Kanye, Coachella and a Series of Sunday Service Hallelujahs

01 April 2019
Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Coachella, Sunday service
As Kanye announces a Coachella performance on Sunday April 21, the Sunday Service continues to gather praise

Anybody wondering what’s going on with Kanye West’s Sunday Service – his weekly jam session with gospel choir, celeb attendees and carefully choreographed wardrobe choices – got an answer of sorts yesterday, as he announced he was taking the entire Coachella festival to church next month, playing the second weekend on April 21.

“We were out in Palm Springs and they took us to a little campground, because we were thinking about a little performance in Palm Springs, just a little one,” West told attendees, in full-on pastor style captured in a video in the Coachella tweet. “Then they had a mountain, he had a mountain waiting for us. He had a date waiting for us. Only one date that mountain would be available to us: Easter Sunday at Coachella. That confirmation was confirmed last night.”

Previously slated to actually headline the festival, West was thought to have cut ties with Coachella over the size of the stage – he wanted a dome and a 60x40-ft area to work with – but he’s now back on board and seemingly has a whole mountain involved. Not only that, but his 9am “sunrise” performance will, if successful, have managed to delay daylight by a good two and a half hours, so maybe there’s more to this whole thing than meets the eye.

First announced via Kim Kardashian’s Twitter feed, the Sunday Service has been in operation since around mid-January and features a weekly performance somewhere green and leafy, an orchestra and full choir dressed in all things Yeezy. Everybody signs an NDA and West conducts the whole shooting match from behind a keyboard. 

Gospel versions of back catalogue tracks combine with material from his delayed album Yandhi. Throw in some high profile additions from Kid Cudi, DMX and 070 Shake and you basically have the hottest ticket in town. Except that, previously, there were no tickets –  it was invite only. Realistically, you probably only had a chance of getting in there if you were Timothée Chalamet or Pete Davidson and, let’s face it, you’re probably not. So it’s a good thing that now all you need is a Coachella ticket.

While many have labelled the Sunday Service a return to the ’old Kanye’, others are less impressed. There’s a swell of opinion that says he needs to do more than this to erase the Trump support and ill-fated TMZ “Four hundred years of slavery? That sounds like a choice”, remark.

And while we prefer to think of this as something positive – Grammy-winning musician Tony Williams labelled the idea behind the Sunday Service as “to communicate the message of love effectively,” – if there’s no gospel-inspired album coming out of all this then we’d be amazed. 

There again, who knows? Maybe it’s all a pre-curser to West getting ordained or going on some sort of global pilgrimage, wandering the earth having adventures like Caine out of Kung Fu. At this stage we’re not second-guessing on this one. If we’ve learned anything over the last few years it’s that, above all else, Kanye works in mysterious ways.