Le Sserafim performed at Coachella to mixed online reviews

Okay, they don’t deserve all that hate but here are some honest thoughts

Le Sserafim perform at the Sahara Tent during the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2024 in Indio, California | Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella/AFP (Photo by Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
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Coachella, one of the world’s biggest and most important music festivals, just kicked off its first weekend and while the highlights have of course been its headliners Lana Del Rey; Tyler, the Creator; and Doja Cat, the K-pop side of the music world has been buzzing after Le Sserafim took the stage on Day 2.

Korean acts have become regular performers at Coachella in more recent years, with some of the most notable being the surprise 2NE1 reunion in 2022, returning performers Epik High, indie rock band Hyukoh, and, of course Blackpink’s festival debut in 2019 and their historic headliner appearance in 2023. 

Le Sserafim is one of the K-pop acts invited this year, a feat considering the group is just short of their second anniversary. While music publications have praised their performance, netizens didn’t seem to share the sentiment on their 40-minute Coachella stage.

On Reddit, common comments called out the group’s lack of vocal stability, saying their management company Hybe should invest more in training their artists to be good live singers

The girl group was met with mixed reviews, with some praising their high energy while others commenting that the performance fell flat. (Literally.) 

On Reddit, common comments called out the group’s lack of vocal stability, saying their management company Hybe should invest more in training their artists to be good live singers. Others have also commented that some members of the group may seem “Coachella-ready” while others aren’t at that level yet.

As a fan of musical performances of varying genres, including K-pop, I decided to watch clips of Le Sserafim’s Coachella set myself to see whether or not the comments are warranted.

Hong Eun-chae, Huh Yun-jin, Sakura Miyawaki, Kim Chae-won, and Kazuha of Le Sserafim perform at the Sahara Tent during the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2024 in Indio, California
Hong Eun-chae, Huh Yun-jin, Sakura Miyawaki, Kim Chae-won, and Kazuha of Le Sserafim perform at the Sahara Tent during the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2024 in Indio, California

I have to agree that they do leave me wanting more vocal stability across the board. Some members, like Chaewon and occasionally Yunjin, are capable of performing the whole songs well enough. The other three members need more improvement.

I understand it’s because of the high-energy, complex choreography they have. A good fix for this would be, as some fans suggest, for the company to invest more in vocal training but also necessary adjustments to choreography for live performances. Some singers who also dance do this in live performances (less movement when they’re singing harder passages, for example).

Some have also pointed out the group did a lot of shouting rather than singing, which was a fair observation but I wouldn’t classify it as an entirely bad thing. Music festival stages and performances on music shows are vastly different, and Le Sserafim’s “shouting,” at least for me, adds to how they’re hyping up the crowd. And judging by the cheers in these videos, I’d say they did a pretty good job.

Music festival stages and performances on music shows are vastly different, and Le Sserafim’s “shouting,” at least for me, adds to how they’re hyping up the crowd. And judging by the cheers in these videos, I’d say they did a pretty good job

There’s obvious inconsistency in their vocal quality throughout the set. While some may be attributed to nerves (although we’ll never know; we’re not in their shoes, lol!), such as in the case of their shaky opening with “Anti-Fragile,” they eventually got into the groove. “Fearless” was pretty good throughout, though “The Great Mermaid” really highlighted the disparity between the members’ vocal qualities. 

Their other hits “Unforgiven” and “Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s Wife” were also generally okay vocally (not the best, but just okay). But they noticeably started getting flats and shaky vocals around “Perfect Night” and “Smart.” They rounded out the 40-minute set with “Easy” and “Fire in the Belly.”

Overall, I’d still praise Le Sserafim for the visibly high energy they sustained throughout the performance. But I’m one with all the music fans in hoping they get their vocals warm and ready for Coachella Weekend 2. 

Photos by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

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