April 16, 2016


I Love You Like Coachella Loves Kanye: Did West Upstage the Fest?

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

The first day of Coachella has come and gone, but there's one man who's catching the attention of those hanging out at Indio's Empire Polo Club better than anyone else this weekend: Kanye West.

'Ye isn't even playing Coachella, yet the rapper has succeeded in walking away from Night One the most-talked about act to hit the stage last night. West made not one but two appearances as a special guest, and thoroughly upstaged one of the billed acts in particular: A$AP Rocky's performance was a complete and total disaster that had some brief moments of greatness scattered throughout, and West's cameo could've been a monumental moment for both artists had he not spent the majority of his time onstage spitting bars into a dead microphone. (Totally not his fault, but still.)

Later on in the evening, West then hopped onstage with Jack Ü, Diplo and Skrillex's dynamic EDM superduo, during "Power," and ... just stood there. Maybe it was hesitance hungover from Rocky's prior set; maybe he was tired; either way, West was brought out for the sole purpose of riling the crowd up, which worked, but he strolled offstage to applause for doing barely anything at all.

Approximately two zillion (or, like, fifty, fine) celebrities head to the festival for the same reasons you do: They want to dance, they want to scream along with their favorite songs, they want to run around the desert in the middle of the night enjoying a euphoric live music experience with their friends, sure. West's appearance, alone, isn't that huge a deal. The fact that people are more interested in his presence than A$AP Rocky's huge miss of a performance is, though, as is the fact that the crowd that turned out to see Jack Ü—and accidentally Kanye, for a brief second—dwarfed the audience that attended LCD Soundsystem's much hyped headlining set. 

But still, there's more! After all that, he and Tyler, the Creator wound up racing each other backstage. (Tyler won.)

West could easily leave Coachella the most talked-about artist at the festival without delivering a single verse, but time will tell on that front. We've still got two more days, so watch this space for a look at the best performancessnapshots from the stage and stand-out moments from Coachella 2016.