Frank Ocean Comeback At Coachella Ruined By Horrendous Headlining Set

Posted April 17, 2023 by with 1 comment

Frank Ocean’s first two albums, “Nostalgia, Ultra” and “Channel Orange,” were quite lovely and I revisit them often, but his last album, “Blonde,” released seven years ago, wasn’t good. He hasn’t performed in almost six years, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that his headlining set at Coachella last night was a complete disaster. Via Variety:

Ocean’s set — during which he and his musicians were intentionally obscured by a cadre of people walking in a circle around them, only seen on video projected on custom screens even more massive than those that usually flank Coachella’s main stage — was messy, loose, and a near-disaster that will likely go down as one of the most divisive in Coachella history, with flashes of brilliance that only made for a frustrating final outcome: that of disappointment and palpable audience WTF-ness. (Unlike nearly every other set at the festival, Ocean’s, and that of Bjork, who preceded him on the main stage, were not livestreamed — a fact that did not become clear until Sunday evening, leading to outrage and anguish online; reps for YouTube, Coachella and the two artists did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.)


Full review of the disastrous set at the link.

With only three albums (technically two, as “Nostalgia, Ultra” was considered a “mixtape,” whatever that means), Frank Ocean had no business being a headliner at the world’s biggest music festival, so all the criticism directed at him and concert organizers is well deserved. That spot should be reserved for actual legends with established credibility as live performers. Past headliners have included Radiohead, Prince, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Madonna, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, and Lady Gaga.

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