Kanye in Concert

I surprised myself with how much I wanted to see Kanye’s Yeezus tour. Usually I just joke about him in between enjoying his songs.

I found that very, very funny.

Kanye’s most recent release Yeezus didn’t appeal to me as much as, say, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy which I adore. But still, I emailed a few friends about buying tickets. They weren’t cheap–one of my sources had access to good seats for face value: $185. No takers.

I assumed I’d miss Yeezus. But in the end, tickets came through first for one of the Barclays shows and a few days later, a show at Madison Square Garden. Amazing luck.

While I took some videos, the audio quality on them isn’t great. Here’s another concert goer’s much better video.

The Yeezus tour represents so much more than a concert. It’s part Broadway production, part performance art and plenty of music. Kanye performs for about two and a half hours each night with no intermission and no encore–just a fifteen minute scheduled rant. It’s Kanye. He had to, right?

I absolutely loved the shows from the masks to the glacier to the pyro. Even White Jesus. For as much attention as White Jesus got initially, it’s truly a small part of the show.

And about those masks. I noticed four of them and Kanye performs from behind them for a good two hours each night. What is Kanye trying to convey by wearing them?

By definition, a mask is worn to obscure identity. It can be a protective in nature. Ritualistic. So what does it mean for a famous individual to not just wear the mask, but adorn the masks with jewels and to highlight them with lights and lasers?

I can’t say what Kanye intends, but it’s fun to think about.

So much of Kanye’s performance feels to me like “look at what I can do” the way a sweet child might appeal “Mom, look at me!” And given the loss of his beloved mother, Dr. Donda West, I can’t find fault with that.

Runaway was a highlight both nights. Kanye has so much fun playing to the crowd, making the crowd wait as he circled his drum machine before getting close enough to play those opening piano notes. I wondered if he drew some inspiration from Marcel Marceau.

Then again, I have loved that song since he first started performing it.

For a man who often talks about his frustration with the world, there is so much joy in Kanye’s performances.

For a performance that is such an over-the-top spectacle, there is also so much humanity.

I obviously became a much bigger Kanye fan seeing these shows. Have you seen Kanye on tour? What did you think?

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2 thoughts on “Kanye in Concert

  1. Belinda aka girlyinthenorth

    Our Kanye concert has been resched. for Dec.23rd here….not optimum timing, but what you can do? It is Kanye. LOLLLs…I will let you know what I think after….x

    Reply

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