Smoke Signals

This Is What Dreams Are Made Of

Courtesy+of+Coachella
Courtesy of Coachella

Courtesy of Coachella

Courtesy of Coachella

Barbara Lopez, Entertainment Editor

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  The annual music festival Coachella started on Friday, April 13 and ends this Sunday on April 22. Located at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, headliners include artists such as  SZA, Post Malone, Daniel Caesar, HAIM, and Russ. Yet in spite of these renowned celebrities, Beyoncé stole the show–some saying she was bigger than the festival itself.

  The Houston-native performed Saturday night, April 14 and the buzz from her Bey hive, as well as from the mainstream media, has not ceased. The 20-time Grammy award-winning singer, dancer, and music video virtuoso brought her sister Solange and husband Jay-Z to the stage, as well as reuniting with her early 2000s group, Destiny’s Child.

  However, not everyone was excited about her performance–or the festival in general. In 2017 Afropunk pointed out Phil Anschutz, Coachella’s owner, and his controversial viewpoints: “[Anschutz’s] money is doing the most damage is in his support of socially conservative causes….  all of which have been known to support prejudice against LGBTQ efforts.”

  In light of this news, Cara Delevingne called out Anschutz, while at the same time praising Beyoncé for her dazzling performance. After receiving backlash and being called a “hypocrite,” the British actress and model responded. She made a post on social media: “I am allowed to shame that man and the festival and show my appreciation of an artist at the same time. Just because I love Beyoncé doesn’t mean I now love Coachella. I still wouldn’t go.”

  In response to the hate, West High’s Registrar Mrs. Richardson said, “We support Mother Yoncé no matter what … she is not affiliated with him so it’s fine. The performance was everything and more.”

  Another great performance, although not as notable, was Tyler, the Creator’s. The leopard-print haired rapper performed songs such as “911/Mr. Lonely” and “Boredom” off his newest album, Flower Boy, as well as performing others off his iconic 2012 album, Wolf. He also dueted “After the Storm” with Kali Uchis off her debut album, Isolation.

  Many say the California native has reinvented himself, maturing since his days with the collective Odd Future. A Tyler enthusiast since 2015, Jack Hogse (12) stated, “He’s definitely matured and changed his vibe from ‘break stuff and have fun’ to ‘love yourself and be happy’ but I think the underlying message has stayed the same. He wants people to not be concerned with what others think of them.”

  Tyler also released a new song recently, called “OKRA.” Self-proclaimed as a “throwaway song,” his verses allude to a lot of famous people such as fictional character Django, played by Jamie Foxx, and Call Me By Your Name actor Timothée Chalamet.

  Up-and-coming boy band BROCKHAMPTON also performed a small, Kanye West inspired section. The set, however, did not go as planned as the band’s frontman Kevin Abstract tweeted, “I’m very sad about our performance. We didn’t start on time because somehow bearface’s mic quit working seconds before we went on stage.. while we were trying to fix the issue every minute backstage felt like an hour and I’m sorry if you came out and waited.”

   Despite the difficulties, the seventeen-member group persisted, playing some of their most amazing songs such as “SUNNY” and “SWEET” off of their second album, SATURATION II.  

  A big fan of theirs, Shirley Xiao (11) stated, “I thought their performance was super cool. They all had a ton of energy throughout their set, which was really fun to watch. And I was really surprised to see that they used strings in their songs! Their constant experimentation with their sound is one of the things I love the most about [them].”

  Another musician making headlines was Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd with his emotional performance of “Call Out My Name” off his sudden released EP My Dear Melancholy,. Despite being released less than a month ago, the heartbreak ballad has close to 80 million streams on Spotify alone.

  Coachella has, thus far, been filled with controversy, jaw-dropping performances, and musical revelations for many artists as well as audiences. Gianna Dias (12), who attended last year, shares her expectations for this year: “I expect the setup to be somewhat different, with new art everywhere…. Hopefully after having already been once, I’ll be able to find my way around better and be more prepared for the long days, long nights, and crazy heat!”

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Barbara Lopez, Entertainment Editor

Barbara Lopez is a senior at West and is the Entertainment Editor for Smoke Signals. She enjoys film, music, and making new friends.

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