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Coachella 2022: The Weeknd, Doja Cat close out festival with enthusiastic showcase

Festivalgoers sit on the ground for moments of rest as the Coachella skyline – complete with bright art, a Ferris wheel and mountains – is in the background. Sunday marked the third and final day of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s second weekend. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

By Vivian Xu

April 25, 2022 12:53 a.m.

Coachella has made its comeback.

The annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has returned for 2022 after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Held at the Empire Polo Club on April 15-17 and Friday to Sunday, it welcomed back festival attendees with a variety of musicians, lining up performances concurrently across seven stages for 12 hours.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s coverage of the third day of Coachella Weekend Two.

Donning an unbuttoned blue suit over a plain white top, FINNEAS plays his red electric guitar. The artist frequently played both guitar and piano while serenading the audience. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)
Donning an unbuttoned blue suit over a plain white top, FINNEAS plays his red electric guitar. The artist frequently played both guitar and piano while serenading the audience. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

FINNEAS

Fans might as well call FINNEAS the new piano man.

The alternative pop musician appeared at the Outdoor Theatre at 5:05 p.m. in a powder blue suit and sunglasses, opening immediately with his song “Naked.” Framed by two members of his band each under blocky white arches, he performed centerstage alongside a black-speckled white piano. Behind the whole ensemble was the stage screen that displayed FINNEAS’ name in ornate, cream lettering.

Over the course of his set, FINNEAS alternated between a red electric guitar, the piano and serenading into the microphone. The fans cheered and raised their phones higher to record the artist as he hit high falsetto notes. While his outfit remained unchanged throughout the performance, the musician took off his sunglasses during “Medieval” as he animatedly gesticulated along to the chorus.

FINNEAS briefly addressed the crowd in his performance, thanking them for being willing to show up under the beaming afternoon sun, as his venue was not covered by a tent. He also encouraged fans to sway their hands along to the rhythm during his ballad, “Angel,” and clap along to the beat while he cruised across the stage, microphone in hand.

Elevated over the crowd, fans cheered as if he was sent from above.

Artist Maggie Rogers holds a microphone as she is broadcasted on large screens wrapping around the Coachella Stage. In one of several conversational interactions with the crowd, the artist shared she was celebrating her April 25 birthday a day early with Coachella attendees. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)
Artist Maggie Rogers holds a microphone as she is broadcasted on large screens wrapping around the Coachella Stage. In one of several conversations with the crowd, the artist shared she was celebrating her birthday a day early with Coachella attendees. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

Maggie Rogers

On her final day of being 27, Maggie Rogers left it all at the stadium.

In a knee-length black dress and necklace that spelled out her name in cursive, Rogers bounced onto the Coachella Stage at 5:20 p.m. with a smile across her face. The folk-pop artist briefly covered Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” before announcing to the crowd that since the night marked the eve of her 28th birthday, she could not be happier to see a group of people united by music.

Rogers pranced about the stage during her set, singing to the guitarist and directly into the camera that projected onto the stage’s side screens, while encouraging the crowd to groove with her. She segmented the purposes of her songs, explicitly stating after performing “Alaska” that the track was more for dancing, while the following song, “Light On,” was intended to heighten sentimental feelings.

Zoomed in photos of her eyes were broadcasted onto all three screens during her final song, which was her newest release, “That’s Where I Am.” As she reached the final moments of the performance, she briefly paused to remind the crowd to relish the moment that they were currently living in and proceeded to end the show by enthusiastically jumping with her band.

As Rogers savored her birthday eve, the crowd celebrated with her.

Doja Cat stands on a platform wearing a strappy outfit. The artist performed an unreleased track, "Shots," as well as a nod to breakout track "MOOO!" (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)
Doja Cat stands on a platform wearing a strappy outfit. The artist performed an unreleased track, "Shots," as well as a nod to breakout track "MOOO!" (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

Doja Cat

Doja Cat is mooing her way to the top.

Making her appearance on the Coachella Stage at 8:20 p.m., the hip-hop artist underwent four costume changes throughout the night and featured two guests – Tyga and Rico Nasty – during her 60-minute set. With an abundance of backup dancers and several rising platforms that propelled her upward, she segued between various mood changes in her set using pyrotechnics, fireworks and assorted lighting.

Doja Cat alternated between outfits – including a sparkly fringed orange-and-blue leotard and a harness decorated with metal spikes – as her set morphed from soulful to energetic. She put a rock-inspired twist on the bubblegum-pop hit “Say So” and also performed her unreleased song “Shots” as the finale, with her backup dancers grooving along as an entourage.

As she danced, the screens on the sides of the stage played vivid video clips of asteroids zooming through a technicolor space scene in addition to multiple whales leisurely swimming through the faux sea around her. In a nod to her breakout song, she played “MOOO!” as an interlude while she changed costumes and closed her set by taking a round of shots with her backup dancers.

And if Doja Cat is pouring, then the audience was more than ready to receive.

Wearing all black, The Weeknd grasps a microphone on stage. The performer was the final headliner for the last day of Coachella 2022, singing tracks from across his discography. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)
Wearing all black, The Weeknd grasps a microphone on stage. The performer was the final headliner for the last day of Coachella 2022, singing tracks from across his discography. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

Swedish House Mafia x The Weeknd

To close out the weekend, the final headliners brought the house down.

Taking the Coachella Stage a few minutes before the scheduled time of 10:20 p.m., EDM music group Swedish House Mafia brought a strobe-light-heavy set to the final headlining performance of the weekend. Dressed in all black, the band stood in a straight line in front of the long synthesizer keyboard, hyping up the crowd for beat drops that featured lights beaming above the audience’s heads.

Swedish House Mafia stands together as two members point up (right) and into the crowd (center). The house music trio performed solo before melding into The Weeknd with "Sacrifice."
Swedish House Mafia stands together as two members point up (right) and into the crowd (center). The house music trio performed solo before melding into The Weeknd with "Sacrifice."

After closing out the set 50 minutes later with the trio’s most well-known hit “Don’t You Worry Child,” the group’s music morphed into The Weeknd’s song “Sacrifice,” as the Canadian hip-hop artist appeared on the large circular ring at the top of the stage. The two groups performed simultaneously for the track, with Swedish House Mafia later leaving the set when The Weeknd launched into hits such as “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Blinding Lights.”

Decked out in a minimalistic all-black outfit topped with an army vest, The Weeknd covered discography both new and old, including tracks such as “Often” from his sophomore studio album, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” and “I Feel It Coming” from his third album, “Starboy.” The Weeknd sauntered up and down the catwalk, requesting for the audience to sing lyrics back to him, as various purple and pink hues filled the stage behind him, pulsating to the beat.

As audiences waved their hands, festival attendees closed out the weekend basking in the blinding lights.

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Vivian Xu | Arts editor
Xu is the 2021-2022 Arts editor. She previously served as the music | fine arts editor from 2020-2021 and was an Arts reporter from 2019-2020. She is a third-year neuroscience student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Xu is the 2021-2022 Arts editor. She previously served as the music | fine arts editor from 2020-2021 and was an Arts reporter from 2019-2020. She is a third-year neuroscience student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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