Among the assemblage of “Beychella” reviews, one particularly stood out in the same vain as worldwide megastar and songstress Beyonce’s name did on the 2018 Coachella bill: New York Times’ “Beyoncé Is Bigger Than Coachella.”
Crowning the Queen Bey with yet another historical land marker of the first Black woman ever to headline California’s most sought-after music and arts festival, the review travelled through her forcefully electrifying set from start to finish, bowing down at every sentence in adulation of Beyoncé. She has a way of making even the most profound and praiseworthy of words from such a reputable publication appear trivial beside her name.
The other scads of critiques, all lauding of her Coachella epoch, celebrated the queen similarly and within the framework of her radiantly revolutionary live aesthetics that locks fans to the front of her stages like magnets to refrigerators. The Beyoncé experience is an awakening, a metaphysical phenomenon if you will—there’s never been any doubting that. But Beyoncé in her unapologetic, unyielding, uncensored Blackness is an entirely different sacredness.
“Coachella, thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline,” the Lemonade matron spoke over mountains of roaring Coachella goers. “Ain’t that ‘bout a b**ch?”
Accompanied by her Destiny’s Child sisters Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland as well as her hip-hop mogul husband, Jay-Z, Bey brought nostalgia and noir to an enticing middle ground. Her nonphysical star guests included the sound and spirit of Black history, which she washed over Coachella grounds with only the most eulogized of Black icons like Nina Simone and Fela Kuti. Fans lined up for registration at H-Bey-CU, Bey’s spin to historically black colleges and universities, without even realizing it as she brought the HBCU experience to the festival, which held White attendance of 95.1 percent only five years ago, with a synchronized marching band and step squad.
Yes, Beyonce is Black, y’all. And for the festival’s nearly 20-year existence, the queen gave Black America and diaspora seven reasons to throw up our fists, our middle fingers and anything else that encompasses the royalty, rage and reverence of Blackness.
Powerful! @Beyonce singing James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Every Voice and Sing" during her historic performance as the first Black woman to headline #Coachella ✊🏾#BlackNationalAnthem #becauseofthemwecan pic.twitter.com/pCDaY9XOba— #becauseofthemwecan (@Becauseofthem) April 15, 2018
🗣 I AM CONFUSION. Beyonce had a full marching band playing Swag Surf and the crowd was stiffer than an H&M suit jacket. pic.twitter.com/4HXPl7Zz5B— Rob Sherrell (@RobJustJokin) April 15, 2018
Bey is mouthing the words of Malcolm X. pic.twitter.com/0irrOU3sww— Bearded and Beyoncé Is Coming AGAIN (@speakinmytruth) April 15, 2018
Chimamanda Adichie on #Feminism at #Beyonce #Coachella18— Povo News (@povonewsafrica) April 15, 2018
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
But for the attention of men
Feminist: The person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes pic.twitter.com/G4x0MoHDEg
"Upon further research, we've updated our bust of a recreated Queen Nefertiti" pic.twitter.com/CvBHlLvjf9— Black Nerd Problems (@BlkNrdProblems) April 15, 2018
Limestone bust of Queen Nefertiti, probably by the sculptor Thutmose, c. 1345 B.C. // Beyoncé performs at Coachella, April 2018. pic.twitter.com/UVY2CSYjff— TabloidArtHistory (@TabloidArtHist) April 15, 2018
Beyoncé paying homage to Fela Kuti😍 pic.twitter.com/5DUlYPgPSw— Konbini Nigeria (@konbining) April 15, 2018
(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )