“What the fuck is good, Coachella?” SZA asked at the outset of her near-45-minute performance on Friday (April 13) — during the first weekend of Coachella in Indio, Calif. — of her ravenous crowd before seguing into her CTRL standout “Go Gina.”
Known for her spunky demeanor, SZA offered a litany of bangers overt he course of her set, including “Supermodel” and “Love Galore.” Though she arrived 10 minutes late, the TDE singer-songwriter’s humorous anecdotes and unruffled vocals were enough to make avid listeners overlook her tardiness.
“I was not allowed to smoke before this [performance] — I need you guys to transfer all of your energy to me,” she quipped before diving into “Drew Barrymore.” With clips of the famed actress appearing on the big screen, SZA paid homage to Barrymore with a spellbinding rendition of the ode. Powered by her live band, the 27-year-old cradled the audience with her precision.
Rather than soak up the spotlight all on her own, SZA received some help from several familiar faces. First, she enlisted close friend and labelmate Isaiah Rashad to grace the stage with her and perform “Pretty Little Birds.” The sheer chemistry between Rashad and SZA was undeniable, as they stared intently into each other’s eyes while reciting each line.
Then, SZA continued her good deeds by bringing out Trippie Redd and Kendrick Lamar during her set. Redd torched the stage with a fiery performance of “Dark Knight Dummo” sans Travis Scott. After that, Lamar made his second festival appearance of the day, and performed “Doves in the Wind” and “All The Stars” with his TDE cohort. (Earlier in the evening, Lamar had jumped onstage to assist Vince Staples in his performance of “Yeah Right.”)
Once her and Lamar concluded “All The Stars,” SZA shared bad news with the audience: Due to time constraints, she canceled the remainder of her set, and left fans in dismay after not being able to perform her solo hit, “The Weekend.”
“Yo, they cut my songs,” she said. “I’m sorry, but I’ll make it up to you next week.” Fans may have been dejected by her early exit, but SZA’s short set was still among the most memorable for the opening day of Coachella 2018.