‘Homecoming’ Documentary Comes With a Surprise: A Beyoncé Live Album – The New York Times

When it comes to Beyoncé releases, there is usually an element of surprise.

The singer — who perfected the secret album drop in 2013, and has since toyed with the tactic for releases like “Lemonade” and “Everything Is Love,” with her husband Jay-Z — did it again in the early morning hours Wednesday, one-upping the arrival of her own Netflix documentary, “Homecoming,” with a previously unannounced live-album version of the same concert.

merlin_137600064_ca6d8108-f048-49b7-9264-ff71617d1f6f-superJumboBeyoncé announced a Netflix documentary called “Homecoming” about her 2018 Coachella performance. But she had another surprise in store.CreditKevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella

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Beyoncé’s ‘Homecoming’: It’s Her World, We All Just Live in It


About midway through Beyoncé’s performance at Coachella last year, the booming, disembodied voice of the motivational ad-libber DJ Khaled proclaimed that, henceforth, the music festival would be known as “Beychella.”

Unlike almost everything else Khaled pronounces in his music and on social media, the statement hardly felt hyperbolic: This was a career-defining performance for Beyoncé, who became the first black woman to headline the festival since its debut in 1999. For nearly two hours, she and an astounding cast of dancers, singers and musicians wove together a beloved, unparalleled collection of hits and deep cuts, interpolated with music from the “Dirty South” and civil rights activists like Nina Simone — served against the visuals and iconography of historically black colleges and universities.

A year later, as the second weekend of Coachella approaches, the memory of Beychella looms large; no accumulation of star-studded guest appearances or secret movie reveals in the desert from this year’s lineup can gin up the same excitement. Which is what makes the Wednesday release of the Netflix documentary “Homecoming” — accompanied by the surprise release of a corresponding live album — even more of a coup. She may not be headlining this year, but we’re all going to pay attention and bow down anyway.

17homecoming-1-superJumboBeyoncé preparing for her Coachella performance in 2018, the focal point of a new Netflix documentary, “Homecoming.” CreditCourtesy of Parkwood

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