The Most Significant Moments of Beychella

The Most Significant Moments of Beychella

Beyonce slayed at Coachella if you haven't already heard...

Beyonce slayed at Coachella if you haven't already heard...

Text: Jake Viswanath

Usually, people who go to Coachella end up hearing some great music, drinking beyond what they can actually handle, and hitting up every party they’re able to successfully crash. This time around, festival goers witnessed history. Beyoncé took the stage as the first black female headliner in Coachella history, and boy was it spectacular. The superstar put on an absolutely seamless two-hour show complete with an orchestra, inventive choreography, thrilling surprise guests, and an army of dancers to elevate every whim. The importance of her set was not lost upon her, with blatant embraces of black history woven into the set with pride. With that, Beyoncé put on not just the most significant and impressive performance in Coachella history, but perhaps one of the best shows to which our generation will be privy. Scroll down for our favorite Beychella moments.

The Set

Rather than the constant stream of visuals surrounding her at the Formation World Tour, Beyoncé opted for an equally striking but simpler set—a towering structure of bleachers, made to fit the entire marching band and her dancers, and of course, Bey herself, standing regally atop her platform. It was also perfectly fitting for the show’s theme...

HBeyCU

The bell just rang, BeyHive. Her Coachella performance was the first session of class at HBeyCU, as evidenced by the detailing on her costumes (designed by Olivier Rousteing!). The name was drawn from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and even came complete with a BΔK sorority. Where are the applications?

The Reunion

In a strongly rumored but nonetheless fantastic surprise, her former Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Bey to reunite the group, rising from the stage to fo the iconic Charlie’s Angels-style pose. The trio performed a medley of hits including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and my personal favorite, “Lose My Breath.” The audience lost both their breath and minds, accordingly.

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Solange Invades

During a joyous rendition of “Get Me Bodied” (extended remix!), Bey’s sister Solange jumped on stage during the breakdown portion for a light-hearted and heartwarming dance battle, returning the favor for when Beyoncé hopped on stage during her sister’s Coachella set in 2014. May we forever move and groove as joyously and effortlessly as those two.

Black Excellence

With HBeyCU, Beyoncé created a space at Coachella, one of the biggest music festivals in the world, for black voices to thrive spectacularly. She embedded tributes from leaders of black cultural history into her set, mouthing the words of Malcolm X’s resonant “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself” speech and having her band pay homage to afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti. Perhaps most significantly, following the empowering “Freedom” and preceding cultural anthem “Formation,” Bey delivered a stunning take on James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, often referred to as the Black National Anthem. It was a glorious spotlight on black excellence, something that Beyoncé even acknowledged verbally when she proclaimed, “Thanks for making me the first black woman to be the star of Coachella.” No, thank you, Beyoncé, for taking one of the world’s biggest stages and turning it into a beacon of pride for black women all over.

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