NPR

'Homecoming,' From The Bleachers: Members Of Beyoncé's Marching Band Look Back

Beyoncé's historic 2018 Coachella performance has been immortalized thanks to the Netflix film Homecoming. Three members of Beyoncé's Coachella marching band talk about the show's prolonged legacy.
Members of Beyonce's Coachella marching band talk about Bey's commitment to authenticity and the show's historic legacy. Source: Kevin Mazur

The precision. The energy. The limitless swag.

Fans of Beyoncé are reliving the pinnacle performance of her career once again with Homecoming, the concert documentary released on Netflix last week. The film both documents the performance and sheds light on the eight months of work — four months of putting together the run of show and learning the choreography, followed by four months rehearsals — that led up to her headlining slot at Coachella in 2018.

In the two-hour film, extended sections of the performance are intercut with behind-the-scenes clips of Beyoncé conceptualizing the show alongside the 200-plus artists — dancers, musicians, creative directors, technical staff — who helped make it possible.

As momentous as the performance was in real time, and in the days that followed, its shadow has only lengthened in the year since. As the first black woman to headline Coachella — probably America's most-visible music festival — Beyoncé set out to make a deliberate statement about black beauty, culture and fortitude. From the orchestral sampling of Southern greats like C-Murder and Juvenile to the incorporation of classic marching band fight songs, the detail woven into the performance, much of it native

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min read
Life Along Pakistan's Mountain Highway Where China Is Investing Billions Of Dollars
The Karakoram Highway revamp is a key part of China's trade and infrastructure initiative in the region, and local communities' expectations are high.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Sunday Deadline Looms For Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment
The Health and Human Services Secretary tweeted a reminder: "If you decide that purchasing coverage through healthcare.gov is the right decision for you, make sure you select coverage by this Sunday."
NPR7 min readSociety
Laid-Off Workers In Indonesia Just Won A Battle For $4 Million In Severance Pay
They're beneficiaries of incredibly generous severance laws. But those laws may soon change.