As promised, Kanye West brought his "Sunday Service" to Coachella on Easter morning, as dozens of musicians, singers and dancers performed a set of spiritual songs, covers and songs by the rapper himself – including a new one called "Water "- for an audience of thousands from a hilltop on the festival grounds in Indio, Calif. While he rapped briefly on a couple of songs, West was generally the ringleader of the service, as he has been in previous incarnations in California and Oregon since he began to lead the service early in January.
To reach the site, attendees at Coachella Walked some distance from the festival's parking section to a cordoned-off area of the campground. A full band ̵
The service opened. with a slightly eloquent organ prelude, as the West and the dozens-strong choir, delighted in purple-beige dresses, made their way towards the hill.
After about 15 minutes of the prelude, the percussion kicked in and the band started playing jazz-fusion-flavored music reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's and Roy Ayers 'early' 70s album. It was a big band, with at least five percussionists, a big horn section, a harpist as well as the dozens-strong choir, all of whom were wearing a headset microphones.
After about 20 minutes, the musicians stopped playing, except for
The music was resumed, switching between the full band and the organ prelude music, with a pair of vocalists scat-singing while more. Choir members filed on the hill, occasionally saying "He's risen!"
The livestream has occasionally pulled back to an aerial shot that showed how the performance area, with the cleared grass around it, resembled an eye. (Many commentators on social media also pointed out the setup's similarity to the fictional world of the surreal 1990s children's TV show "TeleTubbies.")
After about 45 minutes, the singing began earnestly, with the choirleader excite the singers as well as the crowd: "Come on, turn up a little volume on that praise! Can we hear that name one more time? He is Jesus! "
After a gospel vamp about the phrase" You're the only power! ", The singer suddenly broke into the chant from the West 2010 hit" Power, "clapping out the rhythm. That quickly morphed into "Higher," and another that seemed to be a reorganization of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" with a chorus of "Jesus will not leave us," then Stevie Wonder's "As" and then stirring up In Soul II Soul's 1990 hit "Back to Life," whose chorus of which sounded a stunning sung a capella by a gospel choir.
The music was gradually blended into Teyana Taylor singing her "Never Made Has Made It," which Morphed into a take on West's "Fade," which itself interpolates Motown artists. "I Know I'm Losing You."
The choirmaster continued to lead the choir through vamps with phrases such as "We absorb the light" and "We have everything we need." Dozens more dancers were arrayed around the hills surrounding the performance area, breaking synchronized dance moves. 19659003] Through the performance, West – with his short-cropped hair dyed several shades of purple-was beaming and joining in, but he was not really performing until the end, when he sat down at a keyboard and chopped some soulful vocal samples with Beats While A Choir Member Dance
"Ye, we all want some of that brighter day!" the chorus master chanted as the choir broke into Kirk Franklin's song with the same name.
The group continued to vamping on various phrases and snippets of songs – we even think we've heard someone say "Poopity scoop," a reference to the West's jokey song "Lift Yourself" – until finally, picked up a mic and, with his voice harsh, rapped on "All Fall s Down, "with the choir joining him on the chorus."
He then announced a new song called "Water," a low-key song with spiritually themed lyrics and a gentle rhythm revolving around the chorus "We are water" closing with some verses from "Ultralight Beam." After more extended vamping, the set ended with a long take on West's 2004 song "Jesus Walks"; West picked up the mic and hoarsely rapped the song's verses, finishing on his knees on the hilltop as the cameras and applauding singers surrounded him.
Finally, he rose and smiled at the camera, pausing for several moments before the band played a Medley of Gospel and soul covers and dancers filed off the hill.