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Kanye dazzles audience on ‘Saint Pablo’ tour

Photo courtesy of Kara Moore

AUSTIN, TEXAS—In the heart of Texas, hip-hop legend Kanye West stopped in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, for his second of three stops in Texas on his “Saint Pablo” nationwide tour. For two and a half hours in front of a monstrous crowd, Kanye delivered an incredible performance while keeping fans completely entertained through his set.


Kanye, who is coming off his recent album, “The Life of Pablo,” announced his tour in May, and has been touring the entire summer up until the late fall. His album has been critically acclaimed and has been one of the top-selling albums of 2016 thus far.


His live performance, much like his album, did not fail to showcase his skills as an artist. And, with his on-stage antics, Kanye reinvented the wheel for this concert.


On tour, contrary to the standard stage-and-lights setup, Kanye is elevated on a moving stage, which is a square stage and half of the size of a normal stage. The stage was elevated over a hoard of fans below in the pit of the Austin fans, and Kanye moved back-and-forth through the different transitions to the songs. The uniqueness of this idea was extremely entertaining and kept fans entertained and watching.


Another aesthetically appealing feature Kanye added was his choice of lighting for the show. With a minimal selection of colors, Kanye added an artistic flavor by using a radiant orange, dark red, and black and white flashing lights. Most of the time, it was difficult to see him; however, it added artistic flavor to the show and a sense of mysteriousness.


As soon as the lights shut off to begin the show, the entire crowd erupted. Everything was dark and nothing was visible, but then the bass loudened and the stage began to rise. Kanye stormed onstage and opened up with “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 & 2,” which hyped up the crowd insanely. Following the starter tracks, Kanye rapped through “Famous,” and had the entire crowd singing along to each lyric.


He held the crowd in the palm of his hands—when he asked for background singers, there were tens of thousands singing along; and, when he rapped, all eyes were on him. To cap off his first three songs, Kanye looked up for the first time into the crowd and with a grin, he said, “Welcome to Pablo.”


After delivering his verses on “Pop Style,” “That Part,” “Facts,” “Mercy” and “Don’t Like,” Kanye went deep into his discography, cyphering through tracks like “Black Skinhead” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”


He went chronologically through his album with splits of his old work. Classic Kanye tracks, like “Flashing Lights,” “Jesus Walks” and “Power.” But, his prime flashback during his setlist was “Runaway.” From the start of the first key to the outro, Kanye viciously amped the crowd throughout the song. He extended the song further than its track contents to speak to the crowd directly through an auto-tuned outro. He sang, “Don’t let no punk distract you. When you go to sleep tonight, dream of new ideas. They will say it’s not possible. But don’t let them stop you.” The piece of advice really sparked intimacy in the show.


After an uproar of applauding from the crowd, Kanye even let a smile go.


Then, Kanye transitioned into “Good Life” and “Stronger”—two classics from his third album, “Graduation.” The intro to “Stronger” had such a strong build up with the beats developing until he hit the vocals.


Most artists, particularly rappers, tend to cut off their songs short when the production drags on. But not Ye. One of the best features of the night was the fact that Kanye continued to let his beats roam well after the song was over, and even extended the intros to insinuate more crowd excitement.


This was shown on when Yeezy performed “Fade,” his most surprisingly amazing track of the night. He was hauled to the back of the crowd by his moving stage, and after the intro played for about a minute, dark red, thin lasers appeared as the only light showing his body. The track featured masses of the crowd dancing to the groovy beat and Kanye prancing about the lasers. It was as if the performance was out of the future, and Ye was giving us a glimpse of what’s ahead.


To close the concert, Kanye appeared onstage with a bright white beam of light, no pun intended and sang “Ultralight Beam.” Echoing his vocals was the blasting sound of a choir for the hook of the song. He turned the Frank Erwin Center into a chapel and blessed his fans with the gospel-like closing.


And just like that, the hovering stage disappeared, the lights turned on, and abruptly, the concert was over. Kanye had just given nearly three hours of magic to thousands of fans; and, it left such a satisfying feeling when it was all over.

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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Kanye dazzles audience on ‘Saint Pablo’ tour