Beyoncé displays musical talent in Netflix documentary


“HOMECOMING: a film by Beyoncé” displays the music icon’s performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2018.

By Peter Zemeske

“HOMECOMING: A Film by Beyoncé,” released on Netflix April 17, is a two hour showcase of the singer’s uncanny ability to perform at the high energy level she does. The concert-documentary revolves around Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performances, shows highlights of songs performed and goes behind-the-scenes in the work that went into the brilliant spectacle.

The theme of “homecoming” refers to both Beyoncé’s return to performing after a long break due to pregnancy as well as a major nod to historically black colleges and universities. Accompanying Beyoncé on stage is an all black marching band, adding to the theme of diversity.

A quote by writer Toni Morrison establishes the tone for the remainder of the film, “if you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” Quotes from W.E.B. DuBois, Nina Simone and Reginald Lewis are sprinkled throughout to salute black civil rights figures. Beyoncé gives recognition to them for paving the way to equality; she was the first black woman to headline Coachella, something that couldn’t have happened without those figures.

Joining her on stage was an ensemble of almost 200 people including a full ensemble of brass, percussion, strings and, of course, dancers. The stage arrangement included a pyramid-shaped bleachers stand with dancers and musicians taking up most of center stage. The degree of choreography from Beyoncé and her dancers is unrivaled by any concert period. Considering the hills she had to climb to get to that level of showmanship is even more astounding.

Beyoncé was originally asked to perform at Coachella in 2017, but became pregnant with her twins, Rumi and Sir Carter, forcing her to cancel. Her and her team went through an intense eight months of preparation for the two weekends of Coachella. Seeing the hard work everyone involved put in makes the show that much more gratifying to watch.

A huge surprise dropped on the crowd was the reunion of Beyoncé’s first group, Destiny’s Child. The trio ran through three of their biggest hits including “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name” and “Soldier.” Beyoncé also brought out husband Jay-Z for “Déjà Vu” and sister Solange to dance during “Get Me Bodied.”

The culmination of hard work, practice and vision all comes to a head on “Homecoming.” After performing weekend one on April 14, 2018, fans began a tagline worthy of the monumental show: “Beychella.” Beyoncé not only performed the best show Coachella has seen to date, she rebranded the music festival in her own image.

Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, people who weren’t in attendance can watch what the world was talking about last year and will continue to be talking about for years to come.