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GD@WOW: Mr (way out) West

Ben Kendall 2011-08-14

Image:L. Genborg

Kanye West. As dramatic music plays, ballet dancers storm the stage. The white curtain is drawn and an imposing backdrop of angelic sculptures is revealed. "Can we get much higher" screams from the speakers and the bass-heavy sound is massive. Smoke engulfs the end of the catwalk and it begins to rise high above the enormous crowd. In an entrance like no other, the smoke fades and Kanye emerges. It's full on from the start.

With no breaks between songs Kanye captivates the audience and pumps out hit after hit. The crowd sing, bob their heads and wave their arms like there is no tomorrow.

After one and a half hours Kanye proclaims "we're just getting started". My ears are throbbing, my back is aching, but the crowd wants more, and I do too. It's Gold Digger time and it's huge.

The choreographed theatrical dancers briefly return and more hits follow: All of the Lights, Stronger and Runaway to name a few.

Excluding a quick "I really appreciate you all here ..." there is minimal chatting with the crowd particularly in the first hour and a half. Instead he chooses to auto-tune some "inspiring" stories about himself (in third person), his battles and how he has made it. They go on too long.

Overall the production is huge and professional. It's visually impressive with lasers, smoke, dramatic dancing and even fireworks. But Kanye is the focus and that's the way he likes it. His stage presence is impressive.

Rating: 4/5

Image:L. Genborg

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