Day two of Coachella delivered its own series of surprise guest appearances, including Rauw Alejandro and Billie Eilish – the latter debuting her Never Felt So Alone collaboration live with Labrinth during his set. The day also included Jai Paul’s first-ever live performance as well as BLACKPINK’s historic headlining set.
Saturday’s stacked line-up also included performances from Charli XCX, Rosalía, boygenius, The Kid LAROI and Calvin Harris, who by his bill has officially “returned to the desert.”
For those at home, YouTube streamed live from all stages of the festival – and will continue to do so this weekend and during the second round of the festival from April 21-23. On Sunday evening, April 16th, Frank Ocean will close out the festival with his highly anticipated headlining performance and his first live performance in six years.
As for BLACKPINK’s headlining performance, the beloved quartet reflected on the start of their Coachella journey in 2019, when they became the first K-pop girl group to perform at the US festival when they were booked at the Sahara Tent. Four years later, global superstars Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa took over the main stage and made history as the first Korean act to headline the festival. Almost two hours later, Calvin Harris returned to the main stage for the first time in seven years to belt out the hits and “miraculously” perform a new one with an old friend, Ellie Goulding.
Cash billboard‘s eight best moments from day two of Coachella 2023 below.
The sexy set by Charli XCX
Though the day was cooling by the time Charli XCX hit Coachella’s main stage, she unabashedly turned up the intensity again. While donning a studded black leather bodysuit and matching knee-high boots, Charli asked the audience, “Who’s going to be sexy this weekend?” before launching into Baby. After Charli performed “Beg For You” without Rina Sawayama, Charli introduced “We’re really, really hot! I’m really, really hot!” as her way of “begging” Troye Sivan to come out for their 1999 collab — which he gladly did.
But it was her rendition of “Track 10” that was particularly electrifying, as it offered a hyper-pop escape from heartbreak. To really bring it home, the singer spun to the same frenetic pulse of the music before crawling across the stage in a beautifully bizarre manner that captured her vulnerability and passion in the name of love. Only the chilly whisper of her own name could revive her body, now sprawled on stage, as she revived in time for “Vroom Vroom.” – Come on Mamo
Rosalía & Rauw Alejandro are pair goals
Rosalía brought her fiancé Rauw Alejandro to play “Beso” and “Vampiros” from their recently released collaborative EP. “How many of you have been listening RR‘ the Spanish star asked the crowd. “Four years ago I came to Coachella alone. Not this time.” A few seconds later, the Puerto Rican hitmaker joined his lover on stage where they sang, kissed and twerked. “Que Dice Coachella? Where are my Latin American people?” he asked the roaring crowd. Rauw’s surprise performance was one of the best moments of Rosalía’s emotional and captivating set, as she performed music from her albums El Mal Querearound moto mommy. — Griselda Flores
Jai Paul’s first ever live performance
Great anticipation culminated during Jai Paul’s set at the Mojave, where the mysterious experimental singer and producer performed the first show of his 12-year career. The artist, best known for his 2011 debut track “BTSTU,” recently returned from a seven-year hiatus with two singles, “Do You Love Her Now” and “He.” And before his historical set he released his project of unfinished demos, Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones)on vinyl for the first time after its infamous leak 10 years ago.
Those songs filled his Coachella set, of which he said in a pre-show statement, “I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but yeah I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely shit.” The British artist got 15 minutes late on stage, wearing a wig and sunglasses – perhaps part of a plan to calm him down. He didn’t look entirely comfortable in the spotlight (and his mic could have been turned up louder), but he stormed through a show that began with “Higher Res” and later included “BTSTU” – a must for any casual fan or otherwise. And while the show didn’t fully unravel its mystique, audiences — which included Justin Bieber, Channel Tres, and Kaytranada — finally got a feel for what Jai Paul can do. — Katie Bain
Boygenius supports trans rights
Earlier in the week, supergroup boygenius – Phobe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus – warmed up for Coachella with a performance in Pomona and treated fans to a celebratory set of new music from their debut album. the record. While their stellar songbook was the focus of the band’s festival set, Baker took the opportunity to also champion trans rights. “I want to say before we go any further, I don’t know if you’ve checked the news and seen the stupid things that are going on in Florida, Missouri and so many other places. But trans lives matter, trans kids matter,” she said. “We will fight it and we will win.” — Lyndsey Havens
BLACKPINK’s historic headlining set
“So…let me start by saying four years ago we were invited to perform here for you at Coachella in the Sahara tent and it etched itself in all of our hearts,” BLACKPINK’s Rosé affectionately told the crowd. “I have to say this is a dream come true… the reason all four of us are here is because of you.”
In 2019, BLACKPINK — consisting of Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa — became the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella — a set that also marked the foursome’s first full US concert. And tonight, in 2023, the global superstars became the first Korean act to headline the festival.
“We’re so happy to be back,” adds Jennie. “It’s crazy in the four years that we’ve made it from the Sahara to the main stage…. We love you, Coachella.” Everyone felt the same throughout the set, which included hits old and new like “Pink Venom,” “Kill This Love,” “Whistle,” “BOOMBAYAH,” and “DDU-DU DDU-DU.” Song like a grand finale in itself. The act used the additional allotted time and celebrity on the main stage to publicize their distinct personalities and voices, and dedicated time to each artist to perform their solo work. Jennie topped the list with “You & Me” with a new rap verse, followed by Jisoo performing her debut single “Flower,” followed by Rosé delivering “Gone/On the Ground,” and ending with Lisa’s set ( that was introduced under her birth name Lalisa) an explicit version of “Money”.
The historic and celebratory set leveraged what Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa do best together as BLACKPINK: making blinks feel like they’re being seen. And by giving each member their own moment to shine, they also showed their individuality. — LH
The Kid LAROI’s tribute to departed friends and a special message for Justin Bieber
“I am very, very blessed to be on this stage,” The Kid LAROI’s voice echoed through the Sahara tent midway through his performance. It was a genuine moment of gratitude considering some of his dearest friends are no longer here like fellow rappers Juice WRLD and Saiko, whom he honored while performing a new song “about loss and the loss of people,” he said somberly to the crowd. “It’s very personal to me and very vulnerable.”
The 19-year-old artist’s mature rebranding didn’t just involve chopping off his golden, boyish locks or dropping “The Kid” from his nickname as he introduced himself to audiences. It was about delving deeper into what hurts him – in this case, lost loved ones – with piercing lyricism. As he crouched on top of a battered pickup truck, he sang about thinking about the words he wished he had said to his friends.
And he was true to his word as he praised his “Stay” collaborator Justin Bieber, who, according to LAROI, was watching from the crowd (which immediately dashed any hope of a surprise appearance on stage; however, he later released Fivio Foreign , who performed her Far East Movement sampling pop-drill collaboration Paris to Tokyo). “You are such a special damn person…. Everyone here is gotchu bro,” he said directly to Bieber. “Thank you for not only being an incredible musician and collaborator, but thank you for being my frigging friend.” — HM
Labrinth And Billie Eilish’s Live Debut Of “Never Felt So Alone”
Ahead of Labrinth’s upcoming album ENDS & BEGINS, The experimental artist has regaled fans with songs old and new — including his latest single, ‘Never Felt So Alone,’ starring Billie Eilish. His best pleasure? Bringing them out to debut the song live together. “She’s so freaking talented,” Lab said of the star as she left the stage. “Billie, forever I love you.” Elsewhere in the set, he acted euphoria Hits like “I’m Tired” (with Zendaya not doing it coming out during the set) and “Still Don’t Know My Name”, among other fan favorites – all of which showcased his outstanding vocals and proved what a powerhouse he is both in the studio and on stage. — LH
Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding’s Live Debut Of “Miracle”
While other sonic trends ebb and flow with the desert winds, dance music is a fundamental element of Coachella, with nearly every style in the genre featured on every single stage. This year, sets from British icons The Chemical Brothers and Underworld – who both played the first Coachella in 1999 – were as exciting and relevant as ever. James Murphy did the Lord’s job while DJing Despacio, Coachella’s best dance floor, and Eric Prydz dazzled on the Outdoor Stage with his technical/sonic masterpiece of a show, HOLO.
But while dance music was everywhere, her marquee look was Calvin Harris’ set on the main stage. BLACKPINK headlined the night, but Harris actually followed suit, playing to a crowd as vast and expansive as almost any we’ve seen gathered there over the years.
But what’s an EDM titan doing on this stage a decade into EDM’s heyday (and seven years since last appearing on the Coachella main stage)? He’s banging out the hits, baby – but he’s also kinda weird. Indeed, Harris choked through his insane catalog, hitting all the highs — “One Kiss,” “This Is What You Came For,” “Slide,” “Feel So Close,” “Sweet Nothing,” “Summer” — with the Das Audiences heard en masse sing-alongs whenever the Scottish producer turned down his volume control.
Not surprisingly, however, given Harris’ recent forays into acid house and related styles, he also veered into heavier and far more raving territory, with some of those moments not sounding too different from what Underworld had been doing hours before – and demonstrating one continuous line through the eras of dance music and Coachella lineups.
Interestingly, Harris’ set avoided anything from his last album, last summer Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2, bypassing the appearance of any of the massive stars on it. Instead, a beaming Ellie Goulding helped Harris close the show with the first-ever live performance of her recent hit “Miracle,” itself a trance-throwback anthem. —K.B.