Blackpink and boygenius rule Day 2 at Coachella 2023

Four girls in a k-pop group perform onstage
Blackpink’s Lisa, from left, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé perform at Coachella.
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Coachella)
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Welcome — or welcome back — to live coverage of Day 2 of the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Saturday’s headliner is K-pop girl group Blackpink, one of the three nonwhite headliners this year, a first for Coachella. Last night culminated in an electrifying and historic two-hour set from Puerto Rican megastar Bad Bunny, while Sunday night will bring the looooong anticipated return to the stage of Frank Ocean.

Blackpink returns to Coachella after making its U.S. festival debut here in 2019.

Also on today’s bill: indie-rock supergroup boygenius, Rosalía, Charli XCX, Eric Prydz presents Holo, the Breeders, Underworld, the Linda Lindas, Jai Paul and many more.


Among our favorite performances on Friday: the Weeknd joining Metro Boomin’s all-star set (other special guests: Future, Don Toliver, 21 Savage and Diddy); boygenius backing up their friends Muna; De La Soul rapping with Gorillaz; the return of Blink-182; and impeccable new wave from Debbie Harry and Blondie.

All weekend, The Times’ Mikael Wood, August Brown, Suzy Exposito, Kenan Draughorne and Vanessa Franko will be roaming the grounds of Indio’s Empire Polo Club and reporting on all the action as it happens.

Bad Bunny headlines opening night of Coachella, which will also feature sets from alt-rock favorites Blink-182, Blondie, Gorillaz and the Chemical Brothers.

April 15, 2023

3:46 p.m. And we’re back!

Last night was a late one, but Coachella waits for no fan, which is why music is already wafting across the Polo Grounds (along with a considerable amount of dust).

Day 2’s headliner is the K-pop girl group Blackpink, though EDM survivor Calvin Harris is playing after Blackpink on the main stage in a slot Coachella is calling “returning to the desert.” (Contracts, y’all!) Also on the bill today: Rosalía, boygenius, Ethel Cain and Underworld, among many others. Stick with us to hear all about it. — Mikael Wood

4:05 p.m. Old Coachella heads love to whine about the festival’s move away from the alternative rock of its early years, but Saturday’s bill is actually long on fuzzy guitars and hand-smacked drums with performances by boygenius, the Breeders, the Linda Lindas and Snail Mail, whose Lindsey Jordan told the crowd in the Mojave Tent that she’d pondered her options for a splashy surprise guest before ultimately deciding against it. “We’re like the definition of a band that’s just happy to be here,” she said. Her slyly confessional songs — dreamy and tuneful yet rhythmically wound tight — were a welcome throwback. — M.W.

4:08 p.m. Well, if I wasn’t awake when I got here, I certainly am now! Marc Rebillet built a devoted following by Twitchstreaming his kooky, half-naked electro-funk DJ sets from his New York City apartment. On Saturday, the French American mix artiste supersized his living-room show for the Coachella main stage. His act is a frenetic techno stream-of-consciousness, improvised with hip-hop beats and synth loops — not to mention comedic outbursts. “Who’s ready for Blackpink? … What the f— am I doing up here naked?!” he screamed, well aware that a sizable chunk of the audience was comprised of early-bird Blackpink fans. They were pogo-ing along excitedly by the end of the show. — Suzy Exposito


4:12 p.m. Flo Milli heated up the Sahara Tent early, making full use of the venue’s all-encompassing screens in the process. Flanked by four dancers sporting all-pink outfits, the rapper brought enough energy to get the crowd moving. Near the end, she was joined by a pregnant Monaleo for her song “We Not Humping.” And if there was any doubt how happy Milli was to play her first Coachella, she took a selfie with the crowd before launching into her hit “Conceited.” — Kenan Draughorne

4:15 p.m. Pete Acevedo, 30, from Fontana, Calif., has been coming to Coachella for seven years. He says he’s figured out the ultimate way to do the festival with his friends.

“Get a campsite and an off-site as well. Use the campsite as a home base to go back and forth. At the end of the day, make sure you’re out of the parking lot by 2 a.m., check out, go to your Airbnb, sleep, come back and do it all again the next day,” he said.

He also had a tip for anyone rolling out to Coachella, no matter where you’re staying: “Stay hydrated and bring the energy.” — Vanessa Franko

 A jazz-hip-hop group performs onstage
Dinner Party performs at Coachella.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

5:23 p.m. After losing best R&B album at the 2023 Grammys, Chris Brown hit his Instagram stories to question the winner’s credentials; during Dinner Party’s afternoon set, award-winner Robert Glasper gave a thunderous reminder during an incomparable piano solo. Backed by drone footage capped high above Crenshaw Boulevard, the R&B supergroup known as a Dinner Party — Glasper, Terrace Martin, Kamasi Washington and 9th Wonder — played improv-filled renditions from their lush self-titled 2020 EP, bringing out singer Arin Ray and Watts rapper Daylyt to boost their instrumentals with added melody and wordplay. — K.D.

Hiatus Kaiyote performs at Coachella.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

5:45 p.m. Hiatus Kaiyote opened its set at the outdoor stage with “Rose Water,” alerting the sparse yet passionate crowd of the explosive blend of genres that was to come. The trippy Australian band delighted with colorful cuts from its most recent album, “Mood Valiant,“ its first full-length release since 2015. And I couldn’t stop smiling at lead singer Nai Palm’s day-glo, striped tunic, one of my favorite get-ups of the weekend so far. — K.D.

A female singer performs onstage.
Ethel Cain performs at Coachella.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

5:53 p.m. One of the main reasons to attend Coachella is to catch rising acts just as the wave is about to crest. For Ethel Cain, the captivatingly eerie, 25-year-old singer-songwriter, that meant performing at an absolutely packed Sonora Tent at the very un-Southern-Gothic hour of 4:30 p.m.

Over a few years, via some stark EPs and the 2022 full-length “Preacher’s Daughter,” Cain has cultivated an ominous mystique and a dedicated online stan scene. Both would mean little without the songs and performance to back up the aura.

Starting with the moody, vicious “Family Tree” — with its poster-worthy promise, “I’m just a child but I’m not above violence” — Cain’s grim rural noir took on the grandeur of festival rock. Dressed in a cherry-red cheerleader outfit, Cain proved she can both model for Miu Miu and sing with a gospel-worthy range. “A House in Nebraska” was probably the most ransacked ballad to hit the desert all weekend, but the Sonora crowd treated it like a magic-hour hit.


And then there’s “American Teenager,” which I simply will not shut up about: It’s the best rock song of the 2020s. Cain played it early in the set, but it’s the moment when she looks like she’s having the most fun onstage, twirling and howling its hooks with a loopy fervor. It can’t be easy to be a face-tatted young trans woman in Alabama these days, and Cain has earned every single moment of joy she takes from being onstage. Lucky for us that she gives it back in spades. — August Brown

6:30 p.m. As far as I can tell, the point of being a Charli XCX fan is the promise that one day you’ll be able to tell everyone that you knew before other people that she’d be a global pop superstar. But nothing about the English singer’s main-stage set suggested that she’s destined for bigger things other than a (very respectable!) early-evening festival slot. Dressed for the part in a cutout leotard and geometric shades, twerking with skill but no apparent joy, Charli came on like an AI’s take on a post-post-post-Madonna club diva. Basically: great attitude, crummy songs. (Troye Sivan joined her for “1999.”) One exception was her snarling rendition of Icona Pop’s gleefully profane “I Love It,” which she co-wrote for that forgotten Swedish duo back in 2012. “You’re from the ‘70s, but I’m a ‘90s bitch,” she sang — still one of the sickest burns ever, and maybe the reason I’m unpersuaded by her act. — M.W.

6:37 p.m. I have found the 40-something white dads at Coachella, and they are sipping Heinekens as they wait for the Breeders inside the air-conditioned Sonora Tent. — M.W.

The Linda Lindas perform at Coachella.
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

6:54 p.m. L.A. teen squad the Linda Lindas dropped a power-pop compassion bomb in the Sonora Tent. Addressing the wave of bills targeting transgender communities across the country, singer/bassist Eloise Wong emarked, overwhelmed by the onslaught: “All this anti-trans legislation is not it. It’s just not fun!”

Guitarist Bela Salazar, who emerged with shocking pink bangs, ramped up the body positivity by taking the lead on their feel-good song in Spanish, “Cuántas Veces,” or “How Many Times,” singing: “Todos somos perfectos / En todas formas y hechos.” (“We’re all perfect / In every form and fact.”) It’s hard not to walk away from the set feeling like we need to leave a better world for the Linda Lindas and their Gen Z peers. — S.E.


7:30 p.m. Speaking of leaving a better world for future generations, I happened upon Florida Congressman Maxwell Frost shaking hands with festival-goers during the midafternoon Dinner Party set. As the first Gen-Z congressperson — who, incidentally, was once a seasonal employee in Coachella’s control center — Frost came to the fest today to present two panels on climate change and activism.

His first featured a chat on water scarcity with Jaden Smith and Drew Fitzgerald, who founded the climate-conscious nonprofit 501CTHREE with Jaden’s dad, actor Will Smith. The organization has helped get safe drinking water to underserved communities, including those in Flint, Mich. “There’s a difference between shaming apathy and inspiring action,” says Frost. “Shame is not what people are voting for; people want something to vote for, not against.”

Frost enjoyed several acts so far this weekend, including Muna and Bad Bunny on Friday; he seemed most jazzed to see Charli XCX, boygenius and Frank Ocean’s return on Sunday. Said Frost: “I’m ready to cry, but in a good way!” — S.E.

7:36 p.m. A dispatch from the press tent: Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, has gotten the reporters in here quite as stoked this weekend as Sofi Tukker blasting a club remix of the “White Lotus” theme song. — S.E.

A female rock singer performs onstage
Kim Deal of the Breeders performs at Coachella.
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

7:46 p.m. Does it count as nostalgia if an old song makes you think about new things? Playing tunes from 1993’s alt-rock classic “Last Splash,” the Breeders were so tightly dialed into their sound — seriously, no other band (or band-ish entity) has been tighter this weekend — that they made you realize how delightfully bizarre “Hag” and “New Year” and “Cannonball” are in a structural sense. Frontwoman Kim Deal, a true rock-vocal powerhouse at age 61, ended the band’s set with a ripping version of “Gigantic” by her old group, the Pixies. — M.W.

Fans watch a performance at Coachella.
Fans watch Diljit Dosanjh’s performance at Coachella.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

8:53 p.m. “This is where all the Indian baddies will be,” one South Asian guy told his buddy as they waited for Jai Paul, the acclaimed U.K. singer and producer. Hard to tell if he was right, but he got the gist of the importance of Paul’s set tonight in the Mojave Tent. For one, it was Paul’s live debut — not just at Coachella, but his first show ever, anywhere. After a hotly awaited collection of funk and glitch-driven demos leaked online, he peaced out from public life for a decade.

Everyone from Beyoncé and Drake (who have sampled his “BTSTU” ) down to the most conspiracy-crazed Redditors have probably wondered when they were going to get a chance to see him perform. Tonight was the night.

Paul was late — he lost around 15 minutes of his set to stage fussing. But when he arrived, he came dressed in wraparound shades and a white coat, looking the part of the avant-garde R&B star he’s been for years in the shadows. In the lead-up to the show, he admitted to being pulverizingly nervous to finally make stage his debut. With a small but formidable backing band, tasteful white lighting and some ominous-looking sculptures behind him, he made a great case for Paul Institute, his amorphous creative firm.

He’s still finding his sea legs as a live singer — totally fair for a first timer! — but older cuts like “Genevieve” felt as fresh as they did when they tore up the internet in the Obama years. — A.B.

A female rock musician performs onstage
Boygenius’ Phoebe Bridgers performs at Coachella.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

9:01 p.m. Award for best walk-on music of the weekend goes to boygenius, who set the mood for their exuberant Outdoor Theatre set with Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town,” then kept that same energy with “$20” and “Satanist,” the two highest-energy tunes from the indie-rock supergroup’s excellent new debut, “The Record.” After that, the trio of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker — each dressed in crisp black-and-white suits like a winking Reservoir Dog — mellowed out for the more Laurel Canyon-ish parts of their catalog. What’s gratifying about seeing the band live is how intuitively the women blend their voices in complicated harmonies that physicalize the intimate friendships they sing about — a real (and rare) embodiment of the supergroup ideal. Also moving: Dacus’ pronouncement that “trans lives matter” and “trans kids matter,” which Bridgers punctuated with a message of her own: “F— Ron DeSantis.” — M.W.

Rauw Alejandro and Rosalía perform at Coachella.
(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)

9:35 p.m. Rosalía’s entrance was preceded by the loud rumble of motorcycles; after dozens of dancers took their statuesque places onstage, the Spanish singer emerged to perform “Saoko.” Fans even in the back of the crowd felt like they were onstage with Rosalía, thanks to stellar work from the videographer who rarely strayed more than five feet from the singer.

Meanwhile, those closer to the stage erupted with loud applause when she brought out boyfriend and reggaeton superstar Rauw Alejandro, and the two performed songs from their recent joint EP, “RR.” Before that, however, she took a moment to thank her choreographer, Compton’s Charm La’Donna, who’s worked with everyone from Dua Lipa to Kendrick Lamar. — K.D.

A rapper performs onstage.
Eladio Carrión performs at Coachella.
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

9:42 p.m. On his new album “3MEN2 KBRN,” Puerto Rican trap lord Eladio Carrión shows reverence to gritty American rap idols such as Lil Wayne and Future. But at Coachella’s Gobi Stage, he flaunted his own star quality with a high-energy solo set. Real ones may recall him from his Vine comedy bits; realer ones from his days as a competitive swimmer. That athleticism informs his breath control and stamina on stage, not to mention a touch of fancy footwork on brisk tracks like his Bizarrap session, or his buoyant number with Bad Bunny, “Coco Chanel.” Even though El Conejo didn’t show up to lend a voice, the crowd sure did. — S.E.


10:45 p.m. Nia Archives became the latest to suffer from sound issues at the Sonora stage — the speakers weren’t working for a whole three minutes — but once everything was connected, it was full speed ahead. The U.K. DJ spun a furious mix of jungle and drum-and-bass music, and she even upstaged the crowd with her own dance moves behind her controller. — K.D.

Blackpink onstage at Coachella.
Blackpink performs at Coachella.
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Coachella)

10:50 p.m. “Did you notice the wind stop?” Blackpink’s Rosé asked an ebullient Main Stage crowd during a charged pause in the group’s headline performance. “I think it was all the Blinks.”

The K-pop superstars’ fanbase was indeed out in full force on Saturday night — some lined up at the stage barricades the second the gates parted. But winds of change were definitely still blowing through Coachella, as the tastemaking fest hosted its first K-pop headliner and its first all-female group atop the bill.

Coachella is long removed from being an indie- and alt-rock-driven festival, having embraced pop and hip-hop for aesthetic, financial and generational reasons years back. But from the minute Blackpink counted down to “Pink Venom” after a formidable aerial drone swarm, their set felt different — a scale, skill and intensity of pop craftsmanship bigger than anything else that’s graced this stage since Beyoncé made history in 2018.

Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo and Lisa easily nailed a mix of Coachella cool and K-pop razzle-dazzle. On “Kill This Love,” “Kick It” and “How You Like That,” they stomped and sassed beneath a towering temple roof and made the most of the gigantic stage. It’s rare to see an act as good on its feet as its backup dancers, but Blackpink is in a class of its own as physical performers, too.


Every finger flick, every hip thrust, every hair flip during “Boombayah” and “DDU-DU DDU-DU” was choreographed to the microsecond; their vocals sounded immaculate despite the aerobic demands of their dancing.

After tonight’s set, even BTS’ Jungkook (reportedly on the grounds Saturday) would probably admit: Blackpink is the best group in K-pop, and it made Coachella bigger, better and more relevant by being here. — A.B.

11:11 p.m. A perfect genetic splice of Blink-182, Post Malone and Justin Bieber, Australia’s the Kid Laroi spent a good 35% of his Sahara Tent set demonstrating that he’s figured out how to say both “f—“ and “motherf—“ in a very convincing American accent. Toward the end he sang his and Bieber’s crisp new wave bop, “Stay,” which he dedicated to his duet partner, who he was pretty sure was in the house. “Justin, thank you for changing my f—ing life, man,” Laroi said. “You’re such a special human being.” — M.W.

11:13 p.m. As Blackpink brought the bubblegum, across the field, club kids across generations assembled inside the Mojave Tent for the U.K. group Underworld, dancing wildly amid a thick layer of smoke and a rainbow glow. With producer Rick Smith as his co-pilot, vocalist Karl Hyde steered mammoth ’90s techno anthems like “Cowgirl” with his signature rugged snarl, then dedicated “Born Slippy” — famously featured in the 1996 movie-slash-anti-drug PSA “Trainspotting” — to the Swedish rapper Yung Lean. — S.E.

11:29 p.m. Everyone in the Gobi Tent is dancing to the funky beats of Chromeo, who just brought out LaRoux as a special guest and did a bit of “Bulletproof” during her appearance. — Vanessa Franko

Calvin Harris performs at Coachella.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

1 a.m. As the evening’s headliner in all but name, Calvin Harris largely set aside the chilled-out electro-yacht-rock of his recent “Funk Wav Bounces” albums to entertain an absolutely massive crowd late Saturday with the throbbing EDM bangers that made the Scottish DJ and producer a top club and festival draw of the Obama era. (No joke, this may have been the most people I’ve seen on the field since the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2013.) The fun part of his remember-the-good-days act was getting to hear carefree classics like “Sweet Nothing” and the still-gorgeous “Thinking About You” again; the bummer was having to endure “Miracle,” a terrible new retro-rave jam for which Harris brought his old pal Ellie Goulding to the stage. — M.W.