As a headliner at Coachella, it’s no longer enough to rifle through your greatest hits and expect to appease an audience that expects nothing but the best. Whether it’s the resurrection of a dead rapper by way of hologram, or a sloppy (and perhaps ill-advised) make out with Madonna, Coachella’s primetime players need a gimmick, or risk sending hordes of neon tank top-clad festivalgoers home disappointed.
On the first weekend of Coachella’s 2017 iteration, surprise guests were the secret weapon of choice, with every one from Drake to the Weeknd showing up unannounced to send the crowd into various frenzies.
Two artists who didn’t rely on reinforcements were Lady Gaga and Lorde. Instead, both women chose to play some brand new music live for the first time ever, which was enough to spawn thousands of FOMO-inducing Instagram stories.
Gaga, who replaced a very pregnant Beyoncé as the first woman to headline Coachella since Bjork in 2007, performed a surprise new single called “The Cure”. The infectious synth-pop cut is a total departure from her recent country-influenced album Joanne, and instantly becomes a contender for “song of the summer.” Immediately following the performance, Gaga made “The Cure” available on all streaming platforms, and it soared to the top spot on 60 iTunes charts worldwide.
Lorde’s new material was less of a surprise, as we inch closer to the June 16 release of her new album Melodrama. Along with the album’s title track, the pop prodigy debuted a a new song called “Homemade Dynamite,” which finds Lorde being typically morose, albeit over a beat that’s just as danceable as her album’s lead single “Green Light”.
“This next song that I’m about to play you is brand new. Nobody has heard it,” Lorde told the crowd before launching into “Homemade Dynamite.” “I want you to do me a favor, Coachella: I want you to give this birthday the biggest fucking birthday of all-time. Let’s bring it into the world in the best way.”
If you’re wondering if Lorde brought along her singular brand of dancing to the Coachella stage, watch below and find out.