Kanye West sends Edmonton on an Ultralight Beam
People from across the province flock to Lord Yeezus
By Bigoa Machar, Publishing Editor, and Brendan Stasiewich, Sports Editor
If there was a tour that epitomised Kanye West, this would be it.
Alone on a floating stage 10-feet above the ground, Kanye preached his lyrics down to his fans frantically followed underneath, and around the stage as it moved back and fourth above the brand-new Rogers Center floor. It was as if he were a God.
While each and every Kanye West album from College Dropout to his most recent release, The Life of Pablo, have had different sounds and themes, what they have in common is that they’re never conventional. Yeezy’s show on Oct. 15 in Edmonton – and I’m sure the other stops on the Saint Pablo Tour – followed in this light. The show was anything but conventional; it was a true celebration of Kanye West’s genius.
While before the tour there was speculation of some of West’s GOOD Music counterparts serving as openers, in true Kanye fashion he opted to be the opener, the main event, and the closer. Doors at 7, Kanye at 9.
Those who arrived at the nine o’clock set time didn’t have to wait long. The lights going down at quarter after nine was met with mass screaming from Kanye’s faithful, as the lengthened intro to “Father Stretch My Hands” built for what seemed like ages until the beat finally dropped, giving light to the awe-inspiring stage hoisting West atop one end of the floor.
As the show went on, the stage began to move above the floor, radiating light atop the fans directly below the stage, making them even more visible than Kanye himself. Often seen by a dull red light, or a faint spotlight from above, what made the concert truly startling was the fans on the floor jumping up towards the stage as West continued his set unobservant of those below.
Again breaking away from convention, this was another element that only Yeezy would add (or subtract). You know the old saying that goes “Dance as if nobody is watching?” Well that’s exactly what Kanye did. Not once did he try to interact with the crowd during the 90 minute set. More times than not, artists will usually have a “Hey [Insert city name here], make some noise!” Kanye did no such thing, which to me was a little disappointing because it really did seem as if Kanye didn’t really care for the Edmonton crowd.
Most of the tracks Kanye played were from his two newest albums, “The Life of Pablo” and “Yeezus,” with a few of his signature tracks played few and far between. Mixing in the old with the new, Kanye’s track list was on point and made for one hell of a show.
Another thing that was somewhat interesting was how Kanye would replay the beginning of certain songs if he felt the crowd reaction to them wasn’t good enough for him. At the beginning of the concert, he asked his DJ to play the beginning of Famous four times over for some reason. By the third time, there were audible sighs from the audience. Definitely not the most ideal crowd-hyping technique, but who am I to question our lord and saviour Yeezus Christ.
Despite all of this, when Kanye West finished “Ultralight Beam” and he descended into darkness below his stage without a word, we realized we saw something special. The “Saint Pablo” stop in Edmonton was one of the best concerts we’ve been to in a while, and it’ll be a long time until we forget the old Kanye, straight from the ‘Go Kanye.