Sabrina Carpenter shines sans Taylor Swift at fest debut


The production value was just as important and impressive as the vocals during pop singer Sabrina Carpenter‘s debut performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday.

Church bells rang to signal the start of the show. The giant screen TVs played the intro to a fake 1950s noir film called “The Wreckage” starring Carpenter. Her character drove frantically in the middle of the night before crashing into a motel. That motel then served as the backdrop of her set, along with the wrecked vehicle sticking out of the side.

“Hey Coachella,” the star said to the crowd as she kicked off her hourlong performance with “Fast Times.” She donned an all-gold outfit, with a shiny jacket, shirt and mini skirt. She quickly moved into “Vicious,” adding some cool futuristic sunglasses to her outfit, and then “Read your Mind,” for which she was joined by two backup singers who added a fun, dreamy backdrop to the already upbeat song.

Coachella 2024: Here’s everything pop star Sabrina Carpenter played during her set

Carpenter gained quite a following opening for Taylor Swift during the recent international legs of Swift’s Eras Tour. While likely many in the crowd were hoping for a surprise appearance from her famous friend, Carpenter didn’t need anyone’s help to get people into the groove.

The cinematic aspect of her performance continued with a breaking news alert about chaos at Coachella from the motel car wreckage, along with a (fake, don’t worry) tornado warning in Riverside County. It perfectly led into her song “Tornado Warnings,” for which she pulled out her guitar to show off her musical talents.

Other interludes included 1950s-esque ads playing and the singer combing her hair, spraying hairspray and flipping through a magazine. Her performance of “because i liked a boy” appeared as though it was playing on a vintage television.

As many Coachella artists have experienced in the past, wind and dust picked up in the middle of her set. “There’s so much dust in my throat, if I hit a flat note that’s why. I promise I’m a good singer,” the artist said to the crowd. But it didn’t hinder her performance, nor the excitement surrounding her festival debut.

She continued by adding that it’s been a dream of hers to play at the festival for a long time. Carpenter also said she was looking forward to seeing headliner Lana Del Rey perform later in the evening.

The “Feather” singer complimented the audience at one point as well, telling festivalgoers they all look “hot” and they killed it with their outfits, hats, sunglasses and bandanas. However, she did point out that she was missing flower crowns, which were once a staple at the festival, but they might come out during Rey’s headlining set, as she notoriously wore them in the past.

Carpenter rewarded fans with her latest groovy single “Espresso,” which dropped on Thursday, before going into one of her biggest hits, “Feather,” which got most of the crowd singing, dancing and snapping videos.

Just as she’s done during other performances, Carpenter ended her set with “Nonsense,” and signed off with a custom outro for Coachella.

“All about the balls I’m Cinderella. Only use my mouth that’s acapella. I’m so glad you came for me Coachella,” she sang.

With a packed crowd applauding at the end, it’s safe to say the festival was glad she came too.

More: Coachella 2024: 8 pop acts you can’t miss, including Sabrina Carpenter, Reneé Rapp

Ema Sasic covers entertainment and health in the Coachella Valley. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ema_sasic.


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