There’s been a lot of talk about Kanye‘s Glow in the Dark Tour on the Net in the last months. Pictures, Youtube videos as well as positive and crushing reviews. So when I first heard in October that Yeezy was makin’ a stop here in Germany for his tour, I knew I had to check it out and build my own opinion. A lot of my friends were skeptic because of Kayne’s latest trips into autotune and even the homie Kev was like: “You know he’s gonna perform his new songs, right?”. So I became a little skeptic if it’s worth to spend 47 Euros (58 $) for the show…
Rap fans, hipsters, groupies as well as regular guys stood in line in front of the arena. When I was about to step in, the supervisor checked my friends bag and said: “Order from Mr. West, no cameras! If we catch someone with a camera, the show is over for him!”
Come on Mr. West (1)!! I mean takin’ some pics doesn’t hurt, huh??
Instead of N.E.R.D., Rihanna and Lupe Fiasco, Consequence did the supporting act job and made a 15 minute performance with songs such as “Grammy Family” and “Don’t Forget ‘Em” to warm up the crowd.
The show began with the intro off Graduation, “Good Morning” and of course the audience was screamin’ when they heard the first drum of the song. Kanye, who performed in his mysterious “Air Yeezy’s”, layed in the middle of his space-like stage and started:
“Wake up, Mr. West, Mr. West, Mr. Fresh, Mr. by-his-self-he-so-impressed…”
The story was quite simple, Kanye was in a space ship that crash landed on an unknown planet and he had to find a way to get back to Earth. The whole plot was guided by the computerized spaceship persona “Jane” who talked to Ye and gave him the latest news and instructions.
West stood on an illuminated platform which was able to accelerate and close down. So depending on the song, the platform hoist him up or down. The backup singers and the band was placed in front of the stage in a pit.
After “I Wonder” and “Heard ‘Em Say” it was finally “Through The Wire” which got the full audience behind him. Next in line was “Champion” and “Get ‘Em High”.
My personal highlight, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, came right after “Diamonds From Sierra Leone”. The track just fits perfect in Kanye‘s current situation where he premiers his “Love Lockdown” video on Ellen and puts with 808s & Heartbreak, an entire autotune album, out.
Everybody sung the hook and with the next song, “Flashing Lights”, you could feel that the show took another level.
The following four songs of his one hour and a half long set, “Spaceship”, “All Falls Down”, “Gold Digger” and “Good Life”, were all solid and good. “Gold Digger” was especially entertaining because of the gold painted, half-naked computer women in the visual intro.
“Hey Mama” made a new connection to the entire audience and brought tears to a lot of fans eyes. He performed the song on his knees and sung the hook almost a capella: “Last night I saw you in my dreams, now I can’t wait to go to sleep”, “This life, is all a dream, and my real life starts when I go to sleep“.
Following the set, Mr. West sat down while Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” was sung by a female backup singer.
Well, the story went on a little bit odd and “Jane” told Kanye: “We’ve been on this journey so long, we can’t give up now. We need the brightest star in the universe, you, Kanye. We need you. Only you can glow in the dark!” Come on Mr. West (2)!!
After that speech, which made me smile and the crowd laugh, the next bomb blew up! “Stronger”. Yes, Yeezy ripped the stage in half with this song, the crowd was jumpin’ and you could truly feel Kanye‘s repeated “I need you right now” screams. Nobody in the arena had any excuses not to move now. The crowd was finally hypnotized.
The spectacular closing number was “Touch The Sky”, his spaceship lookin’ like platform reached to the top of the stage and the song was carried by his phenomenal blazing drum heavy band. Mr. West was screamin’; it felt like the song would never end.
After a minute of applause and shoutings for an encore, Ye stepped back on stage and performed his two verses of Estelle‘s “American Boy” as well as a nearly 10 minute version of “Love Lockdown”. And I gotta admit, “Love Lockdown” is made to be performed in a stadium! I can’t remember a song with an 808 that hit me right in the chest like that one. Outstanding!
The whole stage setting was a work of art, cinematic and unique. The lightshow, the pyrotechnics, straight overwhelming! Mr. West still takes himself (too) serious and you could see that he loves to be adored. Yeah, like it or not, Kanye arrived in the mainstream and bridges the gap between Hip Hop and Pop.
It wasn’t a concert, it was a show, more a journey. From the opener “Good Morning” over the painful “Hey Mama” to the grand final “Love Lockdown”, he gave it all. Kanye West dominated and touched everybody’s soul. It’s gettin’ hard for any other Hip Hop artist too impress me that much (that way) again.
On my way out I checked the merchandise. 30 Euro (37 $) for a basic Fruit Of The Loom T-Shirt with a crude print??? Come on Mr. West (3)!!
On the other hand it was cool to see Consequence talkin’ to the fans, signing CDs and takin’ photos. Nice dude!
Overall rating: 95/100
- Good Morning
- I Wonder
- Heard ‘Em Say
- Through the Wire
- Get ‘Em High
- Diamonds from Sierra Leone
- Can’t Tell Me Nothing
- Flashing Lights
- All Falls Down
- Gold Digger
- Good Life
- Jesus Walks
- Hey Mama
- Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey, sung by backup singer)
- Touch the Sky
- American Boy
- Love Lockdown