Home Entertainment Frank Ocean Jolts Coachella With Aimless, WTF Headlining Set – Variety

Frank Ocean Jolts Coachella With Aimless, WTF Headlining Set – Variety

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Headlining Sunday night’s Coachella, enigmatic R&B star Frank Ocean was arguably the festival’s most anticipated set. After not playing live for nearly six years, Ocean was due to headline the festival in 2020 before the pandemic hit. It’s back again last year before being postponed to 2023. Rumors about the potential new music swirled beforehand. It was a moving and revelatory performance.

None of this came to fruition. In fact, Ocean’s set—during which he and his musicians circled around them—as seen only in his screen-projected video—is even more gigantic than what usually makes up the Coachella stage. It was intentionally obscured by the crowds of people walking around—it was messy. It’s loose and bordering on disaster for what’s likely to go down as one of the most divisive in Coachella history, with just enough brilliance to deliver a frustrating end result of disappointment and obvious audience WTFness. (Unlike nearly every other set at the festival, Oceans and Björk’s set in front of her on the main stage were not live-streamed. This fact was not revealed until Sunday night, when Leading to outrage and anguish online (via a YouTube rep), Coachella and the two artists did not immediately respond. varietyrequest for comment. )

A jump revealed the problem. The set started with him 57 minutes behind the advertised start time, cutting into the venue’s strict curfew. His first five minutes consisted of people walking quietly in circles, so Ocean was supposed to appear at all. When he finally led the band on “Novacane,” his voice rose above the song’s reworked groove, and sounded great, but he was barely there on the giant video screen. Couldn’t see (and behind walls it was impossible to walk directly on people). This scavenger his hunt for headliners continued throughout the set even after the wall of people had left. Ocean and his band were too far back on stage, too blocked by screens, and poorly lit due to the lack of stage lights. More than just a quick look at the musicians, let alone Ocean himself.

Pauses — long, pregnant, “What are you going to do next?” That’s fine if he had the intentions, but instead, he sympathized with himself before the band, the tech, and the occasional flash of greatness. The punky outburst on “Wiseman” made it seem like Ocean discovered and digested years of hardcore punk bootlegs during the pandemic. When Ocean finally admitted to the audience on the mic, he first dispelled rumors of the impending release of new music before telling the audience that he had been to Coachella with his brother (but I didn’t mention my brother’s tragic death in 2020)..

And for all possible course corrections, the house fell apart—many thought the show was over because the DJ started playing mid-set with no intro or context. 15 minutes of late-night dancing After his beat, Ocean introduced DJ Crystal Mess, who was making fun of Ocean’s radio show.

If the stripped-down stage set is a response to the over-the-top choreographic nature of Coachella like Beyoncé and Blackpink, why would Ocean and his band be seen in the audience rather than bare on stage? Is it completely hidden from music? Why would having an actual child “sing” a song about your inner child land you on the nose like crazy when you have a full band but he played in the original arrangement? You don’t have to lip-sync to just two tracks from . Why start so late that you’re cut off from stay-at-home orders in a way that makes it seem like you’re living in a world where time doesn’t exist? For a festival audience that wasn’t made up of good people, it felt like pure chaos.

In 2016, Ocean live-streamed (and eventually released) an album of harrowing jams and instrumentals called “Endless,” accompanied by a video of himself appearing to build a staircase out of blocks. rice field. The next day he released his masterpiece “Blonde”. Sunday night’s performance was another head Is he fake?Will he play the real set at Coachella Weekend 2?Time will tell.

One of the reasons Ocean is so beloved is due to his unpredictable nature, and his most ardent fans will no doubt claim pure artistry as an excuse. It’s not a problem. Ocean should be given the freedom to explore her creativity however she pleases. That said, in front of his 100,000 people who have been wanting to see you for years, it helps to have a plan. that is necessary. Hopefully Ocean will actually have it by next weekend.

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