Back in 2005, at the age of 13 I heard a song called ‘Golddigger’ and fell in love with a certain Mr. Kanye West. Nine years later and I finally got the chance to see him live in concert. It was a huge deal for me because Kanye’s music started off my love for hip-hop and provided some integral tracks to the soundtrack of my teenage years. There was an awful lot of excitement in the air as I got on the bus with one of my best friends and we made the journey to watch Yeezus live in action.
Pharrell Williams kicked off all the excitement and proved that he’s so much more than ‘Happy’ – he played ‘Frontin,’ ‘Rockstar,’ ‘Hollaback Girl,’ ‘Drop It Like Its Hot’ and more from his hugely successful career. The crowd were in flying form and waiting impatiently for the main man to grace us with his presence. Shortly after 9pm a rumbling bass started while a big red screen started to rise up from the stage. Then the crowd started screaming as those mighty opening bars of ‘Black Skinhead’ began.
Everything happened so quickly and it wasn’t until ‘Mercy’ started up that I came back to earth. As the music started, the whole crowd immediately began to sing “Lambourghini Mercy…” but Kanye didn’t seem to like that and walked off stage. Everything stopped for a few minutes and we were all left wondering what was happening but he soon came back to finish the song. That was the first moment of rudeness in the concert on Kanye’s behalf. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very engaging. He basically kept his head down and did his thing. We didn’t even get a thank you. That’s what annoyed me and hearing people’s reactions at the end of the concert I wasn’t the only one.
Pharrell was the perfect gentleman – he thanked us and told us we were beautiful. Kanye should learn a thing or two from him.
Even though he barely spoke to us other than to tell us to “Remember the night you saw Yeezus in a field” and hid behind a strange mask for the majority of the concert, West really did put on a show. He brought out the classics like ‘Diamonds Form Sierra Leone,’ ‘All Of The Lights,’ ‘Touch The Sky’ and ‘Good Life’ as well as some more recent hits like ‘New Slaves,’ ‘Hold My Liquor’ and ‘Bound 2.’ Ye just kept banging out hit after hit while the crowd chanted and rapped along with him.
There were so many stand-out moments for me. I never thought he’d perform ‘All Falls Down’ which just so happens to be one of my favourite tracks of his and that was just after an amazing rendition of ‘Heartless,’ a track which I have a newfound love for. One of my favourite moments came when Ye started ‘Runaway.’ It was all quiet and then he played those beautiful notes that start up one of his most vulnerable tracks. I was completely captivated by the way he became so lost in that song. The tens of thousands of people in the crowd could as well have not been there and it was something special to watch. Ending on ‘Blood On The Leaves’ was another genius moment. The minute that song drops is something unreal and with the stage all red and Kanye in top form, it closed the concert perfectly. (Although he could at least have said goodbye!)
Despite his rudeness, I had an amazing time at that concert and even though opinions have been mixed, everyone can agree that it was a show like no one had ever seen before. To me, Kanye West is as good as he thinks he is. He’s an artist in every sense of the word and creates near flawless music every time he steps in a studio. I’ve followed his career for almost 10 years now so it’s no surprise I loved every minute of his concert. Kanye West is like no other artist out there and whether you like him or not you’ll have to agree with me on that one. His shows, however, are only for the true fans. If you just like ‘Gold Digger’ then don’t go to see Mr. West live – he really doesn’t like that one anymore!