Kanye West – Yeezus Tour @ Rod Laver Arena

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Is Kanye West a self-proclaimed God? Obviously not, you’re saying. But damn, after seeing him at the church of Yeezus/Rod Laver Arena, it almost feels that way. The fans/worshippers, the atmosphere and the stage production all worked together to place him on a pedestal, just where he likes it.

The stage set up simple but effective – all you really needed was Kanye’s exceptional stage presence and crazy bejewelled masks. The stage was somewhat like a catwalk with a massive two-sided screen at the base, mostly showing a live and huge God-like Kanye, and the graphics were quite incredible.

He kicked the show off with “Black Skinhead” and performed several tracks back-to-back jumping right around his discography history including “Mercy”, “Cold” and “Power” before finally acknowledging the audience during “Stronger” with a cliche that I didn’t expect from the almighty Yeezy: “put your hands up”. I gotta say, I’m disappointed with that weak effort from a so-called creative genius. He took a small break and returned in a bizarre cult-like robe and a new mask. Sidenote – it was kind of hilarious that he had so many mask changes. A sampler stood on the empty runway and the first note of “Runaway” drove everyone nuts. And with this track came his infamous ranting. Highlights include:

  • “Sometimes I’m a bit misunderstood.”
  • In regards to putting himself in the line of fire, “I don’t think you understand that this is the way I tell ya’ll that I love you.”
  • “What’s real and what’s fake anyway?”
  • “I think I’m one of the first of my kind.”
  • And a ten minute freestyle solo about telling people that you love them. Classic!

After this more avant-garde creative expression, he jumped straight into mainstream hits from his catalogue like “Run This Town”, “Clique” (“For the past ten years, I’ve had a clique. That’s everyone in this audience that supported me”), “All of the Lights” and “Gold Digger”. You can’t deny the pure fun of these track, and for this reason, a Kanye show is always going to be entertaining.

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His level of interaction was surprising. His banter about getting everyone in the stadium to stand up and his acknowledgement of a standing guy in crutches was quite charming. At the same time, his demands for the mosh pit to open up a circle several times was totally authoritative – he was utterly unsatisfied with the mosh’s attempts. Again, kind of hilarious.

He ended the night with “Niggas in Paris” times three, and even chucked a cheeky “Niggas in Australia” line in there.

Kanye definitely needs to be taken with some good humour, however there’s no denying his music.

Exclusively and pretentiously handpicked just for you, by Jane

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