Getty Images: Jeff Kravitz / Contributor
Frank Oceans Coachella Performance was met with high expectations and a lot of complaints online. What went wrong?
Frank Ocean has proved to be one of the most elusive and coveted artists of the last decade. His highly-anticipated Coachella-headlining performance on Sunday night was the talk of the festival. Fans eagerly awaited the superstars return to the stage after a six year gap from his last live performance. Ocean was originally set to headline Coachella in 2020, but the pandemic forced the festival’s cancellation. He then postponed his appearance to 2023.
Rumors circulated about the possibility of new music, guests, and an unforgettable show rivaling his FYF Festival performance in 2017. However, the performance didn’t live up to fan expectations. Frank Ocean and his band began the show intentionally obscured by a group of people walking in a circle around them, and only visible on massive video screens.
The show also started 57 minutes late which conflicted with the festivals very strict curfew. The full lineup was cut short and an abrupt message from Ocean himself. Rumors have swirled about Ocean’s frustrations with the stage design leading to last minute changes, though this isn’t confirmed. The Coachella performance was also not livestreamed despite being teased (then deleted) by Coachella staff. This was most likely a request from Ocean or impossible due to some set changes.
Highlights include his first ever live performance of ‘White Ferrari’ with a new sound:
Frank Ocean performing White Ferrari for the first time ever at Coachella (2023) pic.twitter.com/VwS61jBMMV
— Frank Ocean Updates (@blahnded) April 17, 2023
One of the most emotional moments sees Frank Ocean talking to the audience, sharing a Coachella memory of his now deceased younger brother:
Frank Ocean's speech during his Coachella set.https://t.co/GN8Ly4GaHN
— Odd Future (@OddFuturePage) April 17, 2023
Some fans were highly disappointed in the abrupt ending of the performance:
I have never been happier that I didn’t waste money to see Frank Ocean end Coachella like this…horrific lmao pic.twitter.com/WeoGRHqnQS
— yllireally (@whydee__) April 17, 2023
Many fans were confused by a 15 minute DJ session from DJ Crystal Mess, who was introduced after his barrage of altered Frank tracks. Ocean was loving this segment leading to a lot of the videos of him dancing to his own music instead of singing. To the casual festival-going fans this set was extremely confusing, especially compared to the previous Coachella closers. Die-hard fans loved the good segments but many were left disappointed. In all, I think everyone is looking forward to a longer, more cohesive set next weekend.
Editorial Credit: Variety