Kanye West’s Australian tour was surrounded by a lot of negative media attention but when it came to closing the Yeezus Tour in Brisbane the emcee exceeded expectations. Rising onto the stage with “Imperial March” from Star Wars blasting he launched into “Black Skinhead” which had the whole arena jump out of their seats. The first section of the show showcased lesser known album tracks including “Mercy”, “Cold”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” before exploding the arena with his big hits. “Stronger” kicked off the hits followed by “Heartless”, “Runaway”, “Run This Town”, “Clique”, “Jesus Walks”, “Touch The Sky”, “All Of The Lights”, “Good Life” and “Gold Digger”. He closed the show with “Bound 2”, “Blood On The Leaves” and “Niggas In Paris” which he didn’t just perform once but three times. Talk about closing the show in style! And then he walked into the smoke and the show abruptly came to a stop.
Production wise Australia didn’t receive the same treatment as the rest of the world but the design was simple and effective. West had two massive LED screens with a decent sized catwalk that he spent the majority of the show on. His light show was brilliant and if you suffered from epilepsy there was no way you would’ve made it through the first song. His infamous mid show rants were raised to a whole new level in Brisbane with #FuckTheMedia trending on social media after the show. He stopped the show to address the media attention he was receiving in Australia and asked the crowd to focus on the music and realize that he is a Christian man with a wife and kid. He targeted Matt Lauer and the Today Show saying “this is rap music what do you expect? In other rants during the night he told the crowd “I am this generations Rolling Stones, I am this generations U2” which was eaten up by all his adoring fans. He stopped “Runaway” halfway through and asked the crowd whose first time it was seeing him live or Runaway live. Deafening screens filled the arena he replied “You’re seeing the mother fucking Kanye West and Runaway tonight” and with that he restarted the song. When it got to the end of the show he addressed the crowd about standing up “Anybody who is not handicapped or in a wheelchair stand the fuck up! If you cannot prove to me that you are in a wheelchair then you need to be standing. If you can’t then it is OK to sit down”. He had the majority of the crowd on their feet the whole night anyway so it didn’t make much of a difference but added to the electric atmosphere. Before his encore he said to the crowd he couldn’t use the word “mosh” and wouldn’t encourage that at all because they would turn off his mic but said “some people like to do the said word when the beat drops and form a shape. But I wouldn’t encourage that at all cause they will turn off my mic but if anyone feels like doing it I can’t stop you”. And with those words of wisdom a massive circle pit was created and saw the Brisbane Entertainment Centre general admission area turn into one hectic mosh.
Kanye is a showman and the Yeezus tour delivered and exceeded expectations. With an incredible light show, killer set list, mid show rants and song restarts what else could you want from the man? And if you were seated near the sound booth you would’ve noticed a gorgeous Kim Kardashian West watching her “bae” and dancing the night away before getting mobbed while trying to leave the arena floor. He may be a bit arrogant, may love him self a bit too much but the man knows how to give an epic performance.
After all the ranting during the show I was disappointed about Kanye and Kim’s attempts of staying away from the general public. They flew out of Brisbane International Airport to LA on Tuesday morning on the 10:35am flight. They arrived at 10am and were driven under the airport and taken into a service lift into immigration before getting escorted onto their flight. Talk about avoiding fans and not wanting to associate with the general public. A bit too Diva? I think yes.