The best performances at Coachella 2019
On Easter Sunday, West took Coachella-goers to church with his Sunday Service, where musicians, singers, and dancers performed the rapper's hits and other covers from a hilltop in Indio, California. The set also included a new song from West called "Water."
Ariana Grande has dominated pop music for the past year with her back-to-back albums Sweetener and Thank U, Next, but she threw it back to the early 2000s during her Coachella headlining set by reuniting NSYNC on stage with her. Well, most of them anyway. Justin Timberlake wasn't able to participate, but Grande ably sang his parts.
Ariana Grande (again)
For her second headlining set at Coachella, Grande brought out another special guest: Justin Bieber, making his first public stage appearance in two years. "We thought it might be fun to do something for you guys," Grande told the crowd before they launched into Bieber's hit track "Sorry."
Janelle Monáe’s 50-minute performance on Friday night was a theatrical celebration of individuality and female empowerment, featuring vibrant visuals, her full band, an army of bold backup dancers, eye-catching costume changes, and her sassy stage presence. Monáe also kicked off what has become known as #asschella when she invited friend and fellow Coachella performer Lizzo on stage for a twerk-off, asking “Do you got the juice?” in reference to Lizzo’s single “Juice” and leading into Monae’s “I Got The Juice.” The singers continued to flaunt their friendship on Sunday with a slew of stage-mom moments throughout Lizzo’s performance.
Zedd and special guest Katy Perry
On Sunday, EDM artist Zedd graced the main stage and spun hit after hit, while the crowd waited for a live guest (Maren Morris, Selena Gomez?) to make a surprise cameo. Then suddenly, Katy Perry appeared (in a red jumpsuit) and joined the DJ for a performance of their catchy new single, “365.” After she left the stage, Zedd segued into an original remix of Whitney Houston’s famous “I Want to Dance With Somebody."
This was a big weekend for Donald Glover. Guava Island, his new movie with Rihanna, hit Amazon Prime at the same time he performed his first-ever Coachella headliner set. Glover made the most of the experience, taking a smoke break in the audience between songs and getting emotional while talking about the recent deaths of rappers Nipsey Hussle and Mac Miller.
The 2019 Album of the Year winner brought boho country-pop and a giant shimmering disco ball to her Friday afternoon singalong. She also engaged in what was probably Coachella's only yee-haw call and response of the weekend, at one point tricking the crowd into saying "haw" at the wrong time (she shouted back, "I didn't say f---ing yee!").
"I can't believe how many people came out," said singer Jisoo halfway into Blackpink's Friday night performance, which featured the band's go-to hybrid of earworm-y Korean rap and pop hooks. The group may be one of the biggest bands in the world at the moment, but even they acknowledged how big of a crowning achievement it was for the band to play Coachella (they’re the first K-pop girl group to do so). The set also acted as an unofficial kickoff for Blackpink's first American tour, starting later this month.
Bazzi and special guest Ty Dolla $ign
Bazzi really got the crowd going with his energetic Saturday night performance on the Coachella main stage. And just when you thought the 21-year-old pop phenom couldn’t rile fans up any more, he brought out birthday boy Ty Dolla $ign for a rendition of his hit song “Blasé” and mixed it up with his more mellow verse on Post Malone’s “Psycho.”
Cardi B and Selena Gomez
When DJ Snake brought out Cardi B and Selena Gomez to play "Taki Taki" during his Coachella set, it marked the latter woman's debut at the festival — as well as her first performance since completing treatment following her hospitalization last year.
Although they have a new album due out soon, Tame Imapala stuck to the hits for their quasi-headlining set, only playing the same two singles ("Patience" and "Borderline") that they debuted on Saturday Night Live a few weeks earlier. Kevin Parker's band has mastered the psychedelic light show live sets they've been performing since 2015's Currents, but soon their fanbase will be hungry for more.
Khalid and special guest Halsey
Flying high after the release of his chart-topping new album Free Spirit, Khalid was the perfect choice to warm up the main stage Sunday night for headliner Ariana Grande. He performed countless fan favorites during his Coachella debut, which was stacked with special guests including Halsey and Benny Blanco on “Eastside,” Marshmello on “Silence,” Billie Eilish on “Lovely,” and Normani on “Love Lies.” If that wasn’t enough, he also paid tribute to the late Mac Miller and Nipsey Hussle with a performance of “Angels,” complete with a live string section and choir.
Tierra Whack's snappy hooks and quirky aesthetic were made for Coachella. Her Friday evening set featured a dreamy and surreal collection of visuals (see: Whack animated as a turtle on her back; a series of hairy balloons), along with tracks off her standout 2018 LP Whack World, plus new singles "Only You" and "Unemployed." Whack even took time to playfully yell at the wind for messing up the balloon display that was supposed to spell out her last name: "F--- you wind!"
The rising Spanish singer and dancer who incorporates elements of flamenco and R&B into her work delivered one of the weekend’s best performances, which included takes on the dreamy "Barefoot in the Park" (her collaboration with British crooner James Blake), El Mal Querer opener "Malamente," and a breathtaking acapella version of "Catalina." "It means so much to me and my people to share this with you," she told the crowd.
Less than a month after the release of their debut album Nothing Happens, Wallows brought their energetic brand of indie rock to the Coachella stage this weekend. Best of all for singer Dylan Minnette, he told Desert Sun he "didn't hear anybody yell some bulls---" about his starring role on Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.
At 17 years old, Eilish was one of the youngest performers at this year's Coachella. That translated to some technical difficulties during her set: She temporarily forgot the words to her song "All the Good Girls Go to Hell," and rapper Vince Staples' microphone was muted when he came on stage to join her for a performance. Nevertheless, Eilish was cheered by her fans and saluted by Justin Bieber on Twitter.