Kanye West gave the Coachella faithful a true “Sunday Service” on Easter morning, as dozens of artists and dancers performed a set of covers, spiritual songs and music by Kanye himself – including his new song “Water”. According to Variety.com, the rapper briefly performed on a few songs as he was the orchestrator of the service for an audience of thousands from a hilltop on the festival grounds in Indio, Calif.
The service opened with West and a dozens-strong choir in purple-beige robes making their way towards the hill, like an introduction. They then gradually formed in a circle as more members approached the hill, behind the stage. After a 15-minute introduction, the band began playing a jazz-infused style of music that reminded the audience of Stevie Wonder’s and Roy Ayers’ early ’70s albums.
Around 45-minutes, the singing became more intense as the choir leader began to encourage both the singers and the crowd: “Come on, turn up a little volume on that praise! Can we hear that name one more time? He is Jesus!”
The choir leader led the choir through several vamps from Otis Redding’ “Try a Little Tenderness mixed with “Jesus won’t leave us,” to Stevie Wonder’s “As” then a thrilling take on Soul II Soul’s 1990 hit “Back to Life,”.
The music then began to slowly shift into Teyana Taylor performing her song “Never Would Have Made It,” before transforming into a take on West’s “Fade”. Throughout the service, the rapper could be seen intuned with the service, especially when he sat down at a keyboard and performed a few heartfelt vocal samples with beats while a choir member danced. While the choir continued vamping on different phrases and songs, the rapper picked up the mic and began to rap on “All Falls Down,” with his soulful choir joining in on the chorus.
The rapper then announced and briefly performed his new song “Water,” a low-key song with spiritual lyrics.
— GDE (@GlobalDanceElec) April 21, 2019
West closed the song with guest verses from Chance the Rapper on “Ultralight Beam.”
After closing the service with a long take on his 2004 song “Jesus Walks,” West finished the song on his knees, on the hilltop, with cameras and applauding singers surrounding him and DMX, who gave a closing prayer.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 17, 2019