Super-producer Metro Boomin embarked on a star-studded hero’s (and villain’s) journey during his Coachella performance Friday night (April 14).
Metro feels like he naturally sits at the intersection of Marvel and music, inviting his interconnected web of friends (who are chart-topping rappers) into a comic book world of his own design. “In this life, we all must make a choice, to be a hero or a villain. But let this be a warning: When Metro appears, you better know damn well which side you’re on,” narrated Morgan Freeman, with comic illustrations of Coachella and Metro’s thrilling arrival projected on the screens before plumes of smoke cleared them and descended on the stage.
It’s no wonder he was tapped to work on the soundtrack for the forthcoming film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. But across festival grounds at the Sahara Tent, Metro assembled his own Avengers for his self-proclaimed “Trochella,” and even saluted the ones who couldn’t physically be there like A$AP Rocky, whose pre-recorded audio of him officially introducing Metro boomed from the speakers. He emerged from a black cloak at the top of the stage, a full orchestra accentuating his sinister presence. But Metro’s not the villain in this story, as he brought out Future for a haunting yet victorious rendition of “Superhero (Heroes & Villains).”
Future zoomed through his hits — including “Wicked” and “Mask Off” — before Metro sent Young Thug a remote moment of hope in the midst of his RICO trial in Atlanta by playing “Metro Spider.” Don Toliver then graced the stage while donning sunglasses that resembled a mask, playing into the motif of Metro’s latest Billboard 200-topping album, Heroes & Villains, and playing “I Can’t Save You (Interlude),” “Too Many Nights” and “Around Me” off the project.
Thick clouds of smoke covered the stage once more, creating even more mystique around Metro’s set. “Legendary s— only!” he bellowed while praising fellow producer Mike Dean on the synths. He rolled out the red carpet for his beloved collaborator 21 Savage as they ran through fan favorites from their Savage Mode days and other beloved 21 tracks, such as “Bank Account” and “Knife Talk.” But there was one person who received a special dedication from him.
“Long live my mom Leslie Wayne… She with me right now, Lord Jesus, she with me right now,” he bellowed before leading the rowdy crowd in a sobering moment of silence in honor of his late mother, who died last June.
Suddenly, Dean cued the chaos back up with a dizzying array of green strobe lights before a faint, yet very famous falsetto caused an uproar for none other than The Weeknd. He performed “Faith,” “Escape from LA” and “Heartless,” which were all produced by Metro from The Weeknd’s fourth album, After Hours. With help from his close collaborator Dean, The Weeknd executed the same genius transition from “Heartless” to “Low Life” he debuted at Coachella just last year, when he co-headlined with Swedish House Mafia. Now, he comfortably assisted a billed act and shared the spotlight with other A-listers like Future, who joined him for “Low Life.” But when he got a moment to himself again, The Weeknd treated fans by performing a brand new song.
“Temperature rising, bodies united, now that I tried you in my arms. No need to fight it, no need to hide it, now that I’ve seen what’s in your heart,” he sang before letting his vocal runs synch up with the electrifying synths and Dean’s sexy saxophone.
21 Savage eventually returned for the first live performance of “Creepin,” which is No. 4 on the April 15-dated Billboard Hot 100. The remix’s guest Diddy made for another major surprise guest on the already star-filled night, which could very well have been just an average day in the studio for Metro Boomin.