Jan 28, 2012

Kanye West @ Sydney Entertainment Centre

Well, then I touched him. There was that. But I will get to that later. It was big. It was brash. It was LOUD. It was fun. We weren't with 'our people'. But we were dazzled, enraptured. We were having fun. Big balls of flaming fun. As they say, haters gotta hate, but Kanye West is a unique and singular talent. As my love for anything hip hoppy had diminished since the days of De La Soul and Public Enemy I honestly never thought I would be at a show like this. At a packed Sydney Entertainment Centre. With people I have little in common with. Well, except maybe basketball. But Kayne is no ordinary artist. No ordinary man.

It was "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" that made me sit up and take notice. It was a grand statement. Greatness. Sure I knew "Gold Digger" and "Stronger". But it was the 2010 masterpiece that whetted my appetite to see him live. So when he announced a show in Sydney we thought 'Let's Go'. It was spectacular. From the moment Kanye arose in cherry picker surrounded by smoke belting out "Dark Fantasy" we knew we weren't in Kansas anymore. Add to this a throng of feathered dancers on stage and we were off. "Power" and "Jesus Walks" assaulted us and got everyone up and dancing. It was loud though. Not in a ear piercing Mogwai type. But in crunching, distorted type of way. It buried the vocals, taking the subtleties away. But I guess these sort of shows are not about the subtleties they are about the spectacular. And it was spectacular. Divided into three acts, Kanye orchestrated an event, a mesmeric piece of theatre. He was all over the place, prowling the stage and sometimes using the runway to incite the adoring crowd. I thought he might have back up singers or rappers. But it was just him on vocals. With a guitarist, a keyboard player and a DJ who gave us plenty of samples to round out the songs. The dancers would come and go for various songs, with costume changes each time. "Hell of a Life" was another highlight early, a stalking beast of power. I also enjoyed the mid section with "Love Lockdown" proving irresistible and "Heartless" seemed a fan favourite with a massive singalong. It was during "Touch the Sky" that Kanye decided to go on a trek into the crowd. Next thing I knew he was coming up the stairs and going right by me. Instinctively I just reached out a hand and touched him. Slightly surreal. "Gold Digger" followed and of course was huge fun. But it was act three that is blistered into my mind. A huge white sheet enveloped the stage (with the Chariots of Fire being played) and then it was lifted to reveal a group of ballerinas in black dresses. Kanye was centre stage on a platform. Then he rang out the opening piano parts of "Runaway". Then the song extended into a twenty minute jam with Kanye exposing his soul in a way that was true and effective. Then "Lost in the World" and "Hey Mama" brought the show home with perfect timing. It was two hours of spectacular fun. An experience that I am glad I went through. Talent walks. Talent talks.   

Set List
Act One
H.A.M. (intro)
Jesus Walks
Can't Tell Me Nothing
Hell Of A Life
Flashing Lights
Good Life
Act Two
Love Lockdown
Say You Will
Run This Town (Jay-Z cover) (partial)
Homecoming (partial)
American Boy (Estelle cover)
Through The Wire
All Falls Down
We Will Rock You (Queen cover) (partial)
E.T. (Katy Perry cover)
Touch The Sky
Gold Digger
All Of The Lights
Act Three
Chariots of Fire
Lost In The World
Hey Mama


  • At January 31, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What time did Kanye start? I heard he often delays. And was sneaky sound system any good?

  • At January 31, 2012 , Blogger Wayne said...

    He was supposed to start at 8.45 and came on at 8.55. So only ten minutes late. Didn't see Sneaky Sound System. Can't say I'm a fan.


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