Nothing quite sparks curiosity over 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 millennial pink outfits. 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 same Easter shade of pink as 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 not unlike 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.
After the performers wrapped up an upbeat version of “Brighter Day,” the leader onstage told everyone, “Come on, let’s stand over here with Ye,” as Kanye, whose pink head matched his outfit, bopped along on the piano. The group launched into a rendition of “This Is the Day That the Lord Has Made.” Anyone who has sat through an Easter service in their lives is likely singing along “I will rejoice and be glad in it,” under their breath right now, whether they want to or not.
For the first time the whole service, Kanye started to rap. He performed “It All Falls Down” in a move that was certainly not religious. The choir gathered around him and sang the chorus. Next, we heard what Kanye referred to as “a new joint called ‘Water.'” The lyrics in the chorus mostly consisted of “we are water” while the camera panned over water bottles on the ground. “Let’s take the chlorine out of the conversation” was another true highlight of the song.
The service included a prayer led by rapper DMX, who has been known to take part in the services in the past. Later in the service, Kanye appeared to silently pray and stood up slowly to begin dancing with the rest of the performers—a true moment of reverence that turned quickly into celebration.
This Easter service is the first Sunday Service that is accessible to the public; they are usually held in undisclosed locations and have a private guest list. Coachella had specific instructions for Coachella attendees 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 the service were: cigarettes, ear plugs, eye drops, dancing shoes, and smiles.