Getty Images / Rich Fury

On Sunday, April 21, Kanye West brought his gospel church-inspired Sunday Service performance to Coachella. With Kanye taking a break from touring (in a recent interview with Vogue, wife Kim Kardashian said this was because her husband now finds travelling to shows “triggering” for his bipolar condition), he’s instead been leading out a choir to play gospel versions of his biggest hits for weekly ‘Sunday Service’ shows around his local Calabasas area.

Special guests included DMX, Chance the Rapper, Teyana Taylor, and others. Sunday Service merch was also for sale at the gig, including evangelical designs reading “Jesus Walks” and “Trust God.”

After the one-off Coachella gig, we’ve pulled some of our favorite tweets, pictures, and videos of Kanye leading the congregation in Palm Springs.

The stage was a mountaintop.

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Sight and sounds of an incredible day. // 📷: @coachella

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DMX was there to deliver a prayer.

It was emotional.

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REAL FRIENDS

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If you’re still catching up, take a look at our original explainer below:

What is Kanye West’s Sunday Service?

With Kanye taking a break from touring (in a recent interview with Vogue, wife Kim Kardashian said this was because her husband now finds travelling to shows “triggering” for his bipolar condition), he’s instead been leading out a choir to play gospel versions of his biggest hits for weekly ‘Sunday Service’ shows around his local Calabasas area.

Audience members at these secret shows have included Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Diplo, Tyler the Creator, 070 Shake and Kid Cudi. The Kardashian family have also packed out the crowd, with Kanye’s kids energetically dancing to hymn-like performances of songs such as “I Wonder,” “Jesus Walks,” and “Father Stretch My Hands.”

There’s even rumors Kanye could be opening his own church off the back of Sunday Service. Mother-in-law Kris Jenner is already the co-owner of the Californian Community Church so this isn’t as crazy as it might sound.

Why is it coming to Coachella?

The rumors suggested Kanye pulled out of a headline appearance at this year’s Coachella at the eleventh hour. He is said to have failed in his demands for a new dome-like stage to be built in the middle of the festival, which all sounded like a bit of a logistical nightmare.

Getting him to instead bring Sunday Service to Coachella is a real coup for the festival, especially considering this previous disagreement, and will allow attendees to see Kanye West songs performed in a brand new way.

How can I watch it?

Kanye’s Sunday Service Easter performance at Week 2 of Coachella will be streamed onto YouTube. However, the show is expected to start at 9 a.m. PST on April 21, so you’ll have to be up nice and early to catch it. According to info from Coachella direct, “shuttles, parking lots & doors open 6.a.m.”

If you’re actually attending Coachella then head to “the Mountain,” a hillside at the Coachella campsite where Kanye’s Sunday Service stage will be erected.

What can I expect?

Plenty of religious symbolism as a messiah-like Yeezus looks down on his followers from the top of a hill. With angelic choir voices and stripped down production, Kanye’s music will be transformed into something a lot more light and airy. Some of the best moments so far have included the choir’s rendition of 808s & Heartbreaks cut “Amazing,” which was transformed into a love letter to God, and Ye revisiting “Otis,” a nostalgic reminder of the frenetic energy Watch The Throne once gave us.

Watching Ye, rocking a mischievous smile on his face, spontaneously creating uplifting beats via hiccups from his MPC reminds us all how he’s able to muster up magic from thin air. At times, Sunday Service can be like watching a Kanye West album being created in real time, and you should expect the same thing from this Coachella show.

Will there be any surprises?

There should be previews of some new songs from Kanye’s upcoming ninth studio album YANDHI. Sunday Service performances to date have seen potential YANDHI cuts “We Have Everything We Need” and “We’ll Find A Way” each performed, with both suggesting YANDHI will be a move away from the dark sonics of recent years and enter into a place of healing and introspection.

This being Kanye West, we should also expect to see some guest performers at the Coachella Sunday Service. Kanye has already brought out DMX to perform a trademark religious sermon at one of the previous shows, so expect a revitalized X to once again make an appearance.

Yet something tells us Kanye will have a lot more up his sleeve, with Kendall Jenner calling his Coachella Sunday Service plans “crazy” in a recent interview, so don’t be surprised if he’s backed by a whole host of friends, each rocking priest-like robes and Jesus pieces.

Words by Thomas Hobbs
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Thomas Hobbs is a freelance journalist / Tupac-obsessive based in London. He also writes for the Guardian, Pitchfork, NME, New Statesman, Dazed, Noisey, Time Out, and Crack Magazine.

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