which was utterly denied by Billie hours later. Still, he said that he would not perform at Coachella if she did not apologize. As Ellish had nothing to apologize for, he dropped out of the line-up, and The Weekend replaced him with Swedish House Mafia as companions.
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But a person who stole the show was Harry Styles, whose performances were heavily discussed on social media. With special guests such as Lizzo and Shania Twain, he gave an inside look at his new album coming out on May 20 by singing two unreleased songs. He did not forget about his roots and even sang one of the biggest hits from his former band, One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful.” He is currently the 5th most streamed artist globally, with his new song “As It Was” being a complete selling success. He keeps growing as an artist, and it’s proof that it is possible to succeed after being in a boyband.
Other remarkable moments include Karol G doing a homage to her biggest Hispanic inspirations, such as Shakira and Selena Quintanilla, showing how important her roots are. The Colombian singer also used an outfit with the country’s colors, giving a special thank you to her city, Medellín. Lastly, CL, who is the first K-pop actress to perform at Coachella, brought her former band to perform together for the first time in seven years. The come-back of 2NE1 represents an important moment because they paved the way for the Korean industry with the western public. The Coachella weekends were unforgettable for attendees and proved that the world is ready for more live music.