Beyoncé was supposed to headline last year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, but had to reschedule for this year because she was pregnant with her twins, Sir and Rumi.
It was worth the wait.
In her rousing two-hour set, Beyoncé paid tribute to historically black colleges and universities, performed with her husband Jay-Z and reunited with her old group Destiny's Child.
She spent most of her time on stage being backed by marching bands, dance troupes and step teams at HBCUs. She also performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing," known as the national black anthem.
Jon Caramanica wrote in his New York Times review of the performance that, "There’s not likely to be a more meaningful, absorbing, forceful and radical performance by an American musician this year, or any year soon," than Beyoncé's turn as the first black woman to headline Coachella.
It was rich with history, potently political and visually grand. By turns uproarious, rowdy, and lush. A gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction.
And not unimportantly, it obliterated the ideology of the relaxed festival, the idea that musicians exist to perform in service of a greater vibe. That is one of the more tragic side effects of the spread of festival culture over the last two decades. Beyoncé was having none of it. The Coachella main stage, on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club here, was her platform, yes, but her show was in countless ways a rebuke.
Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams brought back Destiny's Child for one night as the trio sang their smash "Say My Name," and husband Jay-Z also came out for a collaboration.
Beyoncé is due to return for her second performance as Coachella returns for its second run next weekend.
Beyoncé's fans took to social media to express their love for the performance, with many renaming the event "Beychella" and discussing admission to the "HBeyCU."
If you want to watch the performance, the official Coachella feed is below. Fast-forward to 3 hours and 50 minutes.