Frank Ocean performs at The Parklife Festival 2017 at Heaton Park on June 11, 2017 in Manchester, England (Visionhaus#GP/Corbis via Getty Images).
Frank Ocean made his return to performing a brief one. On Sunday (April 17), the 35-year-old singer-songwriter held his opening show during weekend one of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, his first live performance in five years.
Although there were rumors that Ocean’s set was originally slated to include a skating rink and figure skaters, the artist powered through reworked versions of his songs “Novacane,” “Chanel,” “Bad Religion” and more. A livestream of Ocean’s show was also canceled.
I’ve been speaking with sources about exactly what transpired and how things went so far downhill Sunday for #FrankOcean + #Coachella…so here you go 👇
The stage production was suppose to (and did) contain an ice rink that was constructed and ready to go.
Frank decided at the…
— Festive Owl (@TheFestiveOwl) April 17, 2023
According to sources, the New Orleans-raised artist spoke to the crowd and shared that he wouldn’t be sharing new music in his set, although he plans to release a third album in the future.
“It’s been so long. Everybody I’ve talked to has said how long it’s been, so long, so long… but I have missed you,” he said. “I want to talk about why I’m here, because it’s not because of the new album. Not that there’s not a new album, but there’s not right now. It’s not right now.”
Ocean went on to speak about the loss of his younger brother, Ryan Breaux, who died in a car crash in 2020.
“These last couple years, my life changed so much. My brother and I, we came to this festival a lot. I feel like I was dragged here so much of the time. I hated the dust; I always dealt with a respiratory infection,” Ocean told the Coachella crowd. Ocean mentioned that he, Ryan and former Odd Future member Travis “Taco” Bennett once caught a Rae Sremmurd performance at Coachella, adding, “I know he would’ve been so excited to be here with all of us. I wanted to say thank you for the support and the ears and the love for all this time. I’m gonna get back to the songs.”
The second half of Ocean’s set included a rave mix from DJ Crystalmess, before Ocean returned to cover Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” and The Isley Brothers’ “(At Your Best) You Are Love,” and perform his songs “Godspeed,” “Wiseman,” “Self Control,” “Nikes,” and “Nights.”
As Ocean began his set after his scheduled 10:05 p.m. PST start time, Coachella organizers shut down his show prior to the midnight curfew. The artist is expected to return to Coachella next weekend for a second and final performance on Sunday (April 23).