Frank Ocean’s highly anticipated return to the music scene left a salty taste in the mouths of music lovers everywhere. After a six-year hiatus, fans were ecstatic to see Ocean headline Coachella. People lined up hours before his set, eagerly anticipating the performance of their lives. As the section opened, the crowd had multiplied, filling every corner of the floor, and the excitement in the air was palpable.
For those who could not make it to the festival, there was the promise of a live stream which many eagerly awaited. Each year the festival live-streams later sets on YouTube for the first weekend of the musical performances. But an hour before his performance, it was announced that his show would not be live-streamed on any online platforms. This left many fans at home feeling excluded and miffed.
At long last, the artist emerged onto the stage, an hour later than scheduled. The crowd erupted as he launched into his hit song “Novacane.” For a moment, it seemed as though the show was going to live up to all the hype. Unfortunately, it was not long before things began to go downhill.
Throughout the concert, Frank Ocean spent most of his time hiding behind the stage, leaving fans with just a big screen that displayed recordings of the show. Songs such as “Lost” and “Chanel” were performed as remixes that filled up half of the performance. To make matters worse, he did not sing through a microphone for the majority of his show, leaving fans with a pre-recorded version of each song.
As the remixes finally came to an end, Ocean finally sang a handful of his well-known songs, and it seemed like the show might have taken a turn for the better. Amid his disastrous show, he held a moment with his fans, sharing a personal story about his brother Ryan who had passed away from a car crash in 2020. Ocean expressed his reluctance to perform at Coachella but said that his brother Ryan has always loved going to the festival. At that moment, the undertone of the show shifted, becoming more sympathetic. It felt intimate and personal as the crowd reciprocated his energy.
Despite Frank Ocean’s instance of honesty, this illusioned connection began to fade. The show went on, and the lack of substance and energy became more apparent. The audience began to trickle out of the section. Even worse, the concert abruptly ended, with Frank Ocean’s set cut short to accommodate Coachella’s curfew.
The aftermath of it all shines a negative light onto Frank Ocean. There were a plethora of postings online about his awful performance and people felt scammed due to the amount of time and money they paid. This horrible backlash has gained the attention of other celebrities such as Justin Bieber. He supported Frank Ocean and showed that people’s reactions were unreasonable and that Ocean did the best that he could.
Shockingly enough, Frank Ocean had announced that he has dropped out of performing for Weekend Two of Coachella — his excuse being because of a fractured ankle. This left his fans betrayed, as hundreds of people were expecting his presence the following weekend. The band to cover his spot was Blink-182.
In the end, Frank Ocean’s long-awaited return to the music scene left many fans feeling disillusioned. It was a missed opportunity to reconnect with his audience and make a statement with his music. Instead, it was a lackluster performance that failed to live up to the expectations of his fans.
Frank Ocean’s reputation has been shattered and fans are left to pick up the scraps. His career had been set the second he stepped on Coachella’s stage, but his lack of effort and care for his audience displays his true character for the music industry. Frank Ocean is still a great and impactful artist, but his music alone is not enough to satisfy his supporters.