Harry Styles Headlines the Desert’s Biggest Music Festival, Coachella

Harry Styles performs unreleased music at Coachella and performs duets with Shania Twain and Lizzo.


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Miranda Miller, Co-Editor In Chief

Every year, thousands of music lovers travel to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Even through the dry heat and dust storms, concert go-ers have the time of their lives seeing their favorite artists and taking post-worthy Instagram photos. In early January, the festival’s lineup was released and Harry Styles’s fans went into a frenzy after seeing that the “Watermelon Sugar” singer was going to be headlining the first night of each weekend. 

Coachella was Styles’s first Coachella appearance, and his first show since the ending of the United States leg of his tour, Love On Tour. Recently, on March 31st, Styles released the first single, “As It Was”, off his third studio album, “Harry’s House”. With new songs to perform, Styles’ fans were ecstatic to see what ways Harry would find to wow the crowd. 

On April 16th, after much anticipation, the first weekend of Coachella had arrived. Music lovers and influencers filled the festival, all patiently awaiting the night’s performance: Harry Styles. As the day went on, TikTok influencers were posting about their favorite sets, but one thing was clear, none of them could wait to see Styles. The sun began to set on the festival grounds and fans began filing into the reserved area for Styles’ set. It was reported by Rolling Stone that 100,000 people occupied the crowd, which is five times the size of Madison Square Garden. 

As the introduction of his new song, “As It Was”, began, Styles appeared on a tall platform wearing a custom Gucci jumpsuit with a fluffy black overcoat. He ran down the platform’s stairs and immediately brought the show to life. Some fans commented that his sparkly disco-Esque jumpsuit reminded them of Freddie Mercury, who Styles has taken inspiration from in the past, and even Hannah Montana. 

Styles took this night to perform two new unreleased songs, the first called “Boyfriends” and the second called “Late Night Talking”. “Boyfriends” was performed as a stripped down acoustic version with bits of Acapella and backup singers. The song entails the vulnerable emotions of having a boyfriend who takes you and your relationship for granted. Overall, this beautiful acoustic version is a dramatic love song that traps the listener into the overwhelming feeling of unrequited love. Finally, “Late Night Talking” can easily be classified as the opposite of  “Boyfriends”. With a more upbeat, bouncy tone, this song is very similar to Styles’s “Treat People With Kindness” off his second studio album, “Fine Line”. The song shares what it is like not being able to stop thinking about someone who you are truly infatuated with. Lyrics such as, “Now you’re in my life/ I can’t get you off my mind” show that Styles clearly does not want to live without this person. Out of the two songs he debuted, “Late Night Talking” definitely takes the cake. It pairs quite nicely with the lovely hopeful feeling of his newest single “As It Was”, and better fits what information has been recently released about the overall theme and sound of “Harry’s House”. 

After Styles finished his cover of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”, he brought out his surprise guest: Shania Twain. Twain wore a sparkly disco-like outfit to match as much as possible to the iconic custom jumpsuit Styles wore. They performed Twain’s song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “You’re Still the One”. In between the two songs, Styles expressed his gratitude for Twain and shared how he grew up listening to her music, even commenting “she also taught me that all men are trash!” Quickly following this statement, the pair performed an acoustic version of “You’re Still the One”, with Twain on the guitar. 

Overall, the entire performance was incredible. Styles kept his audience thoroughly entertained and kept the energy high throughout. The setlist for the first show was as follows: 

  • “As It Was” from his upcoming album “Harry’s House” 
  • “Adore You” from his album “Fine Line”
  • “Golden” from “Fine Line”
  • “Carolina” from his debut album 
  • “Women” from his debut album
  • “Boyfriends” unreleased song that has never been performed before
  • “Cherry” from “Fine Line” 
  • “Lights Up” from “Fine Line”
  • “She” from “Fine Line”
  • “Canyon Moon” from “Fine Line”
  • “Treat People with Kindness” from “Fine Line”
  • “What Makes You Beautiful” One Direction cover
  • “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” a Shania Twain cover performed with Shania Twain
  • “You’re Still the One” a Shania Twain cover performed with Shania Twain
  • “Late Night Talking” unreleased song that has never been performed before
  • “Watermelon Sugar” from “Fine Line” 
  • “Kiwi” encore from his debut album
  • “Sign of the Times” encore from his debut album

In between the first and second weekends of Coachella, Styles’ new album was leaked to the public. In addition to the album being leaked, there were several unreleased songs from previous albums and a few unreleased One Direction songs. Fans were furious and most have taken liberty in waiting to listen to the album until its official release. The leak also brought forth concerns about Styles’ performance for the second Coachella weekend, some speculating that he would discuss the leak on stage. 

Styles did not address his album leak, however, he did put on yet another iconic performance. Just like the previous weekend, “As It Was” began and he ran down the steps of his platform, but this show’s outfit was very different. Styles ran on stage in a custom pink and silver three-piece cowboy-Esque ensemble. His vest contained bedazzled images of strawberries on the front and a bedazzled cherry on the back. The outfit was pulled together with a giant “H” and an “S” on each bedazzled back pocket of his pants and a fluffy pink coat, identical to the one he had worn the first weekend. 

The majority of the set was the same as the previous show, however, one noticeable difference was his replacement of “She” with his unreleased song “Medicine”. Styles has been performing this song since his first tour, Live On Tour, and Styles fans have been asking for a studio release for years. With a mass amount of sexual undertones and a hard rock sound, the song closely resembles Queen or Prince. Fans have classified the song as a “bi-anthem”, however, Styles has not publicly come out stating such. Lyrics like “The boys and the girls are here/ I mess around with him/ and I’m ok with it,” have given these fans the fuel they need to believe in their “bi-anthem”. Out of all of his unreleased songs, this is always a favorite within his fanbase. 

After Styles finished his song “Treat People With Kindness”, he brought out the night’s surprise guest, Lizzo. The duo has been friends for quite some time and have performed together before. They performed a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and a cover of One Direction’s song “What Makes You Beautiful”. Lizzo came on stage in an all-pink outfit and a matching fluffy Gucci coat to match Harry. On her TikTok, Lizzo expressed her excitement to not only watch Styles perform but to also perform with him. This iconic duo absolutely stole the show and left everyone wanting more. Styles had not one, but two, insanely successful weekend performances at the festival. There were slight changes to his setlist and surprise guests just to keep hardcore fans on their toes. The setlist for the second show was as follows:

  • “As It Was”
  • “Adore You”
  • “Golden”
  • “Carolina”
  • “Woman”
  • “Boyfriends”
  • “Cherry”
  • “Lights Up”
  • “Medicine” unreleased song that Styles has performed many times during his touring
  • “Canyon Moon”
  • “Treat People With Kindness”
  • “I Will Survive” Gloria Gaynor cover performed with Lizzo
  • “What Makes You Beautiful” One Direction cover performed with Lizzo
  • “Late Night Talking”
  • “Watermelon Sugar”
  • “Kiwi”
  • “Sign of the Times” encore

Styles did an impressive job headlining the first Coachella in two years. With his talented vocals and impressive stage presence, he was able to keep the entire audience engaged. He performed in front of crowds that were five times the size he is used to, so being able to still provide such an immersive and exciting experience is outstanding. It could easily be argued that Styles has perfected the art of on-stage performance. Finally, Styles will begin the European leg of his tour, Love On Tour, in Great Britain on June 11th. In addition, his new album “Harry’s House” will be officially released on May 20th.