In the end Kanye West made his way to Coachella, and he got to do it his way after all.
West was part of the original plan for this year's edition of the festival, but concerns over stage design created a rift with producers and led them to look elsewhere. Fast-forward to Easter Sunday, when the success of Kanye's Sunday Service got him a morning slot for the most unique "set" of the weekend.
On top of a grassy mountain, West led a congregation of musicians and artists, including Chance The Rapper, Teyana Taylor, Kid Cudi, and DMX. Weaving gospel melodies between Kanye classics, the Sunday Service was radiating with real spirit and love as Kanye watched on, visibly emotional. With long and winding interludes, a full choir lifted up the message on the holiest day of the year. West has been doing these impromptu, invite-only gatherings since the beginning of the year, but he got the stage he really wanted for the audience at Coachella.
The performance was special, and especially Kanye. People who watched via the live stream strained to view everything through a peephole like view, as the shaky camera made its way around the proceedings. The performance would wander, sometimes struggling with sound, but always kept together by the overall soul at the center. And when it was all done, there was Kanye-designed merch available to remember the experience, including a $225 sweatshirt and a pair of "Jesus Walks" socks that ran $50.
You too can find the Holy Spirit, but it will cost you.
West found his way to Coachella, and maybe even found the best vehicle for his message in the process. One that emphasis the love he wants out in the world, stands on the shoulders of collaboration, and has no place for other noise. Sunday Service played like a revival, in more ways than one.