After disappointing fans at Bonnaroo 2008, the notoriously capricious Kanye West dazzled audience members with a monumental, big-budget, nearly two-hour set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. After making a dramatic entrance with the help of a crane, Kanye dedicated the performance to his mother, Donda West, who died in 2007 due to complications arising from cosmetic surgery. Highlights included a performance of the hit single "Power" recalling the Ancient Roman imagery of its distinctive and memorable music video, and appearances by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Clipse's Pusha T, the latter appearing for an elaborate performance of the runaway hit "Runaway" — though not Katy Perry as had been rumored.

In 2008, West was scheduled to perform a late set at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, but arrived late and performed a short set that angered many fans, prompting the artist to rail against the festival's organizer and preceding act Pearl Jam on his blog. In late 2010, West released the commercially successful and critically acclaimed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and in early 2011 announced an upcoming collaborative album with labelmate Jay-Z, entitled Watch the Throne. —ZACHARY BLOCK

Leave a comment

Read more about: