Coachella 2022: Danny Elfman shocked by reaction to wild performance


Danny Elfman did not anticipate such a reaction to his Coachella set (Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)

Was a shirtless, tattoo-covered Danny Elfman rocking out to The Simpsons tune on an electric guitar and backed by a full orchestra on your Coachella bingo card?

Sure, we expected certain elements of the annual festival, such as Queen of Coachella Vanessa Hudgens returning to her spiritual home, and Harry Styles wearing a jumpsuit, but this one took us all by surprise.

Elfman, who is known as a master of theme tunes and composed the much-loved intro to the long-running Simpsons series way back when it first premiered on TV in 1989, performed a 19-track set at the music festival on Saturday night that has shaken and stirred the masses.

The music man, 68, played tunes including his Spider-Man Main Title, a Jack’s Lament/This Is Halloween/What’s This? medley from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Breakfast Machine from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and several tracks by his band Oingo Boingo, with The Simpsons theme placed in the middle.

Elfman helmed the stage as the theme’s visuals were projected onto a giant screen, with the famous ‘Theeee Siiiimpsoooons’ introduction eliciting cheers from the crowd.

While it’s arguably gone down as the most-talked-about moment from the weekend’s event – which has some stiff competition there, being Coachella and all – Elfman has since revealed his shock at the reaction.

‘I wasn’t expecting to get such a reaction, and some of the crazy headlines — like, Yahoo said, “68-year-old Elfman and 20-year-old Eilish make festival history.” And I just thought that was hilarious, Billie and I being the wunderkind and the elder statesman of Coachella. Stuff like that was priceless in its weird way,’ he said this week.


Danny elfman performs at  2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival.

Elfman played a career-spanning 19-song set (Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)


Danny Elfman at 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival.

He also performed his themes from Spider-Man and The Nightmare Before Christmas (Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)

Addressing the undeniable thirst for the composer after he took his top off mid-way through the set (while weathering a very Coachella-esque dust storm on stage), showing off an impressive collection of inkings on his torso, Elfman continued to Variety: ‘All that hard work pays off, I guess. You know, I’ve tried my whole life to stay in shape, and I guess I’m glad I did now!

‘Because I thought this was likely going to read like, “Oh my God, I wanted to throw up when I saw him take his shirt off. He looked horrible.” You know, I tend to think of myself that way. So to hear what you’re saying is a surprise for me.’

Today the internet remains in a frenzy after seeing Elfman take to the stage and put on quite the show, with many youngens being introduced to his talent for the first time.

i cant believe more people aren’t talking about danny elfman’s coachella performance… i would’ve gone FERAL

— ✩𝗺𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗱𝘆✩ (@shittyteenidle) April 19, 2022

danny elfman was the biggest winner at coachella

— spjörk (@bjorkfan59) April 19, 2022

Deeply confused about Danny Elfman playing at Coachella and looking like THAT

— Manic Pixie Dream Wife (@miniworldending) April 19, 2022

The yassification of Danny Elfman

— eastghost (@eastblessed) April 19, 2022

Quite taken aback by certain feelings emerging for the composer, one wrote on Twitter: ‘Danny Elfman at 68. Forgive me father for I have sinned seems my age range just upped itself by 30 years.’

‘Danny Elfman is jacked, tatted and has a legacy that will live forever like an alternative universe Ed Sheeran,’ another noted, bringing some multiverse madness into the mix.

Another spoke for a lot of punters, as they wrote: ‘Genuinely cannot imagine a bigger W than playing coachella aged 68 jacked to f**k covered in tattoos reminding everyone you wrote the simpsons theme and the batman theme and the nightmare before christmas music & all the oingo boingo hits and wes borland is playing guitar for you [sic].’

Honestly, we don’t know what Elfman will put out of his hat for weekend two…



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