“…As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still…”
Excerpt from “Alone” by Edgar Allen Poe.
A top the mountain.
Atlanta – December, 2013
A mountain, a mask, and a fashion of playing to an audience while hiding behind something…
In one of the strangest performances that I have witnessed since Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s opening for Nine Inch Nails, Chicago artist, Kanye West returned to the city of his birth with The Yeezus Tour in support of the aforementioned 2013 album. Poised to present his first solo tour in 5 years (previously touring with his Glow In The Dark Tour featuring Rihanna, N.E.R.D., Lupe Fiasco, and Nas) with opening act Kendrick Lamar.
An elaborately choreographed presentation spanning Kanye’s College Dropout, Late Registration, with some focus on Graduation, but, to my liking, taking the majority of the direction from Yeezus, and 808 & Heartbreak and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy with preceded it, the tour arrived amid the inordinate press that has been known to follow Kanye since 2007. Recent remarks, and blowups have litter current media with talking points regarding the Chicago artist have also followed with the “Talk My Shit,” interludes that now litter dates of his tour.
Ye in action.
The performance intelligently began with Yeezus content, with Yeezy perched atop a mountain with a moon like video board that tempered the climate of the show, whether creating a moon effect, displaying weather, or giving a close up of the performance. Though Kanye, tends to project a larger than life persona, the use of four ornate masks, he plays a high energy show, allowing a separation between he and his audience. Kanye conceals himself for 85% – 90% of the performance. The anonymous and uniform theme is extended to the female dancers and male extras who are covered in full bodysuits, allowing all attention to be focused on the act, Kanye himself.