The Gobi Tent proved to be a memorable spot for Los Angeles musicians at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival thanks to standout performances from two up-and-coming female vocalists that bookended the desert music festival.
Banks and Bishop Briggs were two of the most talked about performers from the first weekend who weren’t named Kendrick Lamar or Lady Gaga and they didn’t disappoint on the second weekend, either.
On Friday, 28-year-old Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Banks mesmerized the crowd with deeply honest music driven by dark R&B beats as well as pop and electronic elements.
It all mixed nicely with her smooth sultry vocals and provocative dance moves.
“She’s killing it. It’s just her voice, how she sings and what she says,” said Glendale resident Marla Mercado, who was dancing throughout Banks’ set. Like many in the crowd, she sang along to the dozen or so songs Banks performed.
Banks sang songs from her critically acclaimed albums; 2014’s “Goddess” and her 2016 release “The Altar.”
Dressed in a black dress with thigh-high boots and wearing a black veil, she sported black tribal body paint on her arms and part of her neck as she walked onto the stage at the Gobi tent, which was packed full with her fans.
She was flanked by two female dancers, who along with Banks, mixed theatrical dance with hip-hop moves throughout several songs in the nearly hour-long set.
The crowd danced along, too, and the dancing from the audience got more enthusiastic with her hit “Trainwreck.”
Banks said few words to the crowd but what she did say seemed heartfelt.
“This has been one of the most special experiences of my life,” she said with a smile towards the end of her set.
On Sunday night, Bishop Briggs’ turn to leave her mark on the festival with a set that proved she’s come a long, long way since the 24-year-old British-born Los Angeles resident’s start at karaoke bars.
As the crowd slowly trickled in, the indie pop singer nonchalantly walked on stage dressed in a white jacket, black dress and leggings with white tennis shoes on while sporting her usual braids.
The crowd seemed to be caught almost off-guard by her unassuming entrance, but they were quickly drawn in by her powerful voice as she started her nearly hour-long set with “Dark Side,” from her new self-titled EP, which was released the first day of Coachella.
The six-song EP includes her catchy hit single “River” as well as other previously released tracks like “The Way I Do,” “Dead Man’s Arms” and “Wild Horses” as well as new songs “Dark Side” and “The Fire.”
Before the festival, Briggs confessed that she always wanted to attend Coachella but was always too broke to buy tickets.
So it was understandable that the few words she said to the audience were simple shouts of “Coachella” and “You still with me Coachella?” during her set.
It was almost as if she wanted to remind herself that yes, she was actually here.
“I just love that I can say Coachella. I’m going to keep saying that even when I’m not here,” she declared to loud cheers.
“Coachella,” she shouted again before ending her show with “Wild Horses” and “River,” which the audience sang along to as they danced until the end of her set.
After Coachella Briggs heads off on a 25-city North American tour with stops at two more major U.S. festivals: Lollapalooza and Panorama.
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