Photo via FabEmpire
Thursday, November 21, 2013. Verizon Center. Washington D.C. Not necessarily what I would call a ‘good day’. There were countless encounters with foolishness all the way from the morning through work through me getting ready up until I was at the concert and Kendrick brought Wale out for a surprise brief performance of ‘Clappers’ (who looked quite yummy btw). The show started promptly at 730 which is RARE. I missed some of Kendrick’s set trying to stop by the rest room and also grab my wine before sitting down. He performed the singles of course along with ‘Money Trees’, ‘Backseat freestyle’, and the banger ‘M.A.A.D city’ which always gets me to acting a fool (you should see the vid of me at Made in America this year when he performed that). When Kendrick went off… and the lights were back on to switch the stages, the world of technology took over. Over 90% of those attending were on their phones; even those who came with friends were on their phones and chattering. I myself, who of course went dolo, have HORRIBLE service in there for some reason so my phone usage was limited as far as texts and social networks go. What to do? Ah…let’s sip the drink!
I just happened to read a review of the Yeezus show in LA from a random blog. It was veryyyy intriguing. That particular show took place the weekend before Halloween. He talked about how people came donned in various costumes and the creepy music they played in between Kendrick and kanye’s set. He went over how it set the tone of the night: Eerie.
While ours took place the week before Thanksgiving, that didn’t take away from them playing that same music. For about 45 minutes while they were setting up the stage set for Ye’…the creepiest music played over and over. Already a somewhat spooky smokey scene (from what may have been from either ye’s move to set the tone or the lights … or my contacts were fogged, shit idk), imagine a mix of Michael Myers’ Halloween theme song playing in different versions continuously. O_O. I recorded a video there because I HAD to have footage to show those exactly what I was talking about. After about 20 minutes.. I noticed there wasn’t as much chatter. People weren’t on their phones as much. Just looking around. Disturbed now, eh? Lol. Moods had started to change, clearly. It was evident… the music, whether people wanted to admit it or not, had started affecting people. THEN without notice..
The lights went off. Everyone goes crazy and stand to their feet .. uberly excited that Ye is finally about to hit the stage. He opened the show with ‘On Sight’. He performed his tracks from Cruel Summer, Graduation, MBTDF, 808s and Heartbreak, Late Registration (where he performed Diamonds are Forever), and even took it back to College Dropout … in addition to of course performing his entire ‘Yeezus’ album.
I never noticed how many times he says Nigga… like NEVER noticed. Maybe because it’s natural to me… idk. I didn’t notice until THAT night. He uses that word A LOT… a whole LOT. I only noticed because I had a white girl and her friends sitting next to me… and meanwhile while I’m going ham on every single lyric of every song.. I noticed how they looked quite uncomfortable on certain ones and got quiet lol (in which I’m sure they don’t otherwise when ‘we’ aren’t around). There were two white guys in front of me and they seemed so unimpressed with it all (although I did manage to see them jam to about four songs out of the entire night). I’m not sure if that had something to do with it or what. I guess you can call his audience a lil different for their ‘respect’. Majority of my section at one of the many Wiz Khalifa concerts I attended was all white and them kids were going ham. Saying the word Nigga like it was a regular word in their everyday jargon. They didn’t give a damn that it was a few specs of us blacks around either. I have PLENTY to say about that topic alone with both experiences but I’ll save that for an upcoming post. Anywho.. back to the show.
Photo via Splash News
The ‘Yeezus’ show had a theme… an extremely deep theme. One of those…if you weren’t paying attention you would have no clue to what was going on. Snow, Clouds, Mountains, some type of demon monster, one dozen ballet dancers in flesh colored tights x leotards x nude stocking cap masks, scattered lights, and no one other than Mr. west who spent 95% of the show donned with several Maison Margiela Masks. That’s right.. we barely saw his actual face majority of the show. He changed costumes and masks each time the theme entered a new chapter.
In the beginning, there was a message that flashed across the small circled screen in the middle (there were no large monitors compared to other shows on each corner for those to view upon). He performed a few songs and then ended up on this glacier mountain. Long story short… a demon monster thingy (which I missed how it even got on stage because I was reaching down for my drink… yea that quick) during ‘Hold My Liquor’ (what are the odds) appeared walking up and down the glacier . There is another message. More songs performed. The glacier cracks down the middle and there is light. The dancers I mentioned, walk through the split of the glacier implicating a religious ceremony with a statue of the Virgin Mary and candles. He performs more. There is another message. More light.. and a character playing ‘Jesus’ appears. The moment I had been waiting for. When I heard about this weeks before, I couldn’t wait to find out how and why everything was going to mesh. He has a personal talk with ‘Jesus’… a real talk. Talks that most of us do when no one is around or looking. He went into ‘Jesus Walks’ from there.. one of Ye’s best songs (IMO). The way the entire center went ham… thousands of people chanting the words..about JESUS…it was Amazing.
Few more songs and there was a final message. At the end there is another light… and Kanye turns around with his back towards the crowd (along with his dancers). They get on their knees and lift their hands up to the ‘heavens’ as to reflect that Ye’ has been delivered from that demon monster who appeared on the stage earlier that night. They get on their knees and lift their hands up to the ‘heavens’ as to reflect that Ye’ has been delivered from that demon monster who appeared on the stage earlier that night. If I could tell you what each message said.. all of this would make more sense and would be able to convey the intensity of depth.. but as you can see from just these details alone… it was a remarkable theatrical production more so than a typical concert.
The emotions of everything were up and down as folks would be turnt on some of his upbeat tunes like ‘ Clique’ , ‘I don’t Like’, Blood on the Leaves’, ‘Black Skinhead’, ‘Mercy’, ‘’Stronger’, ‘Send it Up’, ‘Power’, ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ etc. just to name a few. Down when he performed ‘Coldest Winter’ … a song that he chatted with the audience before getting into and revealed it was about his Mother who passed away in 2007. Folk were even more in their feelings when he dropped ‘Runaway’ and ‘Street Lights’. Dynasty signs were everywhere when he performed ‘Through the Wire’ and ‘Diamonds are Forever’. And oh the rants.. the excitement during his infamous rants. That day.. he took it to vent about the execs with NIKE “not wanting to meet with KANYE WEST”. Lol (amongst other things). Just several emotions and thoughts all flowing through the air blatantly with the experience from start to finish over a full two hours.
It’s funny how people are usually hype and loud when a show ends; during the let out. Folks were so calm after this it was crazy lol. You could tell they were soaking it all in. So far… in 26 years… this may have been the best concert I’ve been to (creative wise). So much thought was put into that vision. More people could actually understand Ye’ if they really LISTENED, but I digress. Speaking of listening, I haven’t listened to the album since. Lol. I’ll get too warped rehashing the concert. It’s retired until 2014. Nevertheless, It’s one for the books.
Related Post: Kanye talks 'WTT 2', 'Cruel Winter', Writing Philosophies, Being a Revolutionist & More ...
To see more photos from the show during different stops of his tour, click here.