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Coachella 2019 Day 1: Gen-Z Magic, A Global Focus, and Who Brought It So Far

Coachella 2019 Day 1: Gen-Z Magic, A Global Focus, and Who Brought It So Far

Ah, Coachella. 

The rolling green background, the magical sunset, and a few dozen or so of our favorite artists coming together to put on TWO music-packed weekends like no other. You may be thinking of course, “Why even bother?” After the 2018 bonafide Beyoncé-takeover known to the country – nay, the world—as “Beychella,” the show could only go downhill, right? And you’d be wrong. Don’t be embarrassed tho. 

After all, most of us were not blessed with tickets to the sacred event, so it’s only natural to make excuses to stave off the all-consuming envy of those in the audience. But, this year, we’re in luck because Youtube has kindly taken pity on us poor unfortunate souls by LIVE streaming both weekends of the event for the first time in its 20-year history (it kind of makes up for all the annoying ads for youtube red, huh?). 

If you missed it, don’t fret. There’s plenty of music, fashion and culture ahead. And if that’s not enough to ease the pain, here’s the recap. 

Kacey Musgraves

The six-time GRAMMY winner stepped onto the main stage dressed to impress with red-fringe outfit typical of Coachella style. Her country hits and mellow voice being something like a cross between Michelle Branch and Stevie Nicks, she performed many songs form her 2018 release “Golden Hour” during one of Cali’s famous sunsets, to a spectacular backdrop. 

Songs of the setlist include “Love is a Wild Thing,” ”Mother,” “High Horse,” and the tear-jerking “Rainbow.” After the first day, not only will I be eagerly awaiting her second performance next weekend, but I will definitely be adding Ms. Musgraves to my music collection on Spotify. In heavy rotation. Boom. 

Jaden Smith

OK, so, this performance defined what it means to be a member of Gen-Z: passionate, considerate, gender-fluid and a total baller. Two thumbs ALL THE WAY up. The set started and ended on a high note with the aid of his sister Willow—floating in the air adding a melodious voice to the show that proud mama Jada Pinkett Smith grooved to in a touching family moment. 

The 20-year-old continued the streak with MJ dance moves and a new single. Oh, and did I mention that he was in a Tesla suspended by cables in the air? Or that Jordyn Smith joined him as a surprise guest? Or that he paid touching homage to late-rapper Nipsey Hussle? No? Well, she did, he did, and it was AWESOME. 

Tierra Whack

Filled with color and a carefree attitude, Tierra Whack’s show was everything it needed to be for Coachella and absolutely nothing it didn’t. With the show’s theme being middle fingers in the air and what can only be described as a Candy Crush vibe, the 23-year-old performer positively SLAYED her set. And seriously, where can I get the neon yellow sneakers she was sportin’? 


Who is the designer for this group? Because the outfits this history-making K-pop group made on the first night of Coachella were on point. Two-piece, tight and sparkly. Nothing to envy there, right? Yeah, OK. And speaking of on point, the dance moves displayed during the highly-anticipated set remain unrivaled at this point in the music festival. 

The very first Korean act to join the Coachella lineup, Rosé, Jennie, Lisa and Jisoo may very possibly the group we’ve been waiting for to bridge the outdated divide between East and West in the entertainment world. An event all on their own, the group were simulcast in NYC’s Times Square—another first in Coachella history.  

Ella Mai

Like the second coming of Sade, Ella Mai’s performance can be described in one word: ethereal. The white-clad R&B singer floated on to the stage like a dream, and brought a surprising amount of energy to slow jams “Whatchmacallit” and “Boo’d Up.” Bless up. The London-born singer just released her first full length studio album in the fall of 2018, but something tells us over here at Exhibit A that we’ll be hearing from her again—sooner, rather than later. 

Janelle Monae

The Q.U.E.E.N. is back! Janelle Monae can do it all—sing and dance, all with effortless style. The star sang hits both old and new with a woman-oriented focus. For a second, fans were probably hoping that Solange or Erica Badu would accompany her as a surprise guest, but this “Electric Lady” is so dynamic, she puts on an awe-inspiring show all by herself. Can you say #blackgirlmagic? I certainly can. 

Childish Gambino & Honorable Mentions

The other headliner of the first night of made it CLEAR that his performance was to be experienced in the moment, telling those in the audience to either “put their phones away or go home.” As harsh as it was, he was right—and he put on a great show. Some things are meant to be experienced in the moment, not curated for the ‘gram. Did that sound convincing? Good, because I was totally lying. ;) 

Honorable Mention: Remember that time Cardi B came out and Selena Gomez made her Coachella debut? They were each only out for a short while, but the two pop culture powerhouses definitely managed to nab a few headlines. 

Cover image via Rolling Stone

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