Pope makes surprise Easter appearance at Coachella 2

The Coachella Music and Arts Festival got a much-needed shot of spirit Sunday when Pope Francis arrived and performed a surprise set with several of the festival's most popular acts on the last day of the music and culture gathering.

The Bishop of Rome and former night club bouncer stepped onstage during Arcade Fire's set, triggering a roar of approval from the crowd.  The band, which was unwarned, seemed clearly startled by His Holiness and never recovered their momentum.  The pope apologized, and introduced guest performer Debbie Harry, who stood speechless.

After delivering a blessing to the audience and performers he was crowd-surfed to the Mojave stage where the accomplished bassist and leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics pumped his fist and threw his zucchetto into the crowd after joining the Pet Shop Boys on their song "Axis." "Hola Coachella!" the pope shouted as the crowd parted.
Arcade Fire fans cheer the pope as he
takes the stage with the band.

The leader of the Holy See then performed a blistering solo on Blood Orange's stage during "You're Not Good Enough." A half-hour later Pope Francis was (with some effort) lifted to the shoulders of Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister during "Tear Ya Down."  "I love this right bastard!" Lemmy hollered to the pontiff's embarrassed delight.

After free-styling a rap to the beatitudes with an awed assist from Chance the Rapper, His Excellency did a glorious mic drop. He granted absolution to stage crasher Justin Bieber as his security detail escorted the exhausted but still game pope to a waiting limo, the only time there were "boos" from the festival goers. The Holy Father waved to the crowd through the sunroof before disappearing into the desert, leaving the audience chanting for more.

Twitter went on overload as the crowd raved about the pope's appearance and his amazing chops on a borrowed Ibanez 6-string. "The guy really knows his shit on a fretboard," said an admiring Bucky Frieze, 32, who was there to see Motorhead. "Lemmy knelt down and bowed to him, and Lemmy doesn't like anybody."

Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister watches in
awe as Pope Francis shreds a bass.
"He was pretty much a buzz-kill for the people in the safari tents and the makeover booths," said Jeff Ostermann, 24, from Anaheim, "but that was their own guilt trip."

"It was great," said Missy Kalisto, 22, from Huntington Beach.  "I thought it was something to have a Kendal Jenner sighting, but holy crap, this guy was on."

Dianne Merchant, who was working the Chanel booth, was disappointed. "We sent him a bunch of product but he wouldn't take it," she said. "I guess he's more Carolina Herrera."

"All he asked was to have his Outkast LP signed," said Mark Hibbert, 30, from Lancaster. "It was vinyl. I mean, how cool is that?"


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