Festivals

Khalid Shouts-Out 2018 Graduates With Youthful Governors Ball Set

It's been two years since Khalid graduated from high school in El Paso, Texas -- the same year his first hit "Location" went viral on SoundCloud -- but the breakout star isn't ready to grow up just yet. Performing for the first time on the Governors Ball main stage on Sunday (June 3), the 20-year-old dedicated his fun-filled set to 2018's senior class.

"It's really crazy, but before I continue I want to congratulate the class of 2018," he explained, all smiles but slightly out of breath after an aptly-timed performance of graduation anthem "American Teen." He then recalled his own high school days, when he would work on his music after class. "There was always one guy [who] said, ‘you know what, that song sucked.’ Well fuck that guy, because I’m here.”

For the next hour, he continued to make his presence known, with herds of teenaged fans swarming in to catch performances of favorites like "Young Dumb & Broke," "Let's Go" and (another SoundCloud hit) "Saved," which Khalid noted was the "first song I ever wrote." Even the artist's stage visuals were a nod to youth: While one fun visual mimicked the screen for 2000s video game Dance Dance Revolution, others portrayed iMessage screens with fictional users typing, then quickly deleting, confessional messages. Donning white track pants and a red tee adorned with the words "KIDS OF IMMIGRANTS" (from the Los Angeles-based brand of the same name), the star complimented crowd members as they sang along word-for-word -- "I fuckin' love the energy" -- and engaged in some booty-popping action with his backup dancers.

Notably, the main stage gig wasn't Khalid's first performance of the day -- a few hours earlier, he joined collaborator Billie Eilish at her set to surprise fans with a rendition of their duet "lovely."

After running through most of his 2017 debut American Teen -- along with recent collabs like "Silence" (sans Marshmello) and "Love Lies" (sans Normani) -- it was fitting for Khalid to burst into his early viral hit "Location" in the last few minutes of the set. But before departing the stage, he let the crowd know he'd be "on the way" back soon -- the perfect segue for a closing-out solo performance of his recent 6LACK- and Ty Dolla $ign-assisted "OTW."