Rapper, Artist, Performer Kanye West brings “Yeezus” to Dallas
By Chuck Cox
The combination of Kanye West’s ego, brain, and mouth have led to plenty of embarrassing moments for the Chicago rapper. But when you mix those three things together in the form of a live show, amazing typically happens.
Last Friday’s “Yeezus” tour stop at the American Airlines Center was no exception. Not even close.
Even though the crowd was thinned out by the icy conditions outside, West turned a rap concert into an epic Broadway production, complete with a mountain that eventually split in two, an elevating stage, snow, explosions, and even a special guest appearance by “Jesus.”
Broken into five sections — fighting, rising, falling, searching, and finding — West’s show was about as ambitious as they come. And in typical West fashion, he pulled it off like it was no sweat.
Masked for much of the night and flanked by a dozen or so women in nude body suits with masks, West tied music from his expansive catalogue into performance art set to slamming beats. By the way, the disco ball mask was really cool. He had a live musician, vocalist, and deejay, too.
The enthusiastic crowd was into the entirety of the two-hour performance, which included a soliloquy by West about the trappings of fame and the media late in the show. During that speech, West assured the crowd that he’s not humble. No kidding.
And even though having an actor come out on stage as Jesus was a tad on the hokey side, it was also pretty cool. When “Jesus” appeared, West took off his mask for the first time all night before busting out a rocking rendition of “Jesus Walks,” much to the delight of the crowd.
The newer material from West’s latest album, Yeesuz, also played really well. Opener “On Sight,” “Black Skinhead,” and “Blood on the Leaves” were all highlights. Of course, it was some of older stuff, like “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “Heartless,” “Runaway,” “Diamonds From the Sierra Leone,” and “Flashing Lights” that got the loudest responses.
From the beginning of his career, West has also known how to put on a show. And because of that, I’ll go see him any time he rolls through town. I was looking forward to this one for a long time, and I was glad I braved the conditions to make the show.
Opener Kendrick Lamar was no slouch himself. The Compton newcomer, with the help of a band and a humongous video screen not normally seen for an opening act, treated the crowd to several cuts from his phenomenal debut album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City for 45 minutes.