Coachella 2024 Takeaways: Shakira And The Taylor Swift Factor

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Shakira performing at the Coachella. (Image courtesy: AFP)Coachella’s first weekend boasted buzzy guest appearances, a diverse slate of Latino acts and an indie rock revival, along with the premier desert festival’s barely there fashion with a heavy dose of Americana.Here’s a rundown of the weekend’s takeaways:Latino prideShakira, Peso Pluma, J Balvin…this year’s edition of Coachella was decidedly dominated by Latin American acts hailing from a wide variety of countries and a diverse spectrum of genre. Latin representation has grown significantly in recent years at Coachella, and yet another strong showing in 2024 indicated that such bookings are becoming less an anomaly and more so the standard as Latin music continues to dominate global charts.Last year’s Coachella made history as Bad Bunny became the first-ever Spanish-language headliner. And this year Argentina’s star producer Bizarrap surprised fans by bringing out collaborator Shakira for a rager of a performance, as Peso Pluma took the main stage with his unique blend of regional Mexican ballads mixed with Latin rap and reggaeton.Puerto Rico’s Young Miko, Cuba’s Cimafunk, Ecuador’s Hermanos Gutierrez, and a smattering of artists from Mexico including Son Rompe Pera, Carin Leon and Girl Ultra were among the lengthy list of Latino performers representing at the festival. And Balvin brought out…Will Smith, who wore dark glasses and a suit to perform, you guessed it, the Men In Black theme.Swift spottedAhead of Coachella rumors swirled over a potential Taylor Swift appearance – she’s collaborated on music with Lana Del Rey, Jack Antonoff and Ice Spice, and the Swifties thought perhaps one of those acts would invite her onstage. She didn’t perform but she did show, watching rock band Bleachers – her longtime producer Jack Antonoff is the frontman – from the corner of backstage and Bronx rapper Ice Spice from the VIP section.Swift and beau Travis Kelce, the NFL tight end who recently won the Super Bowl, twirled, swayed and kissed as they enjoyed the spectacle, for once, as fans. Next weekend she could always hop onstage to promote her album that drops on April 19, when Coachella will repeat more or less the same line-up. And while she was the most-discussed, Swift was far from the only celeb sighting at Coachella, a playground for the rich and famous.Billie Eilish – who joined Del Rey onstage Friday – was spotted at Tyler, The Creator’s headlining set the next day, also doing her own unscheduled performance at the festival’s Do Lab, debuting three new tracks from her forthcoming album Hit Me Hard And Soft.Olivia Rodrigo dropped in for No Doubt, with other cameos including Ke$ha and Katy Perry.88rising showcaseThe music and media company 88rising, which gained prominence as a platform and label geared primarily at promoting Asian American artists, held a special showcase for the second time, featuring performances from J-pop groups Yoasobi, ATARASHII GAKKO! and Number_i, Japanese hip-hop artist Awich, Korean-American rapper Tiger JK, Chinese pop star Xin Lu, and Korean rapper Yoonmirae.ATARASHII GAKKO! and Yoasobi also played their own sets.This year another history-maker took the stage, albeit virtually: screaming fans turned out for Japan’s famed singer Hatsune Miku – a Vocaloid software voicebank whose personification is a teen with turquoise pigtails.Indie rock returnsAlien memory neutralizer Smith was the keystone of the return to the 1990s, after Coachella’s Saturday lineup offered a blast from the past in the form of alt-rock, recalling the roots it came from.No Doubt – the group fronted by Gwen Stefani – played together for the first time in 15 years, playing a lengthy show including 1990s hits including Just a Girl and Don’t Speak.Blur also took the stage as did Sublime, the stoner reggae rock group now fronted by Jakob Nowell, son of the band’s late frontman Brad. Vampire Weekend — hits include “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” – also returned to the desert for a surprise performance, bringing none other than Paris Hilton onstage during a 15-minute honky tonk mash-up.Assless chaps, rimless glassesHilton wasn’t the only one at Coachella going cowboycore: western hats and boots were all the rage along with fringe, studs, vests and even the occasional assless chaps. Denim, big-buckle belts, airy white tops and dresses embroidered with lace rounded out the Americana theme that comes as much of pop leans country, led by none other than Beyonce whose countrifed album has caused searches for cowboy-inspired fashion to spike.1990s-style punk and skater fashion including leather, plaid and goth-lite lace was also all the rage, in line with the alt rock nostalgia evident onstage.Of course, much of the desert fashion at Coachella involved wearing as little as possible – sheer sheaths over bikinis and mesh over nipple covers were common, as were string thongs peeking out from low-rise jeans in a vision straight out of Y2K.The throwback to the early 2000s also applied to eyewear: Coachella attendees watched the world through rose-colored glasses of the wrap-around, rectangular and rimless varieties.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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