Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kanye: London Paper Review

Reviews inevitably get cut down, she here's my full run-down of Tuesday's show....

Kanye West
Glow In The Dark
O2, London
Much has been made of Kanye West’s Glow In The Dark tour, not least by Mr. West himself. So is the much-hyped show worth the fuss and fanfare? In a word, yes. Set ‘somewhere in space’, this is an intense theatrical experience with West feverishly delivering hit after hit. Monsters appear from the smoke-filled chasm, an orchestra beats the hell out of its taiko drums, while an extravagantly-lit ramp is transformed into a spaceship on which Kanye flings himself while performing singles including Golddigga, Jesus Walks and Stronger.

It’s clearly an emotional night for the Chicago rapper; today is the one year anniversary of his mother’s death. “I can’t do that Hollywood shit. This ain’t no fake-ass bullshit,” he vents, veering off-script for around five minutes during Put On. “The pain is something I deal with, the agony, the devastation. For fame, I paid the dearest cost.”

Few musicians take as many risks so passionately as West, and fewer are as ardent about their art; during the Love Lockdown encore, in typical Kanye style, he re-starts the song several times until he's happy it sounds just perfect.

GITD might not have been as visually arresting as his last tour, but artistically it’s an incredible feat that deserved the wholehearted applause given by his adoring audience. Kanye West is somewhat of a visionary; while he might not yet be 20/20, it seems perfect vision isn’t far off.

Hattie Collins

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