Uh-oh. Kanye West, never an easy man to predict, has pulled out of Coachella, leaving the world’s biggest music festival with about 10 days to get a new headliner in place. An unenviable task, particularly following a couple years of COVID-mandated weirdness up there in the California dessert. Harry Styles and Billie Eilish will headline Friday and Saturday, respectively, but Ye backing out of the final night leaves the show without its most seasoned performer.
It’s unclear why Kanye abdicated, although he did recently threaten to pull out if Billie Eilish stayed on the bill following a perceived sleight.
All things considered, it’s probably for the best that Kanye is taking a little time for Kanye right now. That doesn’t help Coachella fill its slot but that’s OK, because we know exactly who should take over. Coachella is obviously in a very tight spot and needs to get a big act together fast. Fortunately, the solution is right under their nose, and we are not being tongue in cheek.
The answer is Relient K. It could not be clearer or easier. The power pop band just wrapped a nationwide tour chock full of sold out dates that proved they haven’t lost an inch of their creativity or energy. The final tour date was technically over the weekend, but we have to think that the guys in Relient K would be willing to gear up for one more show, given the circumstances. They’re well-practiced, well-loved and ready to rock. Relient K is the answer.
“But,” you might say, “Relient K isn’t as popular as Kanye West!” Fair enough. But consider this: Relient K’s most recent album, a live album called LIVE, is currently available on all streaming platforms. Kanye’s most recent album, Donda 2, is only available on a $200 physical device. Which do you think is more accessible to the average listener?
And that’s just one piece of evidence as to why Relient K should be headlining Coachella now that Kanye is out! Consider these other full-proof reasons.
They Have Lots of Christian Songs
Kanye’s well-covered pivot to more Gospel-inspired music received a lot of attention, but Relient K has been making Christian rock since their 2000 debut, four years before West’s first full-length. Audiences coming to see Kanye in 2022 can surely expect lots of songs from Kanye’s more spiritually influenced period like Jesus Is King and Life of Pablo, and while Relient K will be lighter on beats, they can definitely deliver on the content. They are a natural fit.
They Both Have Sad Songs About Girls That Got Away
An undue amount of West’s recent online activity has centered around his attempts to win back his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and to trash her current boyfriend Pete Davidson. That’s a hard act to follow but the Relient K guys definitely know a thing or two about the one that got away. They have a song about “My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend” for crying out loud. And then there’s “Mood Rings,” with a message that maybe has not aged all that well but would certainly not feel out of place next to, say, “Gold Digger.” Fans drawn to Ye’s woman-weary music will get that itch scratched.
They Both Have Lots of Songs About School
For the first few years of Kanye’s career, his albums stuck to an education theme: College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation. The implication was that West was going through his own learning process, and the world was along for the ride. Relient K also has lots of songs about school in the canon, from “College Kids” to their perennial banger “The Sadie Hawkins Dance.” There’s a whole song about prom! This is an easy swap.
As you can see, this is a no-brainer. A few phone calls from the Coachella offices ought to be enough to make this perfect plan a reality. See you all at Coachella!
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.