Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is one of the biggest and most famous festivals on earth. The festival has changed a lot over the last two decades as it has become the space of influencers and brand ambassadors and gone away from its indie music roots.
But, no matter what people may say it is still a place to catch the best in music and now the festival has taken on a global perspective bringing in some of the biggest names in music from around the world to the big stages in the desert.
We covered 23 stages at the festival on Friday, by far the most of any day and here are our favorites.
Top Dawg Entertainment’s female rap star set the stage on fire Friday afternoon. Doechii was the first of several female rappers who won the weekend. She was dressed in a hot pink ensemble with pink contacts that made her look like a superhero from another planet as she belted out her hits like “Crazy.” Arrive early and brave the heat for this one.
The Southern California native Becky G is having a good year. In early March, Becky received the Billboard Women in Music Impact Award for using her music and platform to create positive social change while advocating on behalf of women both in, and beyond, the music industry. On Saturday she is even being awarded the key to the city of Coachella.
She takes the stage on Friday at the festival and honors her Mexican roots throughout her performance on the main Coachella stage.
Gabriels was our unexpected find of the day as we were strolling by the Gobi tent. Lead singer Jacob Lusk was outfitted in a full tuxedo for the occasion and his lead vocals filled the tent to a welcoming crowd for these first-time Coachella performance.
Gorillaz really never disappoint but the English virtual band formed by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett was a true highlight of Friday and should not be missed.
The band has a new stage show and guests accompanied Albarnn on stage throughout the whole set. Thundercat, Jamie Principle and Peven Everett made an appearance on stage just to name a few.
Lewis just come off a European tour supporting Carly Rae Jepsen whom he collaborated on the 2022 single “Move Me” and he made his Coachella debut in the early afternoon in the Mojave tent. His high energy synth-pop got the crowd dancing early and warmed up for the rest of the day.
Debbie Harry is an icon and it is a special chance to see a legend on a small stage at the festival. She starts with “One Way or Another” and doesn’t let up throughout the whole set. It is a must see for any lover of the 80’s.
The megaproducer Metro Boomin, whose set featured some of music’s biggest names in music took over the Sahara tent Friday night. I didn’t know what to expect from this DJ set but was quickly surprised when the first song started as John Legend appeared with a full section of violinists backing him up.
From there the stars just kept appearing as guests to support their producer of hit. The Weeknd, Future, 21 Savage and more all took the stage to sing the hits that were created together with Metro Boomin. At the beginning of the set he said he wanted to steal the show and in our eyes he did. It was the standout of the day.
Bad Bunny earned his headlining spot as the top streamed artist in 2022. He took the stage high above the stage with a group of dancers as he belted out all his hits for the 125,000 fans in attendance. We won’t ruin all the surprises but it is a fitting ending to a Coachella night in the Indio desert.