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Beyonce Epic Coachella Opening

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Beyonce Epic Coachella Opening

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Queen Bey is about to storm the desert. On Saturday, Beyonce posted a message to her fans on Facebook, promising a “special” headlining set at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA.

Let’s just cut to the chase: 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 headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Saturday night.

It was rich with history, potently political and visually grand. By turns uproarious, rowdy, and lush. A gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction.

She was arguing not in defense of herself, but of her forebears. And her performance was as much ancestral tribute and cultural continuum — an uplifting of black womanhood — as contemporary concert. She sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the black national anthem, incorporated vocal snippets of Malcolm X and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and nodded at Ms. Simone’s “Lilac Wine.”

And she rendered her personal history as well. During the second half of the show, she unfurled a kind of This Is Your Life in reverse. First came her husband, Jay-Z, on “Déjà Vu” — with him, she was affectionate while easily outshining him. Then, a true surprise: a reunion with her former Destiny’s Child groupmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, during which she happily ceded the main spotlight. After that came a playful dance routine with her sister, Solange, on “Get Me Bodied.” (Sadly, there was no “Ring Off” with her mother, nor a rendition of “Daddy Lessons” with her father.)

As Beyoncé has gotten older, she’s been making music that’s increasingly

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