If day one of Coachella was about major superstars pulling out all the stops, day two was about showing off talent in a more straightforward way. The artists who took the stage brought out just a few surprise guests here and there, but relied on the strength of their choreography and lengthy catalogs of hits, all things that made sets from Rosalía, Charli XCX, and Blackpink some of the biggest standouts.
All of them played back-to-back on the main stage, where pop music dominated. With near-perfect weather, pop fans were treated to stellar performances and showcases of sheer talent from power women in music. They even came out to support each other: “This is for the bad girls that came to see me, Rosalía, and Blackpink in your area, bitch,” Charli told a roaring crowd, shouting out her fellow artists. Over at the Outdoor Theatre, it was all about the boys: Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker of boygenius not only rocked the stage, but also stood up for trans and abortion rights. Elsewhere, acts like Dinner Party, Chromeo, and Eladio Carrion blew fans away. Here’s the best of what we saw on day two of Coachella.
Rosalía’s Stunning Artistic Vision
Pure performance art sealed with a kiss. That’s what Rosalía delivered when she took the stage just as the sun was setting on Saturday night. Adapting her Motomami tour for Coachella attendees, she wiped off her make up, hugged fans in the crowd, and even welcomed her fiancé Rauw Alejandro to perform “Beso” and “Vampiros” during one of the show’s emotional highlights. “With your presence, you fill my heart. I come from Barcelona so that’s why it’s so special to be here on this stage,” she told the crowd. The set’s camera work, which followed the singer and her dancers on and off stage, was projected on massive screens that made the show feel like more than just an onstage act. It was a 360-degree experience. Along with playing songs such as “Con Altura,” and hits from her Latin Grammy-winning album Motomami, the singer included a sweet cover of Enrique Iglesias’ “Heroe” and a Spanglish rendition of The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.” —T.M
Pop Is Far From Dead
Troye Sivan’s surprise appearance for “1999” — and his “you look hot, bitch” compliment — during Charli XCX’s Coachella performance was the cherry on top of a high-energy, hyperpop-fused set. Dressed in a latex bodysuit, Charli performed a handful of songs from her 2022 LP, such as “Constant Repeat,” “Bad For You,” and “Baby.” With that impressive performance, she closed one of her best musical eras yet. Charli also brought the throwbacks, playing Icona Pop’s “I Love It” much to the crowd’s pleasing, and 2016’s “Vroom Vroom.” —T.M
An Invite to Dinner Party
If anyone needed a listen in chemistry, Dinner Party demonstrated what happens when wildly brilliant people just click. The supergroup, made up of musicians Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, and 9th Wonder, managed to get people dancing and in their feelings at the same time with a set that let each person shine individually—one huge highlight being when 9th Wonder took the turntables and spun through a medley of hits, including Beyoncé’s “Girl,” which the entire crowd screamed along to. After passing around the spotlight, they’d come together to show the strength they have as collaborators and friends. —J.L.
The best walk-on music award of the weekend goes to indie-rock supergroup boygenius — made up of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker — entering the stage on Saturday night to Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town,” something that’s become an ongoing joke since they announced they were going on tour. But in the midst of high-energy tunes like “$20” and “Satanist” from an exuberant set, their songs highlighting intimate friendships perfectly backdropped playful moments throughout the performance (like the girls tackling each other during “Salt in the Wound”), and we felt like we were jamming with old friends. However, it wasn’t all hugs — their set was also a moment to take a stand and show solidarity in the fight for trans and abortion rights. “Trans lives matter, trans kids matter,” Dacus said. “We’re going to fight it, and we’re going to win.” Bridgers added, “And abortion rocks, and fuck Ron DeSantis.” —S.A.
Chromeo’s Funkified Vision of the Future
Chromeo introducer their “latest chapter in chrome” as strikingly huge modular synth towers shone bright as the centerpiece of their set on the Gobi stage. Inspired by the theatrics of Ozzy Ozburne and Black Sabbath, 1984 Bang & Olufsen speakers, and Seventies space age furniture, “we were really able to marry form and funk-tion,” Dave 1 of the duo told Rolling Stone. It was hard to peel our eyes away from the chrome-coated guitars and P-Thugg’s long-legged piano as they ripped through bonafide crowd-pleasers like “Bonafied Lovin”, “Fancy Footwork”, and “Night by Night.” La Roux even made an appearance to debut their new collab, and, of course, get the crowd pumped up to her classic “Bulletproof”. As “the first people to make a crowd two-step at Coachella”, Chromeo proved once again that nobody does it like the Funklordz. — S.A.
Ethel Cain Takes Us to Church
If Ethel Cain starts a cult tomorrow, count us in. The dark, indoor Sonora stage was the perfect venue to catch the “Preacher’s Daughter” singer’s otherworldly performance of tracks such as “American Teenager” and “Sun Bleached Flies.” She personified the former by donning a cheerleader skirt and letterman jacket as she sung in front of a farm-like backdrop. “You guys like a good little yee haw?” she asked the audience before pulling out a harmonica for a standout moment during “Thoroughfare.” Cain’s vocals were simply hypnotic. —T.M
Calvin Harris’ Hit Machine Throwback
“Has Calvin Harris single-handedly made every EDM track from the past 10 years?” Comments like that came from a packed crowd as a sea of bodies raved and danced and sang in unison to Harris, alone on stage with his massive catalogue of certified club bangers. This was a desert party with a capital P, and he treated everyone to radio hits like “This is What You Came For,” “We Found Love,” and “Summer.” Though he didn’t end up bringing out Frank Ocean, fans got an appearance by Ellie Goulding, singing the duo’s “Miracle.” She felt like just the right choice to close out Coachella Valley’s biggest dance party. — S.A.
She Puts the Flow in Flo Milli
Who’s that bitch? Flo Milli is. Rocking violet hair and a denim outfit, the Alabama-born rap star got the crowd bumping with a high-energy set at the Sahara stage early in the afternoon. Her backdrop paid homage to urban TV of the 2000s with references to Love and Hip-Hop and Bad Girl’s Club. “I know the Bay’s here,” she told the crowd before covering Too $hort’s “Blow the Whistle.” The rapper performed songs such as “Hottie,” “May I,” and “Conceited,” and was joined by Monalea, who is seven months pregnant, for “We Not Humping.” Her set ended 10 minutes before anticipated, leaving the crowd hungry for more Flo Milli. —T.M
Pinkchella officially kicked off at night. “This is a dream come true,” Rosé told the crowd as Blackpink, four-piece K-pop phenom, performed a massive set of their greatest hits Saturday night. Among the highlights of the performance was a solo segment that highlighted Rose, Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa’s stellar tracks as soloists, as well as a dazzlingly bright rendition of “Lovesick Girls.” The crowd took in every second, completely enthralled — even singer Jungkook was spotted in the crowd. The big finale came with “Forever Young” and an incredible display of pink fireworks and pyrotechnics that stunned the crowd and closed a historic showcase. —T.M
Eladio Carrion Can’t Stop Winning
Eladio Carrion has been on a complete victory run lately. The Puerto Rican rapper recently dropped his album 3Men2Kbrn, an audacious, forward-looking collection of hard-hitting trap songs that brought rappers like Future, 50 Cent, and Lil Wayne boldly into his world. When he took the stage at the Gobi Stage, he was ready to keep making power moves: He quickly showed people the speed of his delivery and wit of his wordplay, all qualities that have made him one of urbano’s leading men.—J.L.