Frank Ocean did not livestream his headlining Coachella set last night, April 16, so you’re forgiven for not knowing what happened — and it was a lot. Ocean took the stage an hour later than expected, and outside of opening with “Novacane,” the shorter-than-expected performance was not one for the books, based on most reactions.
But there is some positive news. Sort of. Maybe.
“It’s been so long. Everybody talks about how long it’s been. It’s like, it’s been so long. It’s been so long. But I have missed you,” Ocean told the crowd. “I wanna talk about why I’m here because it’s not because of the new album. It’s because — not that there’s not a new album. But there’s not right now. Chill, chill, chill. It’s not right now. But, you know, these last couple years, life changed so much.”
Ocean’s last LP, Blonde, arrived in 2016. And by August 2020, Ocean’s 18-year-old brother, Ryan, died in a single car crash in Thousand Oaks, California (as reported by The Los Angeles Times at the time).
An update on Ocean’s productivity felt less importance once he mentioned Ryan in the second half of his speech to the audience.
He continued, “My brother and I, we came to this festival a lot. And I feel like I was dragged out here half the time because I hated the dust out. … I would avoid coming, [but] I would always end up here. One of my fondest memories was watching Rae Sreummurd — I don’t know what that stage is called, but watching Rae Sreummurd with my brother and Travis. We were just dancing in that tent to their music. I know he would have been so excited to be here with all of us, and I want to say thank you for the support and the ears and love over all this time. And I’m gonna get back to you soon.”
Frank Ocean on why he’s performing at Coachella tonight
“My brother and I, we came to this festival a lot. […] I know he would’ve been so excited to be here with all of us.” pic.twitter.com/v2otOrNkSo
— Kurrco (@Kurrco) April 17, 2023