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.
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
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.
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.
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 likely 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.