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How Kanye West Brought Church to Coachella with Sunday Service

2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 2

Timothy NorrisGetty Images

Nothing quite sparks the curiosity of a live Coachella event than having to watch it through the smallest viewing portal possible. On Sunday morning at 9 P.T., Kanye West’s famous Sunday Services broadcast on live stream from Coachella’s mountainside location—through a small peephole of a camera.

First, the image opened on a mountainside and soft organ music began to play. That’s right, for several minutes all we saw was this.

Then, the organ music seemed to get louder and focused on rows of performers in pink robes. The camera cut across the grassy hill where dozens of performers stood. Others progressed down the hill as the music began to play, like a proper Easter Sunday church procession.



Next, drummers began to play, mixing things up after the long minutes of organ droning. Some brass and strings cut in, and we were cooking. Not long after, North West, former singing star of Sunday Services, and a friend came into view, dancing with another small friend. As the music went on, complete with a saxophone, trumpets, and flutes, Kanye came into view, wearing that Easter shade of pink with everyone else.

Then, after many minutes of only music, we started to hear vocals and a repeated “He is risen,” a very common phrase heard at churches on Easter Sunday. Eventually, the performers stood in a circle around the main stage and the real gospel began. “Wave your hand, wave your hand, lift it up to Jesus,” the singer in the middle sang. “Can we turn the volume up on this praise?,” he asked.



In the viewing portal, which looked itself like an Easter egg, viewers could see Kanye bouncing along with this worship.



The music, which is not always blatantly religious, kept pretty squarely in the church zone with worship songs. Lyrics like “You’re the only power” and “lift Him up” made it pretty clear that we were at church.

Later, things switched from their religious tone to Soul II Soul’s 1989 hit “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me). Then, it went back to a worship song, as if to keep attendees on their church-going toes.

This Easter service is also the first that is accessible to the public; they are usually held in undisclosed locations and have a private guest list. Coachella had specific instructions on how to get to the Sunday Service, as well as a list of items that were not allowed on the premises. Among the items listed as “allowed” at Coachella were: cigarettes, ear plugs, eye drops, dancing shoes, and smiles.

This post will be continually updated.

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