Frank Ocean Debuts Reworked Songs, Hints at New Album at Coachella 2023

Frank Ocean headlined Coachella Sunday night, playing a mercurial set of reworked classics and deep cuts before cutting the show short due to a curfew. Check out the setlist and watch clips below. 

Ocean arrived about an hour late and, wearing a blue jacket with the hood up, opened with stripped-back renditions of “Novacane,” “Come on World, You Can’t Go!,” “Crack Rock,” and “Bad Religion,” before lurching into a modular-synth rework of “White Ferrari.”

After “White Ferrari,” Ocean addressed the crowd for the first time, hinting that a new album is in the works and paying tribute to his late brother, Ryan Breaux. “Who’s on drugs tonight, who’s high right now?” Ocean began. “It’s been so long. Everybody I’ve talked to has said how long it’s been, so long, so long… but I have missed you. I want to talk about why I’m here, because it’s not because of the new album. Not that there’s not a new album, but there’s not right now. It’s not right now.” 

He continued, “These last couple years my life changed so much. My brother and I, we came to this festival a lot. I feel like I was dragged here so much of the time. I hated the dust; I always dealt with a respiratory infection.” He recalled watching Rae Sremmurd with his brother, dancing in one of the tents. “I know he would’ve been so excited to be here with all of us. I wanted to say thank you for the support and the ears and the love for all this time. I’m gonna get back to the songs.” He played an acoustic version of “Pink + White,” followed by a sub bass–heavy arrangement of “Solo.”

The set continued with a reworked “Chanel” and what Ocean called a “rave mix” from DJ Crystalmess, including club remixes of Ocean tracks and snippets of Underworld’s “Born Slippy” and Ice Spice’s “Actin a Smoochie.” During the mix and at other points during the set, Ocean strayed from the mic and danced or paced the stage while his prerecorded vocals played. A punk version of “Wiseman” came next, before a rendition of Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” (previously covered by the likes of Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye). That was followed by “Self Control,” “Nikes,” and “Nights.” 

He played his cover of Isley Brothers’ “(At Your Best) You Are Love,” as featured on Endless. Then, the show abruptly ended. “Guys I’m being told it’s curfew, so that’s the end of the show,” Ocean said. “Thank you so much.” Coachella’s Sunday curfew is midnight Pacific; the show ended some 20 minutes after that.

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