August 04, 2008

Lollapalooza: More Kanye

More Kanye stuff for all of you out there. If you didn't see the previous entry for Kanye's performance at Lollapalooza (with videos and photos), check it out. I've found another review, courtesy of Here's a snippet:

The show was a slightly stripped-down version of his current Glow in the Dark Tour, and while there were no holograms or lunar landscapes on hand, there were still a whole lot of seizure-inducing strobes, moody lighting and rolling fog, not to mention a space-age backing band, complete with robo-suited guitar players and 23rd century female singers in foot-high shoulder pads.

For the rest of the review hit the jump.

- MX

Taking the stage accompanied by a wall of pulsing synths and chimes, and bathed in an eerie white light, West started things off with a dreamy take on "Good Morning," waving to the tens of thousands staring up at him (tens of thousands of hands waved back). At song's end, he paused at center stage, stroked his beard and cracked a sly smile. And then he took things up several hundred notches, plowing through hits like "Heard 'Em Say" and "Through the Wire" (the latter of which he introduced by asking, "Yo, can I take it back to where it all started?") while the Lolla crowd went certifiably bananas.

Next, West got theatrical. "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" started off with ominous synthesizers and tinkling keys, then built to a sensory overload thanks to layers of drums and tympani (oh yeah, he had two drummers), wailing backing vocals and popping lights. He started off "Can't Tell Me Nothing" by rhetorically asking the crowd, "Is this what you waited all weekend for?" and ended it crouched on one knee, eyes heavenward. "Put On" boomed and stuttered like a fireworks show, as West showed Chi-town some love and took Young Jeezy's song to unheard heights, before directing his band to strip it all back to "just the keyboards" so he could proclaim for all to hear, "I put this city on my back."

But it wasn't all just posturing and preening. West clearly realized the significance of his hometown headlining set, and it wasn't simply a matter of civic pride. There was real emotion on the stage, and after "Put On," he slowed things down and finally let some of that boil over. His voice slightly hoarse, he began talking about his mother, who passed away late last year. And you could've heard a pin drop.

"It was hard for me to perform the first song because when I see 100,000 [people] singing along, there's only one person I could think of who's missing tonight," he said, pausing for a minute. "This performance is for my mama, the woman who drove me to Chicago at the age of 3 and said, 'Baby, this is where we're gonna start our life.' "

West then tore into a lengthy and emotional version of "Hey Mama," during which he repeatedly shouted the address of his boyhood home ("7915 South Shore Drive") before collapsing to his knees once again.

He then quickly zipped his guard back up and ripped through another block of hits, including "Flashing Lights," "Homecoming" and "Gold Digger." As 10 p.m. loomed, the stage lights dimmed and the roboto refrain of "Stronger" — which had been teased three times during West's set — finally kicked in, growing faster with each beat until — boom! — every light erupted, West leapt in the air and thousands of tired Lolla fans lost their minds. The song rattled to a false close — complete with West sprawling out on the stage — before kicking in once again and sending the place into the stratosphere. Then, with arms stretched high above his head and tympani drums crashing around him, West strode off the stage very much the conquering hero.

[View more of "Lollapalooza: More Kanye"]

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