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.
Both the film and the album, also titled “Homecoming,” capture Beyoncé’s performance at last year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in which the singer — the first black woman to headline the event — was backed by dozens of dancers and an elaborate marching band for a set that nodded to the musical legacy of historically black colleges.
“There’s not likely to be a more meaningful, absorbing, forceful and radical performance by an American musician this year, or any year soon,” the critic Jon Caramanica wrote of the show in The New York Times.
“It was rich with history, potently political and visually grand. By turns uproarious, rowdy, and lush. A gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction.”
Now, the concert — which was live-streamed at the time and recreated for Coachella’s second weekend, but has existed only in bootleg form since — has been preserved for history in multiple mediums.
The documentary, a Netflix exclusive billed as “a film by Beyoncé,” features footage from rehearsals and quieter backstage moments — “the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement,” Netflix said.