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kanyeuniversity.com

Kanye West

When: Wednesday, April 16

Where: Key Arena

After much anticipation and enthusiastic blog postings, Kanye West kicked off his Glow in the

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Last Night: Kanye West at the Key

kanyeset.jpg

kanyeuniversity.com

Kanye West

When: Wednesday, April 16

Where: Key Arena

After much anticipation and enthusiastic blog postings, Kanye West kicked off his Glow in the Dark Tour last night at Key Arena, bringing with him a crew of rock solid openers- N.E.R.D., Lupe Fiasco and Rihanna and living up to his promises to blow people's minds. From a recent blog post on kanyeuniversity.com:

"I can't take it anymore. I have 2 show you guys a model of the stage. This is not a regular show. I tell people, hey, this show is gonna be crazy and they say, "I bet it is!", BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA! People expect me to come with innovative stuff… I'm sure a lot of people expect some neon, lower east side, post everybody dressing like the 80's stuff or maybe the light up jacket from the Grammies, perhaps the robot girl and light spectacle they saw on Youtube from the European run. My friends….. NONE OF THE ABOVE!!!"

Now this was some high concept shit. Make no mistake there definitely was a bunch of neon and '80s garb. Rhianna's primary wardrobe accent colors were neon pink and green, making her appear like a Hot Topic '80s Barbie, especially from the nosebleeds. But after her confident and well-executed though short set- who's clear highlight was her Seattle appropriate track "Umbrella" (judging by the throngs of teenage boys near us who'd been screaming for it all night), when Kanye took the stage, the show took a turn for the otherworldly. Literally.

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kanyeuniversity.com

Dressed in subtle Luke Skywalker style space gear, Mr. West proceeded to weave a loose narrative around cuts that ranged from "Good Morning", "Flashing Lights" and "You Can't Tell Me Nothing" off of his most recent Graduation, to old favorites like "Through the Wire" and "Jesus Walks". It all began with a simulated spaceship crash landing on an unknown planet (accentuated by moon style set design) leaving he and his bedroom-voiced talking ship "Jane" to figure out how to get home.

We find that he's been on a noble mission to bring creativity back to the earth for over a year now. And what's a rapper to do while stranded on a foreign planet in the middle of the universe? Well, rap- while having intermittent dialogue with his spaceship. In a particularly dark moment, Jane reminds him- "This isn't the first time you've crashed. . ." giving Mr. West the lead in to "Through the Wire".

It's been a hard year for West- and after the tragic and unexpected loss of his mother, he's been putting much of his energy behind the planning for this tour. From his blog:

"I absolutely lost my mind (in a good way) on the new Glow in the Dark tour. The constant hours of creating helped me 2 keep from loosing my mind in a bad way. Chris Milk told me tragedy can produce great art and this is definitely true. I am a total mad man now, up till 3 am every night, trying 2 fight pain, board-um, and uncertainty with creativity. All that said, life is good….. good as finding the perfect fabric for a simple one button casual blazer with matching pants."

Good as finding the perfect fabric for a simple one button casual blazer with matching pants. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Being stranded alone in the cold, dark vacuous universe far from home felt at times like a metaphor for the terrain he must have been navigating this past year. Throughout, he reminds people to take care and appreciate what a gift life his, to find joy in the small things that life offers- because there are no guarantees.

At one point, he promises to do whatever it takes, "stop talking shit, stop spazzin' out at awards shows," just as long as he can find his way home. And after a brief encounter with a female alien (with gravity defying anatomy and bright blue hair) who descends from above and helps to boost his ego ("Of course we know who you are! You're the biggest star in the Universe!") but fails to successfully help him home, Kanye finds himself in despair once again.

Following an incredible rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" by the live orchestra that backed him on many of the night's tracks, the omnicient Jane reminds him that what they need to get home is the brightest star in the Universe. I think we all know who that would be.

And that's just what Mr. West did. Dorothy-style. Only he didn't have to click his heels- just deliver a few more electric tracks, while solar systems and skyscapes swirled and flashed behind him, reentering the earths atmosphere with a sweat-soaked rendition of "Touch the Sky" to bring it all home.

 
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