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The “what if” scenarios that came out before Frank Ocean’s groundbreaking performance at Coachella were years in the making. The elusive musician hasn’t performed live in six years and was slated to headline the festival in 2020, so to say anticipation was high would be a gross understatement. But what began with the cancellation of his set’s live broadcast and ended with a bizarre performance that left fans home and in the desert baffled and disappointed wasn’t what he planned, at least not entirely — and anyone looking for someone to blame can point their finger at his ankle.
A source close to the situation claims that production for Ocean’s performance was altered at the last minute to account for an ankle injury the singer sustained during on-location rehearsals the week leading up to the festival.
This would explain why, after arriving on stage in slippers an hour after his set was scheduled to begin, Ocean spent most of the time seated. However, what this didn’t explain was the 6-song DJ set Crystall Mess introduced mid-performance and lengths during which remixes of songs like “Chanel”, “Nikes” and “Nights” were played from the tape. , instead of performing live, while swinging around on stage.
It is also alleged that part of the performance was intended to feature skaters on an ice rink. Rumors of “Frank Ocean on Ice” spread online before his set, but that too has apparently been scrapped. Loyola Marymount University ice hockey player Aaron Voss posted an Instagram story from behind the scenes at the festival featuring nine guys in ski gear with the caption: “Boys x Frank.” Two other team members posted pictures on the side stage to the audience but did not perform during the set.
But those who attended actually got a better deal from the performance than they realized. According to the source, Ocean’s set actually took 15 minutes longer than originally intended, despite him telling the audience it was cut due to the midnight Curfew at Coachella on Sunday. The set featured a total of 24 songs, including those played by DJ Crystall Mess, which were four more than the 20 songs he had planned.
Ocean didn’t have much to say when he was on stage, but then again he was there to perform, not to speak. Although he didn’t actually do it, he made it clear to the crowd: “I want to talk about why I’m here because it’s not because of a new album, and it’s not because there’s no new album.”
The decision to provide the festival title was more related to his late brother, Ryan Brooks, who died in a car accident in 2020. “My brother and I came to this festival a lot. I feel like I was dragged on sometimes because I didn’t want to get a respiratory infection… I always did.” I come here, and one of my fondest memories is watching Ray Sremmurd with my brother…and Travis [Scott performed] In that tent,” he told the crowd. “I know [Ryan] He will be so excited to be here with all of us. I want to say thank you for the support, years and love all this time. Now I will return to the songs.
Ocean went on to explain that the club break was strategic in getting some attention from him – despite him being the best performer at the festival. “This is so messy but so much fun. … Looking back, I feel like in 2020, when I was just starting out partying in little clubs in New York before shit started dropping, I was having a good time listening to new music, With DJs they come on their shit,” he explained. “It has become part of my weekly practice with Radio Homer. It’s good that it’s not always about me, so I wanted to give a little bit of that.”
As of now, Ocean is still scheduled to premiere next Sunday, April 23, the second weekend at Coachella. Even after seeing him run in a full set, fans aren’t sure what to expect from the musician as he was before his less-than-major comeback.
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