Wherever Beyonce goes, gossip precedes her, and rumors abounded that she would dramatically change up her world-beating Coachella performance last Saturday for the festival’s second weekend — one of her dancers even told Variety that the performers would “switch up a couple things.” While there were some tweaks — mostly different outfits, although J Balvin made an appearance as well — for the most part, Queen Bey essentially performed a mirror image of her first-week appearance, though the eye-popping set lost none of its impact on the second go-round.
Musically, the complex set was almost identical: She was accompanied by more than 100 performers and a marching band that dramatically revamped her hits into pumping halftime-show arrangements, and the much-remarked-upon collegiate theme remained. However, Colombian singer J Balvin joined in for “Mi Gente,” a song they played without him last week.
The set still echoed many black cultural touchstones, including a gentle rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and a baton-twirling interlude that echoed those at HBCU halftime shows. She also repeated her duet with husband Jay Z (“Deja Vu,” appropriately), her mini-reunion with Destiny’s Child, and her dance-off with sister Solange.
Most notably, there were a few wardrobe switches from weekend one (pink sweatshirts instead of yellow, a drum majorette hat replacing Nefertitti’s glamour, a shimmery white number instead of camouflage), and Beyonce didn’t repeat her oft-quoted line about being the first black woman to headline Coachella. Since she’d already done it, in one sense the line was no longer true — and even for an encore performance, Beyonce isn’t one to repeat herself.
ADDITIONAL MUSIC NEWS ON VARIETY: