The Yeezus Effect

February 22, 2014
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Kanye West performed a two-hour show at the Connecticut casino Mohegan Sun as part of his current Yeezus tour. The show consisted of motifs, monsters, mountains, and masks before a makeshift Jesus appeared out of nowhere. The production was top-notch in all aspects of the showcase. It may have been the biggest stage set up ever housed in Mohegan Sun’s 10,000-capacity arena, a giant, jagged mountain at the front of the house, with a ledge-like precipice that extended to the back. That stage was graced by a bevy of chorus girls that doubled as angels, sirens, or maybe zombies. They cavorted like concubines in flesh-colored body suits and marched like shrouded monks along the apron. Then they served as altar attendants, leading a stature of the Virgin Mary in a procession across the stage. There were lasers, fireworks, and falling snow. There was a monster that huddled near the mountain peak for a song or two. And there was Kanye West, masked and adrift on an under-lit stage. He switched masks between songs, going from full-facial fencing cage, to nothing. He sang almost exclusively through an auto-tune device which complimented his look with a robotic, synthesized sound. The mask and the darkness were a huge distraction, as everyone was waiting for the reveal that was still and hour and a half away, not to mention his beloved rants he intrigues the crowd with, leaving my friends Zach, Taylor and Cam all questioning what he’d vent about this time around – little did we know it’d be about how fame is stereotyped.

It was the character of Jesus, played by a tall man with a fake beard, that convinced West to shed his mask and the filtered voice; and the real College Dropout Ye was a show stopper, wrapping it all up together oh so perfectly. He performed classics such as “Flashing Lights” and “Stronger,” turning the crowd into a surreal mosh of personas, some in fact trying to mock Ye‘s Hypebeast personality, rocking Been Trill, Pyrex, and even the rare Yeezy 2’s (shout out to Taylor and Cam for scoping out everyone’s kicks).

During his rant, the Chi-town native boasted “You get famous for one thing and they hold you back from every other thing,” adding “I think the guy that made this stage could probably design a t-shirt.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. In fact, let me pause for a moment and let you watch our exclusive amateur footage of his rant below:

The musical aspects of the show wouldn’t have come alive if it wasn’t for Mano, the man who takes credit of being Kanye‘s disc jockey, and Mike Dean, the dude who continuously lit blunts as he accompanied “Black Skinhead” perfectly with an electric guitar, even laying his fingers on his keyboard numerous times throughout the show. Much like the visual for “BLKK SKKKN HEAD,” a circular screen projected Ye‘s every move as the crowd went bananas.

Needless to say the Yeezus tour was an experience of a lifetime, and I got to shout out Zach for choosing to bring me as he held another ticket. The overall experience was more than a concert, per say, but rather all aspects of life put into one room. Is that comment going a little overboard? I don’t really know, maybe I’m still in shock that I was able to witness such greatness. I truly never imagined a Kanye West concert being so live and enthusiastic as it was and I’m happy to say I can now appreciate Kanye‘s music a lot more than I already did. Thank you, Yeezus.

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