With big names like Billie Eilish and The Weeknd bringing the crowds to Indio, California for Coachella 2022, it was the least likely of performers who ended up stealing the show. Former Oingo Boingo member and legendary film composer Danny Elfman took to the stage, ripped off his shirt, and bared his soul for everyone to see.
Elfman, who recently released his first album in 37 years, took to the stage as a curiosity for fans, and soon went viral online for his set. Not only did Elfman perform half a dozen Oingo Boingo songs, he also leaned into his work for movies.
A few of the most notable pieces were the Batman theme, “Ice Dance/The Grand Finale” from Edward Scissorhands, “Alice’s Theme” from Alice in Wonderland, Jack’s Lament/This Is Halloween/What’s This,” from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and his Spider-Man main title theme.
The track that stole the show, however, was an “unhinged hardcore remake” of his iconic Simpsons theme song. While Elfman doesn’tprovide the score for the 33 season long animated show, he did write the opening theme for creator Matt Groening all those years ago.
Elfman began his career as a musician with Oingo Boingo in the late 1970s, where the band successfully rode the ska and new wave craze. In 1985, Tim Burton, a fan of the band, was directing Peewee’s Big Adventure and asked Elfman to writ the score.
His career with Burton continued with Batman in 1989, a movie with a dark and gothic score that marked a change in musical direction. In 1995, Elfman left Oingo Boingo citing conflicts with his scoring career as well as hearing loss from liver performances.
Since starting his long and legendary career, Elfman has been nominated for four Academy Awards, but has yet to win one.