2023 has so far seen some of the best live musical performances, from major festivals to intimate concert settings. With an array of new releases and a complete return to in-person events, this year has been full of memorable performances across all genres.
Here are some of the best live performances from 2023 so far:
boygenius at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Their first time performing as a trio at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, alternative band boygenius had one of the best lineups of the night in the midst of the desert. Playing fan favorites such as “Not Strong Enough,” “Salt In the Wound,” “Cool About It” and “True Blue,” their performance was so memorable for their on-stage chemistry, which saw members Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus run around and knock each other down like little kids. It also was an exceptional moment for the band, having close to an hour set time. With knockout vocals, wails and cheers from the crowd, this performance is one Coachella probably won’t see again in the near future for how unique it was.
Rosalía at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Another newcomer to Coachella was Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía, who gained overnight success with her third studio album “MOTOMAMI.” Entering the main stage with her critically acclaimed dance team while rocking a motorcycle helmet, the singer brought a newfound energy to the festival that past performers have lacked. Taking attendees through a joyride of her biggest hits like “BIZCOCHITO” and “SAOKO,” it was clear that Rosalía knew how to take the performance into her own hands, integrating her heritage and cultural references to Spain throughout. It was one of the most diverse performances of 2023, especially alongside other headliners like Frank Ocean and BLACKPINK, as the singer not only proved she could sing, but also entertain with her dancing, monologues and interactions with the crowd.
Rihanna at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show
Back in February, Rihanna shocked the world with her return to the stage after seven years, accepting one of the biggest headlining gigs in the U.S.: the Super Bowl halftime show. Sporting a red jumpsuit and slicked-back updo, the singer also subtly announced she was expecting her second child, once again sending her fans into a frenzy. With only 13 minutes to perform, Rihanna brought out all her famous hits from “Rude Boy” to “Work (feat. Drake),” making the night full of nostalgia. This performance proved that the singer could rise to the occasion, even if five months pregnant, and will be remembered for the fact that it was simply Rihanna.
Bad Bunny at the 65th Grammy Awards
The Puerto Rican rapper, introduced by host Trevor Noah, opened the 65th Grammy Awards back in February, which became one of the biggest performances of the night. Led by a group of dancers in papier-mâché heads and colorful skirts, Bad Bunny got the crowd up and dancing in seconds, including even the major names in the room such as Taylor Swift. Playing songs such as “El Apagón” and “Despues la Playa” from his recent album “Un Verano Sin Ti,” the rapper was the much-needed boost of adrenaline everyone needed before a night full of shocks and upsets across the music industry.
Doja Cat at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards
Recently, Doja Cat performed at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards after a two-year hiatus, unleashing her inner anger with a subtle reference to Britney Spears. Singing and dancing to hits like “Attention,” “Paint The Town Red” and “Demons,” the rapper twirled around a group of bloody dancers while in a business suit, showing off her intricate choreography and rapping abilities. What made this performance so good was that it got the whole crowd moving, all eyes on the singer as she shouted into the microphone about the downsides of fame. Even after a year full of controversial mishaps online, Doja Cat still showed how talented she is as a performer, reminding everyone in the room that she’s here to stay.