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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Kanye West show

I reached a few conclusions after the Kanye West Glow in the Dark show at Journal Pavillion Saturday (April 26) show:

1. Kanye West may not be the "greatest star in the universe" as hyped during the show, but he comes close.
2. The end of April is too cold for an outdoor show (and I've got the cold induced by freezing for five hours to prove it).
3. There is way too much alcohol for sale at the Pavillion.

First off, I don't want to neglect mentioning that openers Lupe Fiasco and N.E.R.D. were phenomenal. Interestingly, although Fiasco went first, he was, clearly, much better known to the crowd than N.E.R.D. and got lots of back-up vocalizing from the way hyped crowd as he ticked off Hip Hop Saved My Life and Superstar. N.E.R.D. also was a crowd-pleaser, particularly when Pharrell Williams brought up a very authentic-looking group of ABQ-area ladies for a song whose lyrics seemed to consist of, mostly: "I want to fuck tonight/I feel horny." (Although he did bleep out the F-word, so maybe I just have a dirty mind. Not). I was particularly happy to hear Rock Star, a song I can no longer play in the car because I have gotten two speeding tickets from playing it while driving. It just kind of makes you want to lean on the gas.
But folks were there for Kanye and he delivered. Unlike many rappers who sound like ass outside the studio, West was high energy and his rapping was flawless. The theme to the show was, um, Kanye alone in the universe. His spaceship has become lost in space and he can only communicate with its computer (named "Jane"). I'm sure I'm not the only person who was thinking, wow, how David Bowie is that? Or, well, maybe I was, given that the average age at the show was about 20 and the average blood-alcohol level about four times the legal limit. Still, the technical aspects of the production made it an out-of-the-ordinary experience for a hip-hop show and if it had a little bit of a geek-meets-megalamania flavor to, so be it. Kanye's sing-along version of Good Life was particularly intense and brought the house down. Gold Digger also was a great one, and worth noting that West bleeped out the N word while singing. But not the F word on other occasions. I should have some theory for the selective self-censorship, but I don't.

2. It was freaking freezing outside, which was good for sales of Fiasco's hoodies, but not so good for those of us not in the mood to chalk over many bills to keep from catching pneumonia. Achew. I can't begin to imagine how the many girls wearing almost no clothing managed to survive. Unless, somehow, drinking a lot keeps one from feeling the cold.

3. Speaking of which, before the show even began, I witnessed young-looking girls throwing up in the bathroom and banging, drunkenly, into one another everywhere I looked. It's beyond me how the Pavillion can sell SO MUCH booze at a venue that you've got to drive in and out of. I mean Jaeger Meister shots? Also, one can drink anywhere (there are no designated drinking areas so popular at Santa Fe events), so any kind of control over minors having access to liquor is zilch, from what I could tell. I hate to sound super old or super Santa Feish, but the whole thing seemed like a DWI waiting to happen. Also, a coffee stand wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.

At any rate, I'm glad I went!

(cross-posted from Artistic Overdose).