Gender-bending pop star Harry Styles proclaimed “men are trash” while praising singer Shania Twain, who he included in his Coachella performance this weekend for a series of duets covering her ’90s hits.
Revelers in thong bodysuits, sporting glitter eyeshadow and sheathed in neon partied late into the night Friday as the first Coachella since the pandemic’s onset got underway in the California desert.
And Harry Styles debuted at Coachella as a headliner, kicking off the night’s premiere set enveloped in a fur coat before stripping to reveal a disco ball of an outfit he donned to dance down the stage runway, thousands of screaming fans clamoring at his feet.
Harry Styles introducing Shaina Twain:
“In the car with my mother as a child, this lady taught me to sing. She also taught me that men are trash.”pic.twitter.com/OixJsJg7SK
— Consequence (@consequence) April 16, 2022
He later delighted fans by bringing none other than Shania Twain on stage for a string of duets, telling the audience he used to sing along with the nineties-era superstar’s hits in his mom’s car.
“This lady taught me to sing,” Styles said. “She also taught me that men are trash.”
“I’m a bit starstruck… It’s a bit surreal to sing this song with you,” Twain said when the pair crooned her 1997 track “You’re Still The One.”
Styles, who came to fame in the boy band “1 Direction,” has become a gender-bending fashion influencer in recent years. He was featured on the cover of Vogue in a dress, sparking debate over gender roles and even woke complaints of appropriation by gay actor Billy Porter. Styles launched a gender-neutral line of nail polish last fall.
The pop star has also lent his fame and platform to several left-wing causes. In the spring of 2020, he confessed his white privilege and pledged to donate to a bail fund for “organizers” of Black Lives Matter protests and riots around the United States. Later that year, he shared a post promoting the presidential campaign of Joe Biden.
Coachella is a mammoth even that takes place over two three-day weekends is one of the world’s most watched festivals, and traditionally kicks off the year’s summer concert circuit.
Coachella’s 2020 edition was scrapped as the coronavirus pandemic came into full force, and two years of chaotic cancellations, rescheduled shows and lineup shakeups ensued.
As it returns after a three-year hiatus, Coachella is a bellwether for the multi-billion-dollar touring industry that’s still on shaky ground after persistent pandemic setbacks.
After other large-scale festivals including Lollapalooza last year required proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 result, Coachella this winter announced it would not require any such mitigation measures, including masks or social distancing.
But it comes amid an uptick in coronavirus cases nationwide, mostly due to the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant known as BA.2.
Friday saw temperatures climb and as festival-goers descended on the grounds for three days of partying, contracting coronavirus seemed back of mind.
“Look at this!” Sarah Jones, a 26-year-old from Oregon, told AFP.
“We just want to have fun; I don’t want to think about (coronavirus) tonight.”
The festival is held mostly outside, welcoming some 125,000 revelers daily from all over the nation and abroad, many of whom camp and fill up hotels nearby.
There are two virus testing sites on festival grounds. Jose Arballo — a senior public information representative for the public health department of Riverside County, where Coachella takes place — said there also would be bolstered testing facilities nearby.
“I’m super excited to be here,” said one concert-goer identified as Saturn Risin9, who said they were ageless and had traveled from Los Angeles.
“I’m not scared, and I’m excited to be outside with people.”
AFP contributed to this story.
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