Alternative R&B singer-songwriter Frank Ocean returned to the Coachella stage to perform this past weekend. It was Ocean’s first performance in over six years, and the singer has not released new music since 2020. Ocean’s much-anticipated festival set turned heads in the massive crowd, as it was not what audiences were expecting from the singer-songwriter. He appeared over an hour late to his set, and performed for a brief 30 minutes.
Longtime fans of the artist were disappointed by Ocean’s tardiness, given his long hiatus from touring. Coachella has an expensive price tag, and some felt that they did not get their money’s worth from the headliner’s set.
The Notorious Performance
Some anonymous sources working at Coachella alleged that Ocean changed his set at the last minute. Originally, an elaborate set complete with skating backup dancers was supposed to serve as a backdrop to his performance, and the choice to strip down the set was allegedly spur of the moment.
While some argue that the set felt lackluster, others point to Ocean’s explanation mid-set. The singer-songwriter lost his younger brother in a fatal car accident three years ago, and he recounted frequenting Coachella with his brother prior to his death.
Frank Ocean's speech during his Coachella set.https://t.co/GN8Ly4GaHN
— Odd Future: Fan Page (@OddFuturePage) April 17, 2023
Frank ocean’s set was profound and brilliant and I’ll die on this hill
— Kristin Robinson (@wordsbykristin) April 17, 2023
that was the strangest ….. performance/set… I have ever witnessed
— HELLOTEFI ???? (@hellotefi) April 17, 2023
While the performance’s opening was mellow, a DJ set featuring a dancing security guard broke up the unique set. TikTok does not quite know what to make of this portion of Ocean’s performance.
Ocean vaguely also confirmed that a new album is finally on the way. The internet is urging Coachella goers to be kind to the singer given the circumstances of his performance, and to focus on the new album on the way.
Frank Ocean is yet to comment on the criticisms of his performance, or confirm an official release date for new music. Coachella also did not address the complaints from festival goers over the controversial set.