FKA Twigs‘ performance at Coachella on Saturday night (Apr. 11) included one very famous fan: the singer’s fiancee, actor Robert Pattinson, who ducked out of the VIP viewing party wearing a gray pullover hat after the set had concluded amid the constant flashing of cameras from elated fans. Fortunately, only a few squealing attendees were on constant R-Patz Watch at the show — the rest of the Gobi Tent was too busy enjoying one of the weekend’s most mesmerizing performances, from a truly unique musician who is getting better with each new musical project. Running concurrently as sets from Jack White and Tyler, The Creator, Twigs’ performance more than repaid the faithful hundreds who had chosen subtle R&B as their Saturday night party of choice.
Wearing a thin white top that was eventually shed to reveal a jewel-encrusted bra and bare midriff, Twigs utilized her entire body during the performance, and let her movements abide by her songs’ unkempt rhythms. Her most boisterous moves (yes, there were a few crotch-grabs) resulted in zealous shouts from her audience, but mostly, Twigs’ sexual gyrations and austere arm-unfurling had a hypnotic effect on the audience during the night set.
If anything, the visual component to her show — mostly solo motions, but also some warrior poses with her guitarist — buttressed her vocals, which were too soft to compete against White’s main stage riffing. The beats reverberated, but too often Twigs’ feathery musings were buried underneath them.
When Twigs’ voice did distinguish itself from the noise, she sounded more confident than ever before. Swaths of purple light sparkled behind the singer as she powered through “Two Weeks,” while the juxtaposition of Twigs’ soft voice and thudding beats on “Video Girl” and “Pendulum” sounded downright devastating. Most impressive was new single “Glass & Patron,” which pushes Twigs’ experimentalism to its most extreme corner and lets the indie star rap, snarl and belt over the course of five minutes. If her upcoming music follows that song’s lead, Twigs will have lots of exquisite new tunes to add to her existing live show.
Midway through the set, Twigs shared a story about how she performed a show in the Indio area last year around Coachella weekend. “When I tried to [get in to the festival], they said I wasn’t allowed in,” she shared glumly. What a difference a year makes: FKA Twigs successfully competed with a Coachella headliner at the festival on Saturday, and that success had nothing to do with who she’s engaged to.