Coachella 2011: Kanye West Closes the Fest with Bangs and a Whimper

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Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 12:33 AM
click to enlarge Jesus walks. Kanye uses a crane. - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Jesus walks. Kanye uses a crane.

Kanye West is way up on top of a crane, its arm slowly spinning above the crowd. "Can we get much higher?", the opening refrain from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, blasts from the speakers. The moon is full. Tens of thousands of eyeballs are on Kanye. The spectacle begins. He's already sweating by the time the first song is done, the crane lowered.

He walks slowly through the metal barricades and up towards the stage. Pensive, he is a penitent. The misunderstood man. There will never be enough praise. All the more reason for him to put on a big, brash show.

He works his way through the hits. Fireworks spit from the back of the Coachella Stage during "Power," timed to burst each time the titular word is flung across the field. Women in tan tights dance behind him. "Jesus Walks," he tells us. He moves around the stage in his own way, like a Drunken Master. He ruins Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" yet again.

A giant sheet covers the stage to the tune of Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire." Kanye changes outfits while you're not looking. It's pointless, pompous, kind of perfect.

The show ends a few songs later. There is no Katy Perry guest appearance, despite the rumors. Just Kanye, and "Hey Mama." The crowd is confused. No one wants to leave. There's not enough praise.

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