Story courtesy of Yahoo Music.
Kanye West does it BIG at Coachella!!
Coachella, the three-day mega music festival in Southern California’s Indio desert, has always been a massive affair, but leave it to this year’s final headliner, Kanye West, to elevate it to a whole new level: literally, by entering the main stage via a glowing crane, rotating 30 feet above thousands of amazed spectators, and asking the musical question, “Can we get much higher?”
Kanye never does anything on a small scale, anyway, so his Coachella show was of course the stuff of festival legend. As far as history-making Coachella moments went, his airborne entrance topped even the Flaming Lips’ man-sized plastic habitrail ball (Coachella ’04) and Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy’s descending to the stage suspended upside-down in a vampire bat straitjacket (’05).
While Coachella lineups usually lean toward the indie side of the musical spectrum, there was little that was indie about Kanye’s epic spectacle, which featured ballerinas in nude-toned body-stockings dancing interpretive routines to the “Chariots Of Fire” theme, piles of fireworks, one costume change, and cranked-up volume that drowned out all the other acts unlucky enough to be playing at the same time on the other side of the field. Kanye made Coachella look like the VMAs, basically, and it was hard to believe that five years ago on these same festival grounds, he for all intents and purposes opened on the main stage for Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros. While some purists probably didn’t appreciate Kanye’s grandiosity and pomposity, the sheer entertainment value of his 90-minute set was undeniable.
But there were humanizing moments as well. “This is the most important show to me since my mom passed,” Kanye told the crowd midway through his set, referring to his beloved mother Donda West’s sudden death in 2007. “To see all of you who still love me…to have fans that were here since ‘Through The Wire,’ I really appreciate y’all tonight.” And when he closed his show (surprisingly a half-hour earlier than advertised, and with no encore) with “Hey Mama,” he declared, “This show is dedicated to you, Mama.” It was somber and sudden way to conclude a concert that had started with such a big bang, but this provided a nice and perhaps needed counterpoint to all his God-complex posturing and Vegas-style theatrics.