Source Photos (Clockwise, L-R): YG Entertainment, Edwig Henson, Frank Ockenfels, Pierre-Ange Carlotti
10 Must-Hear New Albums Out This Month: BLACKPINK, Noah Cyrus, Romeo Santos, Santigold & More
With fall just around the corner, GRAMMY.com is highlighting the can't-miss, new albums dropping this month from Marcus Mumford, Christine and The Queens, Sudan Archives, Divino Niño, and many more.
With a too-short summer of hot, new music soon coming to a close, September is here to keep the musical heat burning. A host of new albums across all genres is set for release in the days and weeks ahead, from highly anticipated debuts to triumphant returns.
September sees the much-anticipated return of K-pop queens BLACKPINK with their second album, BORN PINK, while on the musical flipside, Marcus Mumford, of folk rock trio Mumford & Sons, releases his debut solo LP, (self-titled). The rest of the month revs up with a dose of bachata music (Romeo Santos' Formula Vol. 3), emotionally probing pop (Noah Cyrus' The Hardest Part), boundary-pushing Afrofuturism (Sudan Archives Natural Brown Prom Queen), dreamlike electronics (Franc Moody's Into the Ether), rousing country (Maddie & Tae's Through The Madness Vol. 2), and so much more.
Below, check out a stacked lineup of new albums dropping in September 2022, just in time to soundtrack your upcoming fall activities. After all, there's nothing cozier than the company of a brand-new, good album.
Romeo Santos — Formula Vol. 3
Release date: Sept. 1
Who better to grace the first day of the month with a new album than the "King of Bachata" himself, Romeo Santos? Back in February, the Dominican American artist released the sultry "Sus Huellas" as the first single from Formula Vol. 3. True to form, it shot to No. 1 on Billboard's Tropical Airplay chart and has since clocked up 47 million views on YouTube. Formula Vol. 1 (2011) earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album, while Formula Vol. 2 (2014) is certified 27-times multi-platinum and featured the Billboard Hot 100 hit "Odio," featuring Drake. "I'm competitive with myself and my material," Santos told Billboard in 2014, so expect a big splash from Formula Vol. 3.
Related: "From Puerto Rico To The World": 5 Moments From Bad Bunny's Historic Yankee Stadium Show
Franc Moody — Into The Ether
Release date: Sept. 2
London electronic duo Franc Moody made a strong first impression on their debut album, Dream in Colour, released in February 2020. Soon after, the pandemic brought the world — and Franc Moody's tour plans — screeching to a halt. Rather than despair, the duo escaped into music.
"It was during those months our longing to be out on the road with the band playing live shows developed into a dreamlike state, conjuring up imagery of us and the band traveling through the desert on a journey to find whatever it was that we were craving," the band explained in a statement. That yearning, dreamlike state reverberates throughout Into The Ether, with nods to the film scores of Ennio Morricone. Rest assured, though: Franc Moody's latest single, "I'm In A Funk," is still fit for dancing.
Related: The Rise Of Underground House: How Artists Like Fisher & Acraze Have Taken Tech House, Other Electronic Genres From Indie To EDC
Santigold — Spirituals
Release date: Sept. 9
September heralds the return of genre-bending shapeshifter Santigold with Spirituals. Mostly recorded during the 2020 COVID lockdown, a defining theme behind the making of the album, and released independently through her own Little Jerk Records, Spirituals is Santigold's first album in six years.
In a statement, Santigold described "losing touch with the artist [in] me" while caring for her three children during a pandemic. "Recording this album was a way back to myself after being stuck in survival mode," she said. Preceded by the energizing singles "High Priestess" and "Ain't Ready," Spirituals finds Santigold collaborating with producers like Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Boys Noize, Dre Skull, and SBTRKT, all while staying true to her own boundary-pushing vision.
Related: It's Blitz! At 10: How The Dancefloor Classic Marked A New Era For The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Sudan Archives — Natural Brown Prom Queen
Release date: Sept. 9
Signed to tastemaking label Stones Throw Records, Sudan Archives has been pushing the boundaries of electro and R&B since her self-titled 2017 debut EP. This month, she returns with Natural Brown Prom Queen, which has all the signs of her most out-there project to date. The album's advance singles, "Selfish Soul," "Home Maker" and "NBPQ (Topless)," have already earned widespread praise for their originality and wild flourishes. Sudan Archives heads out on the Homecoming Tour this fall, where she'll bring the futuristic sound of Natural Brown Prom Queen to life.
Related: Ravyn Lenae's Hypnos Is A Cosmic R&B Contemplation
BLACKPINK — BORN PINK
Release date: Sept. 16
You don't need to be a K-pop expert to know that a new BLACKPINK album is a very big deal: Anyone knows an album is highly anticipated when even its 30-second announcement trailer clocks 23 million YouTube views. BLACKPINK's BORN PINK follows the group's 2020 debut, The Album, which featured several high-gloss hits, including "Bet You Wanna" with Cardi B and "Ice Cream" with Selena Gomez.
Already, BLACKPINK's latest single, "Pink Venom," excitedly sets the stage for BORN PINK, with a music video that has "Blinks" in raptures.
Read More: Everything We Know About BLACKPINK's New Album, Born Pink
Noah Cyrus — The Hardest Part
Release date: Sept. 16
One of the most distinctive new voices in pop, Noah Cyrus will release her debut album, The Hardest Part, at long last this month. With music in her family genes (case in point: father Billy Ray and sister Miley), the Nashville-born singer/songwriter has carved out her own path with raw, emotionally honest songs that showcase her distinctively smoky vocals. The Hardest Part follows a run of promising singles, including "Every Beginning Ends," a tender duet with Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. Cyrus, who was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2021 GRAMMYs, is set to showcase the songs this fall on an extensive headlining North American tour.
Read More: Meet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: Noah Cyrus On Continuing Her Family Legacy & Why She's Happier Than Ever
Marcus Mumford — (self-titled)
Release date: Sept. 16
While folk rock believers already know Marcus Mumford as the lead singer of Mumford & Sons, the artist steps out on his own this month with his first solo album, (self-titled). Mumford has already revealed the singles "Better Off High," "Cannibal" and "Grace," which find the singer/songwriter baring his soul via his signature mix of sensitivity and grit. While the album is very much Mumford's own, (self-titled) also features Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers and Monica Martin as guests. He's on tour across the U.S. this fall, with a smattering of shows already sold out.
Related: Andrew Bird Lets The Inside Out On Inside Problems
Christine and The Queens — Redcar les adorables étoiles
Release date: Sept. 23
Back in February 2020, Christine and The Queens released the La vita nuova EP, featuring one of his most affecting songs to date, "People, I've been sad." This month, Christine and The Queens returns under the mysterious alias Redcar with Redcar les adorables étoiles, the French artist's first full-length album since 2018's Chris. Lately, Christine and The Queens has kept busy as a featured artist, appearing on Charli XCX's "New Shapes," alongside Caroline Polachek, and 070 Shake ("Body"). As evidenced on lead single, "Je te vois enfin," Redcar les adorables étoiles is a September gift for synth-pop-loving Francophiles.
Read More: Christine And The Queens On Chris: "This Is A Record That Talks About Being Too Much"
Divino Niño — Last Spa on Earth
Release date: Sept. 23
Coming out of the fertile Chicago scene, Divino Niño's music is as vibrant and diverse as its five members. You can hear their kaleidoscopic range on "Tu Tonto" — the lead single off Last Spa on Earth, the band's first new album in three years — which channels the energy of neoperreo, a subgenre of reggaeton that's close to their hearts.
Led by Javier Forero and Camilo Medina, who grew up together in Bogotá, Colombia, Divino Niño are now a five-piece band, with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Justin Vittori. After the mellow, blissed-out vibe of Divino Niño's 2019 debut album, Foam, Last Spa on Earth promises to be dancier and more adventurous, with the majority of the album's songs performed in Spanish. You can catch Divino Niño on tour with Mexico's Little Jesus starting this month.
Related: Chicano Batman Talk Creating Visibility For Invisible People, Representation Of Latinos In Media & Repping Los Angeles
Maddie & Tae — Through The Madness Vol. 2
Release date: Sept. 23
Country-pop singer/songwriters Maddie & Tae are back this month with Through The Madness Vol. 2, a new collection of songs co-written by the duo alongside some of Nashville's most esteemed songwriters. The release is the second installment in the group's beloved Through The Madness series, which debuted at the top of this year.
Maddie & Tae, best known for their country hits like "Die From a Broken Heart" and "Girl In A Country Song," will celebrate their very prolific year by headlining the CMT Next Women of Country Tour Presents: All Song No Static Tour this September and October.
Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella
Get To Know 5 Asian Artists Taking Center Stage At 2023 Festivals
From Jackson Wang’s historic Coachella set to NoSo’s marvelous Kilby Block Party debut, here are 5 artists of Asian heritage performing at popular music festivals this year.
Festival season is upon us and among the many names in those occasionally hard-to-read lineup posters, artists of Asian heritage have been rising to headliner status.
BLACKPINK might be first to come to mind: the South Korean group dropped jaws with their revolutionary Coachella performance, becoming the first K-pop group to headline the massive spring festival. From NewJeans to TOMORROW X TOGETHER to aespa making appearances at festivals later this August, K-pop in particular has continued to take the festival circuit by storm.
Indie, rock and EDM stars of Asian heritage are also making their mark on festival stages this year. Four Tet turned Coachella upside down alongside Skrillex and Fred again.., and Beabadoobee will take on Lollapalooza Chicago, Outside Lands, and All Things Go, all after opening for Taylor Swift on her Eras Tour and headlining her own EU tour.
From mainstays like NIKI and Raveena to rising stars like Yaeji and Wallice, festival lineups are bursting with talent this year. In honor of AAPI month, here are five Asian artists bringing their striking performances to major festival stages this year.
Although spill tab makes bedroom pop, her music was destined for festival stages.
Born Claire Chicha, the breakout French Korean singer/songwriter shapes her introspections into ambitious alternative pop. Swimming through layered vocals and electropop tinges, the artist knows how to transform her dreamy reflections into eye-catching performances.
After playing Austin City Limits last fall, Chicha graced the stage at Kilby Block Party in Utah this spring. Having already opened for everyone from Wallows to Sabrina Carpenter, spill tab knows the stage like the back of her hand.
The Rose is making their Lollapalooza Chicago debut this August, but the K-pop four-piece have been festival-ready since their mainstream debut in 2017.
Newly under the management of label Far East Movement, The Rose is known for their escalating soft-rock ballads like “She’s In The Rain” and “sorry.” Able to switch from electric to acoustic with ease, the group’s versatility translates into a bright, contagious energy meant for festival stages.
Marked by poignance and soft guitar, NoSo’s performances fill a venue with comfort. Just a few months after performing for NPR’s popular Tiny Desk Concert series, NoSo put on an emotionally enlightening show at Kilby Block Party.
The Korean American artist, who also identifies as nonbinary and transgender, released their debut Stay Proud of Me in 2022. The album tells stories centering around their racial and gender identity, offering a serenity akin to a healing force.
Hailing from Hong Kong, Jackson Wang made waves at Coachella as the first Chinese solo artist invited to perform at the festival. Bringing out Ciara to perform their sultry R&B collaboration “Slow,” the singer-rapper proved he’s full of surprises.
Previously part of the K-pop group GOT7, Wang’s massive platform is only continuing to grow. His smooth, breathy voice molds to every genre from pop to rap, and his spectacular Coachella performance highlighted how his shining stage presence will only continue to mesmerize audiences.
After a long dusty day of stomping around festival grounds, Tanukichan’s refreshing set can help you recharge.
Born Hannah van Loon, the San Francisco-based indie rock star balances warmth and grit perfectly, individualizing her own sound after four years in the pop band Trails and Ways. Just a few months before her Kilby Block Party debut, she released her dynamic album GIZMO, which followed her 2018 Toro y Moi-produced debut and tour support for Kero Kero Bonito.
TXT, Blackpink, Aespa & More: Here Are All The K-Pop Tours And Events You Can Catch This Summer
Photo: The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images
TXT, Blackpink, Aespa & More: Here Are All The K-Pop Tours And Events You Can Catch This Summer
Whether you want to put your Head in the Clouds, free yourself at Outside Lands or be (re)born pink, plan out your summer with these K-pop events and tours in mind.
2023 started off strong for K-pop events in the U.S. Household names like NCT 127, Kang Daniel, and Stray Kids all toured the country, while the Empire State Building was lit up in honor of TWICE's latest EP, Ready to Be. In April, BLACKPINK made history as the first K-pop group to headline Coachella, while BTS' Suga (under the alias Agust D) began his first solo tour — the first out of all BTS members.
As summer starts to bloom, so do even more tours, festivals and conventions for lovers of Korean music and culture to rejoice. From mid-May to the end of August, almost every week will be busy with affairs that range from concerts by rising groups like WEi, to weekend-long celebrations like KCON, to trailblazing performances like Tomorrow X Together (TXT) headlining Lollapalooza, or aespa becoming the first K-pop group to play at New York’s Governors Ball.
To add some color to your summer, GRAMMY.com assembled a list of all the K-pop concerts and events happening in the next few months so you can enjoy the season at its fullest.
Suga: Agust D Tour
April 26 - May 17
The first BTS member to headline his own solo tour, Suga kicked off a string of performances in the U.S. on April 26 in Belmont Park, New York. The setlist included hits from his two mixtapes, August D and D-2, new tracks from his first solo studio album, D-Day, and even some BTS classics. Before heading to the Asian leg of the tour, Suga will play in Los Angeles and in Oakland, California.
Head in the Clouds Festival
Forest Hills, New York
88rising continues its mission of spreading the talents of Asian diaspora artists through their Head in the Clouds Festival. In addition to their usual Los Angeles edition, 2023 sees Head in the Clouds Festival expand to New York for the first time. The lineup includes returning acts such as DPR IAN and DPR LIVE, while K-pop sensation ITZY, global girl group XG, and rising rockstar LØREN will make their HITC debuts.
Tomorrow X Together (TXT): ACT : SWEET MIRAGE World Tour
Dazzling boy group Tomorrow X Together (TXT) grow bigger with each new release and their international tours follow suit. After last year’s ACT : LOVESICK, they return for a six-city stint in the U.S. with ACT : SWEET MIRAGE, kicking it off on May 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Members Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai perform hits like "0x1=LOVESONG (I Know I Loved You)," "Good Boy Gone Bad" and their latest single, "Sugar Rush Ride."
MAMAMOO: MY CON World Tour
May 16 - June 4
Vocal queens MAMAMOO will soon begin their first-ever U.S. tour. Hwasa, Solar, Moonbyul, and Wheein are set to perform in nine cities, starting with New York on May 16 and ending in Los Angeles on June 4. With almost a decade of classics under their belts, the quartet will likely perform songs such as "Um Oh Ah Yeh," solo songs by each member, and a slew of hits like "HIP" and "Egotistic."
WEi: PASSION World Tour
Boy group WEi also returns to the U.S. for their second world tour, PASSION. Each of its six members — Daehyeon, Donghan, Yongha, Yohan, Seokhwa, and Junseo — are known for competing in different survival shows, with Yohan finishing in first place on Mnet’s "Produce X 101" in 2019. Although Yohan himself will be absent from this tour due to conflicting schedules, the remaining quintet promises to have a blast from coast to coast.
Bang Yongguk: The Colors of Bang Yongguk US Tour
May 31 - June 16
As a singer/songwriter, record producer, and former leader of boy group B.A.P, Bang Yongguk is one of K-pop’s most wide-ranging artists. Through honest lyrics and a voice deeper than the Mariana Trench, Yongguk’s work is immediately identifiable and always innovative. After releasing a brand new album this month, The Colors of Love, he is set to perform 10 concerts across the U.S., beginning in Joliet, Illinois on May 31.
TRI.BE: 2023 USA Tour VIDA LOCA
June 6 - July 3
Girl group TRI.BE have graced K-pop with effervescent singles and boundless energy since 2021, when they debuted with "Doom Doom Ta." This year, members Songsun, Kelly, Jinha, Hyunbin, Jia, Soeun, and Mire will embark on their first U.S. tour. The septet will play a massive round of 17 shows throughout the country, starting in Orlando, Florida and concluding in L.A.
aespa: Governors Ball Music Festival
In less than three years since their debut, aespa are already making history. The quartet — formed by Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning — will be the first K-pop group to perform at NYC outdoor festival Governors Ball, held June 9-11. SM Entertainment’s latest girl group became known for their AI-filled lore that includes avatars and an avant-garde sound in the likes of popular singles "Next Level” and “Savage."
TWICE: 5th World Tour Ready to Be
June 10 - July 9
Unrelenting girl group TWICE return to the U.S. for their 5th World Tour Ready to Be. Named after their latest album, the performances will feature hits from their 8-year spanning discography, as well as solo performances from each of its nine members. After performances in Asia and Australia, they will kick off a 13-stop North American leg of the tour at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on June 10, and wrap it up at Truist Park in Atlanta on July 9.
CRAVITY: The First World Tour Masterpiece
Last year, rising boy group CRAVITY toured the U.S. as one of the representatives of KCON 2022 Rookies — a series of concerts organized by the All Things Hallyu festival with up-and-coming names in the industry. In 2023, the nine-member group are proving their growth as they headline their own tour through New York, Chicago, San Juan, Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
JUST B: Otakon
Held in Washington, D.C., Otakon is the place to be for lovers of Asian pop culture. After bringing names like AleXa and PIXY last year, this year’s edition of the festival will bring rookie boy group JUST B — Lim Jimin, Geonu, Bain, JM, DY, and Sangwoo — for a performance and some VIP experiences to get to know them better.
Lee Youngji K-PLAY! FEST
San Mateo, California
Rapper Lee Youngji rose to fame by being the first woman to win survival shows "High School Rapper 3" and "Show Me the Money 11." However, she gathered an even bigger fandom through the YouTube variety show "My Alcohol Diary," where she invites other K-pop idols to her home for drinks and hilarious conversations. On July 30, she will headline the Bay Area edition of K-PLAY! FEST, the "first ever K-pop festival for fans, by fans." Besides spitting fiery bars, she will also do a hi-touch event, a fansign, and take some selfies with fans who purchase VIP packages.
Tomorrow X Together, NewJeans, DRP IAN, DPR LIVE: Lollapalooza
After last year’s success with performances from Tomorrow x Together and BTS’ j-hope, the Lolla 2023 features even more K-pop. For the first time in history, TXT will headline the festival on August 5, while fellow labelmates and current sensation NewJeans will perform on Thursday, August 3. DPR IAN, 6 and DPR LIVE bring their R&B, rock, and rap fusion to the last day of the festival on Sunday.
(G)I-dle: I am FREE-TY World Tour
K-pop’s resident tomboys will bring their flair and authenticity stateside. After last year’s Just Me ( )I-dle World Tour, the quintet formed by Soyeon, Miyeon, Minnie, Yuqi, and Shuhua will perform in six cities throughout the first half of August. In addition to their attitude-filled setlist, fans can expect new songs from their upcoming sixth EP, I Feel.
Head in the Clouds Festival
After their New York edition in May, HITC heads to the West Coast for another weekend celebrating Asian talents. While the lineup is yet to be announced, fans can expect it to hold some of the names who performed in past editions, as well as exciting newcomers. HITC will happen at Brookside at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 5 and 6.
BLACKPINK: BORN PINK World Tour
Headlining Coachella in April wasn’t enough for the unstoppable girl group BLACKPINK. Jennie, Rosé, Lisa, and Jisoo have just announced four stadium concerts in August as an extension of their ongoing BORN PINK World Tour, which also included U.S. dates in 2022. The quartet will perform at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Aug. 12, then follow to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Oracle Park in San Francisco, and wrap it up at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Aug. 26.
aespa: Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival
Once again, the groundbreaking aespa hit the U.S. for another milestone: they will be the first K-pop group to perform at San Francisco’s Outside Lands. The quartet will play their futuristic set on Friday, August 11, along Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monaé and WILLOW, among others.
Known as the largest Korean culture and music festival in North America, KCON has a decade-long legacy of serving as a bridge for "all things Hallyu." Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Crypto.com Arena, the festival includes a two-night concert, fan signings, food and merch stalls, panels with professionals in the industry, and many other attractions. KCON hasn’t announced its official lineup yet, but attendees can expect it to maintain the same excellence of past years.
Beyond Coachella: 10 Smaller Festivals Beloved For Their Homegrown Vibes & Huge Lineups
Photos (L-R): Dasom Han, Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images, Gabriel Chiu, Rick Kern/Getty Images, Ethan Miller/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management, Han Myung-Gu/WireImage
Celebrate AAPI Month 2023 With A Genre-Spanning Playlist Featuring BLACKPINK, Yaeji, Olivia Rodrigo & More
Spotlighting artists of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, GRAMMY.com honors AAPI Heritage Month this May with 44 songs by Japanese Breakfast, NewJeans, Keshi and many more.
As spring blossoms and May rolls around, AAPI Heritage Month reminds us to recognize and reflect on the talents of Asian American and Pacific Islander artists — across the music industry and beyond.
It's vital to celebrate diversity year-round, and May sparks additional dialogue about reshaping spaces to be more inclusive, especially within industries that are traditionally difficult to break into. Today, the music community views difference not as an obstacle, but an opportunity to celebrate individual and collective identity.
While 2023 marks 60 years since the first Asian American GRAMMY winner, AAPI creatives have been making waves in the music community for centuries. Whether you're raging to Rina Sawayama's enterprising electropop or vibing out with NIKI's soulful indie musings, AAPI artists are continuing to shape contemporary genres like never before.
In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, GRAMMY.com compiled an original playlist to honor AAPI musicians' creativity and novelty. Take a listen to the playlist featuring more than 40 trailblazing creatives on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.
Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for ABA
7 Mind-Blowing Sets From Coachella 2023 Weekend 2: Gorillaz, Boygenius, Eric Prydz & More
Weekend two of Coachella 2023 was packed with drama and intrigue, concluding with surprise headlining sets from Blink-182 and DJ trio Skrillex, Four Tet & Fred Again.. Read on for the weekend's biggest moments and exciting surprises.
Coachella 2023 has now come to a close. The second weekend of the Southern California mega-festival concluded with another series of bespoke performances that continued to build the event’s reputation as a place where legendary moments become history.
Weekend two was packed with drama and intrigue, led by the last-minute removal of Frank Ocean from the Sunday lineup due to injury. Fans were already buzzing following his controversial first weekend performance, while organizers worked quickly to replace his headlining set. The results were top notch, closing Coachella on a very energetic and celebratory note.
As a result, Blink-182 — who had a surprise set on Friday afternoon of the first weekend — were given a main stage slot on Sunday night, followed by an act to be announced.
The mystery act didn't remain hush-hush for long, though. Sunday's headliners were revealed to be the supergroup DJ trio of Skrillex, Four Tet, and Fred Again.., who in their brief time playing music together have become one of the most sought-after acts in the world. (So much so that they sold out Madison Square Garden in two minutes after announcing the show.)
Beyond the Sunday scramble, weekend two of Coachella 2023 brought much of the same excitement as the previous week — replete with more stand-out sets than even the most experienced festival goer could manage to catch. Below, relive seven sets that showcase Coachella’s reign as one of the most popular festivals in the world.
Wet Leg Encourages Communal Release
The British alternative rock band only has one self-titled album’s worth of material, which they've been diligently touring around the globe. And yet they still managed to bring a sense of zeal and authentic excitement to their second Coachella set.
Wet Leg's Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers set the example of this energy. Throughout the performance, they shared excitable looks, occasionally dropping lyrics in favor of laughter. Other times, they led the crowd in an epic scream, just for the sake of it. Dave Grohl even showed up to scream with them.
The climax of the performance at the Mojave stage on Friday afternoon was "Chaise Longue," the upbeat rock and roll heater that earned the group a 2022 GRAMMY for Best Alternative Performance. When Teasdale would ask, "Excuse me," the crowd would shout back "What?!" with all their might. Then the rapid fire guitar came in, and everyone in the crowd understood that the assignment was to dance.
Gorillaz Take Special Guests Appearances To The Next Level
Gorillaz last performed at Coachella in 2010 as Sunday headliners, and brought headliner energy to Friday night's penultimate set. When it comes to special guests — a Coachella tradition already ingrained in Gorillaz's music — the group stepped up their game.
By the third song, the L.A. alternative legend Beck was on stage to sing his feature on "Valley of the Pagans" from Gorillaz’s 2020 album, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. From there, more than half of the 17-song set included a guest.
Thundercat came on for his contribution to the title track of Gorillaz's latest, Cracker Island, Little Simz performed "Garage Palace" off 2017's Humanz, and Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, joined Gorillaz along with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble for "Sweepstakes" from 2010’s Plastic Beach. Minutes before his own headlining set, Bad Bunny came out in a mask to perform "Tormenta," his feature on Cracker Island.
An IRL Bad Bunny collab may have been the ultimate surprise guest coup de grâce, but Gorillaz weren't finished yet. In a touching moment of unity, Gorillaz paid tribute to their late collaborator David Jolicoeur after the surviving members of De La Soul joined Gorillaz for a performance of "Feel Good, Inc."
Eric Prydz Brings Artificial Into Reality With His HOLO Show
If Eric Prydz had decided to simply play a DJ set, he still likely would have landed one of the festival's top booking slots; instead, he brought his HOLO show to Indio.
This unique live production is known in the global dance music circuit for pushing the limits of visuals in the live space. There are hundreds of videos on the internet heralding its epicness, but those videos don’t compare to experiencing it in person.
Prydz’s closing set at Outdoor Theater on Saturday night was scheduled to begin at 10:20 p.m., but when the time rolled around, the screens remained dark. However, a keen ear could tell that the scene had actually begun; a subtle line emanated through the speakers and, for 20 minutes, kept getting louder and extending in its repetition.
At 10:40, a giant mechanical hand appeared on the screen, as if it was floating out into the audience. With an iPhone between its Transformers-esque fingers, the hand took photos as a wash of electronic music started building. Then as the hand flipped the phone to show an image of the audience on its screen, the first track of the set took full form, and a tidal wave of energy was released from the crowd.
For the remainder of the set, every new song was accompanied by an evermore impressive audiovisual creation. One frame was Prydz himself wearing a spacesuit. Another was a team of spacemen firing laser guns at the crowd. It felt so real that someone probably ducked to avoid the virtual projectiles.
Christine & The Queens Do So Much With Not-So-Much
Coachella is a festival where most artists like to do a lot, but Christine & The Queens demonstrated that you can actually do a lot with a little.
Production during the Sunday sunset slot at Mojave was minimalistic: two separate platforms on stage, one for Christine and her three-piece band, the other open for use. Like her stage setup, Christine & The Queens' music is generally minimalistic — though Christine doesn't require much to completely enthrall her audience.
Songs began calmer, exemplified by the use of Red Hot Chili Peppers' alt-rock ballad of "By The Way" as a transition into her hit song, "Tilted." As that steady and simple beat moved along the intensity only increased. Christine threw her body around, ending up on the floor, on the platform, all the while nailing every note with her serenading tones.
Other than her soothing yet powerful vocals and mesmerizing stage presence, Christine was just as much a preacher as a musician. She decried patriarchal capitalism and stood strong in her belief that music is the greatest weapon against it.
"You are not going to surrender!" she shouted as her drummer threw down a high speed solo.
Boygenius Provide A Musical Safe Space
When the indie supergroup took the Outdoor stage for the first set of Saturday night in complete darkness, everyone was primed and ready to feel all the things. Thus commenced the musical therapy session that was boygenius' Coachella performance, as members Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker sang the first few lines of "Without You Without Them" together on a single mic.
"I want to hear your story and be a part of it," the trio sang — their message a call to everyone in earshot, from the audience to the security guards and production workers.
Although the crowd wasn’t the biggest that the Outdoor stage would see throughout the weekend, the environment allowed for plenty of space for the audience to be with themselves under the stars. Then as the band went through the various moods on their debut album, the record, the audience responded to their energy in kind.
When the trio were rocking out on songs like "$20" and "Satanist," the energy was high and lively as everyone took in Bridgers' towering shouts before returning with their own. Then when the volume came down for the raw, unfiltered honesty in songs like "True Blue" and "Emily I’m Sorry," the people who were shouting before began to gently sway, murmuring the lyrics to themselves word for word, experiencing them on a personal level.
Björk Reworks Her Classics With An Orchestra
Iceland’s own Björk last performed at Coachella in 2007, when she headlined Friday. For her first Coachella set in over 15 years, the artist returned with a full orchestra that performed original interpretations of her past works.
Backed by the Hollywood String Ensemble and conducted by fellow Icelander, Bjarni Frímann, pleasant indie songs such as "Aurora" and "Come To Me" became operatic epics. The orchestra allowed her to accurately and succinctly reproduce "Freefall," a song from her latest album, 2022’s Fossora, which integrates orchestral composition with alternative production.
Closing the set, Björk embarked on an exploration of orchestral techno, as Hollywood String Ensemble rearranged her industrial masterpiece, "Pluto."
Visually, Björk satisfied expectations on all levels. Her dress was reminiscent of a spider web, with feathers caught in the adhesive like several birds all flew through at the precise angle. Above the stage, an aerial drone show reacted to her voice as if her tones were literally reaching the heavens.
Skrillex, Four Tet & Fred Again.. Party In The Round
Saving the day, Skrillex, Four Tet, and Fred Again.. took their last-minute headlining set to epic proportions. The trio of DJs performed in the round on the satellite stage, while extra speakers were brought in so fans in every part of the field could bathe in their electronic sounds.
Their set was just a straight party, complete with plumes of glowsticks flying into the air during various drops. Then when they fell other people would scavenge the field and pick them up so they could throw them on the next great drop.
At other performances like MSG where they were the sole act, the trio had as long as five hours to explore all the music they wanted. This time they had less than two, and filled the set with as many bangers as they could.
Some examples were the scraping dubstep track "COUNTRY RIDDIM" by the rising dubstep producer HOL!, "RATATA," a breakbeat tune supported by a vocal feature from Missy Elliott, and even "Party In The USA" by Miley Cyrus.
But the glue holding together the set were the booming bass tones of UK grime rapper Flowdan. The new trio made new versions of his hook from the massive collaboration with Skrillex and Fred Agan.., "Rumble."
7 Jaw-Dropping Sets From Coachella 2023 Weekend 1: BLACKPINK, Bad Bunny, Blink-182 & More