Yeezy Taught Me: Kanye West takes Rogers Place to new heights at the Saint Pablo Tour
Edmonton, AB – October 15 marked Kanye West‘s return to Edmonton for the Saint Pablo Tour.
It’s been a long minute since his first appearance (at Rexall Place) for 2008’s Glow in the Dark Tour. Hip-hop fans were shocked when Yeezy announced his Edmonton stop this spring, but with Rogers Place finally up and running for business, we’re finally getting the look we deserve.
With no opening acts needed, Kanye breathed infinite life into the 16,000 plus crowd for the next two hours on a floating stage. Yes, a floating stage. For the entire show. Because Yeezy can. Opening with The Life of Pablo‘s “Father Stretch My Hands Part 1”, Kanye hovered across the floor as he brought the crowd below him to their knees. It wasn’t until he broke into “Part 2” when shit really popped off.
Photo by Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada
If there’s one thing say about this new generation of hip-hop, it’s that they take wildn’ out to another level. And Kanye knows it. There was no seating in the floor area (strategic no doubt), which left 100’s of fans to break out into a mosh pit throughout the show. The more “reserved” sat safely in their assigned seats.
The set up was nothing I’ve ever seen before. With dim lighting (next to none), fog, a distorted large screen – Kanye’s set was deliberately created to make him unseen. He didn’t need the pyros and flashy lights, been there done that. It was just Kanye, his vision and his music. This wasn’t just a show, this was an experience. Whether it was spiritual or emotional, there was something you could just feel throughout his entire performance. It gave you chills. Even as I write this, it’s so hard for me to explain.
What’s so amazing about Kanye’s catalogue is that even the biggest stan, can forget how many classics he actually has. “Touch The Sky,” “Flashing Lights,” “Good Life,” “Jesus Walks,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” were just a few of his 30-song (plus) set. When you get to experience them live, it feels like you’re hearing them for the first time. From Graduation, to My Beatuiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to Yeezus – Kanye teased us with a little bit of everything. One of my highlights was ‘Ye commanding the entire arena to sing the chorus of 808s & Heartbreak‘s “Heartless” acapella. Not once, not twice, but three times.
Yeezy didn’t shy away from from The Life of Pablo, performing close to a dozen songs from the new album. “Famous”, “Wolves”, “Waves”, “Highlights” even “I Love Kanye” – the iconic dis to all of the part-time fans who miss the “old Kanye”.
Closing the show with “Ultralight Beam”, ‘Ye floated across the the crowd for the last time, descended to the floor, and casually walked out with that million dollar smile we rarely get to see.
Haters can say what they will about Kanye, most of the slander is old and tired anyway. What they will never take away is his genius and vision to create. Browsing through my social media feeds the next morning, it’s clear that Kanye delivered a live show that exceeded our expectations. Everyone was in tune with what an incredible experience the Saint Pablo Tour was.
In 2016 you still can’t compare any artist to Kanye West, they’re not even close. It’s not easy for an OG to set the bar in this era of hip-hop. Yeezy can to do it effortlessly, simply by being himself.
Written by Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada