By Justin Jenkins, Campus Staff Writer
Posted 11:50 AM EST, Fri., Sept. 23, 2016
On September 8, everyone’s favorite self-proclaimed genius and zealot Kanye West shattered eardrums and expectations (as per usual) at his 2016 Saint Pablo tour in the Verizon Center in downtown D.C.
The man known as Yeezus began the show in complete darkness, as his voice bellowed through the speakers: “I just want to feel liberated!”
As the crowd-pleasing Saint Pablo track “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1” began, he hovered above the crowd on a suspended stage amidst the explosion of iPhones lighting the arena like stars in the sky below. West gave a heavy nod to his family roots by naming the tour after his first son, Saint, and also honoring his late mother and father-in-law, Donda West and Robert Kardashian with their faces on campy, airbrushed t-shirt merchandise (look for it around campus).
West stuck with this close-to-the-heart expression as cult favorites such as “Only One” and “Heartless” adding a very a warm feeling to Saint Pablo.
West’s setlist blessed his fans with every drop of raw Yeezy goodness one could imagine. Liberation songs “Black Skinhead” and “Power” causing a stampede of his followers to leave their respective assigned seats, hop over the ground floor gates and form a pool of awe-inspired electricity beneath his feet. The bare bone aesthetics and visuals of the night gave the whole experience indescribable energy. He gave us pure Kanye. And we were all too happy to oblige.
While an admittedly impressive show, you can’t help but think back to his career-defining 2013 Yeezus tour, which continues to be his best series of performances of the last decade. The floating stage was quite the spectacle, but not terribly original: U2, Usher, Daft Punk and Michael Jackson are just a few acts that have done performances with dramatic mobile stagework.
He briefly mentioned the criticism he has taken over his Yeezy Season 4 line. “I want y’all to look at it with your eyes and not your ears,” West yelled. “Listen to yourself, if you have a vision don’t listen to anyone else.”
As Kanye West becomes more of a “soccer dad,” we wonder how many more tours this man has left, especially with gimmicks like being suspended on a floating stage. In any case, the Saint Pablo 2016 tour promises to be truly miraculous; pray you can get hold of a ticket.