By most accounts Frank Ocean‘s first live performance in six years and eagerly anticipated headlining set at Coachella was confusing at best and not really what Oceanographers expected. But one person who had nothing but high praise for the elusive singer’s live presentation was Justin Bieber, who posted an effusive Instagram tribute to the artist he said “deeply” moved him.
Next to an image of Ocean’s face blown up on the stage’s massive screens, Bieber wrote, “I was blown away by Frank Oceans Coachella performance. His artistry is simply unmatched, his style, his taste, his voice, his attention to detail.. I was deeply moved. It made me want to keep going and get better as an artist. He continues to set the bar high and gave me a night I will never forget! Thanks Frank.”
Bieber’s plaudit was a rare voice of support about the performance that reportedly confused and disappointed many fans when the livestream of the show was cancelled at the last minute, the artist offered no merch for sale and Ocean took the stage an hour late to sing what was described as a low-energy set of reworked songs from his catalog. Videos showed a seated Ocean and his band mostly obscured by a group of dancers walking in circles around the stage.
On Monday, Ocean’s team confirmed to Billboard that the enigmatic singer suffered an unspecified ankle injury during on-site rehearsals in the week before the show that required the last-minute scrapping of a planned on-stage ice rink that was built for Sunday night’s headline performance. The skaters cast for the show then still joined Ocean onstage and wore custom Prada puffer jackets, acting as impromptu backup dancers.
Ocean was originally slated to headline the 2020 Coachella, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s unclear how the reported injury will impact Ocean’s weekend 2 performance on Sunday (April 23).
See Bieber’s post below.