Harry Styles opens Coachella with new songs, Shania Twain and a F-you to Friends

Coachella, the Southern California music festival that attracts Instagram influencers like UV light attracts beetles, returned this weekend after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. British pop sensation Harry Styles was the headliner for the first of six nights, and he wore what the Guardian described as a “dazzling deep V à la Freddie Mercury”. The set mixed a horn section, “more whining guitars than a Led Zeppelin B-side” and, in an effort to further break down the walls of restrictive musical genres, a surprise appearance by Shania Twain.

“In the car with my mom when I was a kid, that lady taught me how to sing,” Styles said of the Canadian country-pop star. “She also taught me that men are garbage.”

The couple performed a duet on two of Twain’s hits, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “You’re still the only one”.

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Styles also used the festival to release new songs. “As It Was”, his latest single, made its first live appearance, as did a track that would be called “Boyfriends”. The actor-singer introduced this one by asking, “Who in the audience ever had a boyfriend?” Who in the audience has never had a boyfriend? He then added, “to boyfriends everywhere, fuck off.”

justin bieber also made a surprise appearance on Friday night, joining Daniel Caesar during his set to perform their current hit “Peaches”. Other acts that performed on Friday include Little baby, Phoebe Bridger, big-seanAustralian psychedelic rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Canadian jazz fusion band BADBADNOTGOOD.

Saturday’s headliner is Billie Eilishand Sunday is Swedish House Mafia and The weekendwith a repeat of the three programs next week.

The festival, whose official name is Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is actually held in Indio, California, near Coachella in the Coachella Valley. (Woodstock, likewise, was held in Bethel, New York, not Woodstock.) This year marks the 21st Coachella, with the first taking place in 1999 and not returning until 2001. The festival spanned two weekends starting in 2012. This year, many performances are streamed live, for free, on YouTube on three different channels.

The importance of fashion brands and social media influencers at the festival cannot be underestimated, as the Guardian underline. People with big followings can earn thousands of dollars per post by wearing sponsor-provided outfits at the big event. (And here I’m wearing cargo shorts I bought at Costco like a schnook!)

TMZ had its eyes peeled for the notables on night one and spotted Kendall Jenner (who hosted a party) plus model Chanel Iman, The single personit is Amanda Stantonand actress Storm Reid.

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