TicketMOMster review: Kanye West @ MTS Centre
*This review was written by someone old enough to be your Mother.*
Your Mother was impressed.
I don’t know any Kanye West music; Hip Hop is not really my thing. All I know about Kanye West is overkill. I know when he sits, I know when he stands, I know how he walks, who he walks with, what he’s wearing and how many breaths he takes per minute.
Ok, I don’t really know any of that stuff, but the media revels in telling me all these things. Everything Kanye and his wife does is “NEWS”. We all MUST know. I don’t care to know, so I stay far away from it.
But, I’ve said this before, there are concerts that concentrate on MUSIC, and concerts that concentrate on the PRODUCTION. I knew this concert would be the latter, which is why I bought the cheapest ticket I could find.
I ended up in the second last row in the 300 section. I almost asked to be moved because I couldn’t see the stage at all. Then I realized I couldn’t see it because it was a “floating” stage. RIGHT! I remember seeing something about that as I scrolled through CNN looking for actual news stories.
As we waited for the show to start, they piped in some spooky wolf howling/moaning mood music, which repeated for a full hour. About 15 minutes before the show started, smoke billowed out from the four corners of the arena so we could all enjoy Kanye’s sultry air brushed look. Or maybe it was to create ambiance…whatever.
Anyway, the lights abruptly shut off and the crowd went nuts. What happened after this, I can only describe as incredible. The beat started and the whole arena pulsed with it. EVERYONE. Arms in the air, pumping and pulsing to the beat. It was like a choreographed flash mob.
Once the floating stage was in place above the floor, the lights turned on underneath and the kids moshed under the stage. It was visually stunning and I stood there mouthing “WOW! WOW!” over and over.
THIS is why I don’t watch You Tube videos or research concerts ahead of time. If I had known how this was all going to go down, the shock and amazement I was experiencing would have been dulled or maybe even non-existent. I live to be stunned like that.
How much did I pay for this ticket? Lemme check…$30. That’s totally worth it for that moment. But the cool thing is, that moment kept happening. As the stage moved, the kids moved with it and the lights turned on and off depending on the song. If you like people watching, THIS was the concert to be at; it was absolutely fascinating. I LOVE that stuff.
The lighting was interesting too; Kanye was rarely lit. Actually, I think he was in the dark more than anything. If you saw his blurry likeness on the huge screens above the stage, it looked like he was glowing. At one point he blocked red lasers with his super human body.
He mostly stood still or paced on the stage. Sometimes he crouched down and other times he jumped and danced. He worked the crowd by stopping and starting or restarting songs quite frequently. The girls in front of me were a little irritated by that, but then the next beat would start and they loved that song too, so all would be forgiven.
The crowd sang and filled in the lyrics wherever appropriate and everything was loud. It was a “turn up the bass until you can feel it in your feet” kind of concert.
I really should have hated this show. There were no musicians anywhere except for Tony Williams and LOTS of autotune. When the lights weren’t on the kids and we were in the dark with his music, I was bored. The music did nothing for me. Oh! Except for the song that sampled Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up. I love that song.
From a production standpoint though, it was staggering. Who thought of this idea and how in the world did they convince Kanye’s insurance company to let him do it?
First of all, there’s the gazillion pound stage “floating” above drunk human heads and secondly, there’s Kanye who has probably been insured to the hilt. He was harnessed and tethered to the centre of the stage, but still. The stage rarely stopped moving around the arena.
Once in awhile they’d shine the lights on the crowd so you could see what Kanye sees and let me tell you, that stage is not helping Kanye West’s God complex. There he was on his holy stage, hovering over the masses, riding on a sea of kids. They were pushing each other to get closer to him, waving their hands in the air, yelling for him, taking picture after picture of him. It was unbelievable.
The music was still pumping at the end of the show as the stage tilted onto the floor. Kanye jumped off and left the building. That was it; an hour and ½ show. There was no encore and the end felt super abrupt.
The lights went up, I turned around to grab my jacket from my seat and there was BARF…ALL OVER IT. Sigh. I go to a lot of shows and frankly I’m surprised this is the first time this has happened to me. I’ve had drinks spilled on me, but I’ve never been puked on.
I picked up the “non-barfed on” part of my jacket and carefully carried it to the two ushers at the bottom of the stairs. The female usher said the young girl behind me puked in her cup and it spilled over onto my jacket. The male usher ran to get me a bag. Once he returned, all three of us got the jacket in the bag and then the male usher offered me a Patron Services card for my dry cleaning bill. It was a nice gesture, but it’s not True North’s fault the girl behind me makes horrible life decisions and can’t control her liquor. I’ll just run the jacket through the washer a few hundred times and it’ll be as good as new (albeit a bit faded).
Alright, that’s the end of the review. Now get to bed. You’ve got school tomorrow.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters