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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Sabrina Carpenter’s Coachella debut was unparalleled

Kiera Kemppainen
A picture taken from the Coachella livestream while Sabrina Carpenter was playing “emails i can’t send” on Friday, April 12, 2024.

“Alexa, play the Coachella Main Stage livestream on YouTube,” was the sentence that left my mouth on Friday at 8:55 p.m.

Why? One of my all-time favorite artists would be making her Coachella debut five minutes from then. So I did as any reasonable person would do: I sat down in front of the Amazon Echo Show in my kitchen to watch pop princess Sabrina Carpenter.

Going into this performance, I was expecting Carpenter to play her Taylor Swift The Eras Tour opener setlist, with the addition of her new single “Espresso,” which was released on Thursday at 8 p.m. For reference, Carpenter’s hour-long setlist for The Eras Tour was as follows: “Read your Mind,” “Feather,” “Vicious,” “Already Over,” “Tornado Warnings,” “opposite,” typically a cover of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” or “Dancing Queen,” “Fast Times,” “because i liked a boy,” and “Nonsense.” I thought Carpenter would follow this order and swap the cover out for her newest song, but the only thing I knew for sure was that “Nonsense” would come last, ending with a custom outro. 

Now, imagine my shock when, after an elaborate movie trailer-esque opening, Sabrina Carpenter appeared on a lift with her name in a heart behind her, singing “Fast Times.” At that moment, I became so excited since I had no idea what would come next. 

Before I get into the rest of the setlist, I want to take a moment to appreciate Carpenter’s outfit. Super tiny low-waisted mini skirts are a go-to for Carpenter’s super girly concert fits. She and her stylist perfectly meshed Carpenter’s traditional style with the Coachella vibe. She wore a tan pleated mini skirt with bedazzled shorts beneath, a Western chain belt, a sequined tank top, and a fur jacket. It looked like a version of Carpenter from the Wild West. And I loved it.

Sabrina Carpenter’s performance was impeccable from the beginning to the end, though the crowd’s energy was so incredibly low.

To get on with the setlist, after a fun opening of “Fast Times,” Carpenter sang “Vicious,” and then “Read your Mind.” I expected “Feather” next since Carpenter’s transition between “Read your Mind” and “Feather” is so seamless and perfect when she opens for The Eras Tour. However, Carpenter disappeared and the screens began resuming the story they started before Carpenter’s opening notes, with a final warning against tornadoes.

Then, Carpenter came out, electric guitar on, and sang “Tornado Warnings.” Though I wasn’t expecting this song, the story warning of tornadoes was so perfect, and now, I can’t imagine Carpenter introducing it any other way. I also loved how she played the guitar during this song.

Next, Carpenter sang “Already Over” and “opposite,” before turning the crowd’s attention to her pianist for a piano break. It was such a long break that I was sure Carpenter was doing an outfit change, but I was wrong. 

Carpenter was sitting at the car prop that had crashed into the hotel scene on the stage, in accordance with the screen story that Carpenter’s set began with. The back of the car was a hidden piano. After some technical difficulties, Carpenter began playing the piano to sing “emails i can’t send.” This song was the first one that Carpenter played that wasn’t on her The Eras Tour setlist. It was so beautiful and such an amazing way to present a vulnerable song.

Then, Carpenter disappeared while the screens came back on, and this time, her outfit was different. Carpenter appeared in a white dress with a heart bodice and a feathered robe as she was wheeled out on a red bed from the hotel wall. Of course, the only song appropriate for this bed would be “because i liked a boy.” 

As Carpenter was wheeled back into the wall, familiar voices filled my ears: Patrick and Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You. Just when I thought there was no way I could love Sabrina Carpenter anymore, she used audio from my favorite movie for a transition.

After I stopped freaking out, Carpenter played “bet u wanna,” another song that she didn’t play on The Eras Tour. 

After finishing the song, Carpenter began talking to the crowd until she “spotted” a sign that asked her to play “Espresso.” I say “spotted” because the girl holding the sign was in front of the barricade and was a friend of Carpenter’s. Though it was staged, Carpenter delivered an amazing first performance of her newest single. By the time of this livestream, just over twelve hours after “Espresso” was released, I knew all of the words. It is so catchy and upbeat that I had no choice but to listen to it on repeat.

Of course, a Sabrina Carpenter performance wouldn’t be complete without “Feather” and the choreography that goes along with it. Every time I hear the song, see shoes that look like Carpenter’s classic boots or hear anyone mention Carpenter, I feel the overwhelming urge to do the “Feather” choreography.

After completing “Feather” (with the “out my life” note change and classic choreography), Carpenter left the stage with cameras following her, claiming the performance was done. As she said she was going to bed, she put on a shirt that said “Jesus was a Carpenter” before returning to the stage to sing “Nonsense.”

Carpenter launched into a performance of the song that has become synonymous with the end of her shows. Her outro of the night was “All about the balls I’m Cinderella, Only use my mouth that’s acapella, I’m so glad you came for me Coachella.” 

Sabrina Carpenter’s performance was impeccable from the beginning to the end, though the crowd’s energy was so incredibly low. It’s like they didn’t realize whose presence they were in.

Sabrina Carpenter is the next face of pop music, and her Coachella debut solidified that.

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About the Contributor
Kiera Kemppainen
Kiera Kemppainen, Copy Editor

Kiera is a senior continuing her writing journey with The Central Trend for a fourth, and final, year. Being on staff for the past few years has been one of her favorite parts of her high school experience. Besides writing, Kiera spends her fall as a part of the FHC varsity golf team and her winter on the ski team. She also has been coaching a youth golf team for the past three summers. For the rest of her time, Kiera likes to be around her family and friends. Kiera looks forward to making the most of her senior year while being part of The Central Trend for the last time.

Favorite book to gatekeep: The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages; it was her fifth-grade book project book that her mom recommended

Current obsession: Headbands Favorite movie: 10 Things I Hate About You Has she gotten over hating steak? No, and don't expect her to

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