While fans online felt the FOMO after learning Frank Ocean’s Coachella headlining set would not be livestreamed on the festival’s YouTube channel, fans in attendance worried he might not perform at all after an hour passed with no sign of the singer.
Sure, he’s pretty elusive and mysterious, but waiting over an hour had fans feeling antsy. Fortunately, he opened his set with a fan favorite that got the crowd back on his side: “Novacane,” his breakout single from the 2011 mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra.
frank ocean started his performance with ‘novacane’ 🥲 pic.twitter.com/aqUJhc1vOb
— SK⚡️ (@raptalksk) April 17, 2023
After playing “Novacane,” he followed up with “Crack Rock,” “Bad Religion,” and “White Ferrari” before sharing his favorite Coachella memories with the assembled crowd, including catching Rae Sremmurd and Travis Scott. Although he admitted he didn’t like coming to the desert — thanks in part to a tendency to get respiratory infections from the flying dust — he thanked fans for coming out to see him after so long. His last Coachella appearance was over 10 years ago, in 2012.
Since the avant-garde R&B experimentalist released two studio albums, Channel Orange and Blonde, as well as a visual project, Endless. However, he’s been a scarce presence on festival stages and hasn’t toured much; before being booked to headline the canceled 2020 edition of Coachella, he hosted a series of DJ events in 2019 where he shared some of his first new music in years.
Speaking of new music, during his speech at Coachella, he cleared the air about that; he did not take the gig to promote a new project, although he said one is in the works.