Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Spring Break Edition

My Facebook feed this week has been filled with vacation photos from all my friends who are enjoying spring break and I have to admit that I’m a little jealous. I’m about a month away from my vacation and I’ve been so busy lately that I could use a few days of R&R. Of course most of my friends are vacationing with their children who are on break, so I’m not sure how relaxing their vacations actually are. Family trips are always an adventure – whether you want them to be or not.

So while I long for a few days off, get yourself caught up on all the pop culture that you might have missed with this week’s roundup. A perfect way to kill a morning if you are taking a staycation.

Television

Movies

Trailers

  • Detroit:

 

  • The Little House:

 

  • The Bad Batch:

 

  • American Assassin:

 

  • Bloodline, final season:

 

  • Drone:

 

  • Netflix’s Dear White People:

 

  • 6 Days:

 

  • Orphan Black, season 5:

 

  • The Hero:

 

  • Beatriz at Dinner:

 

  • Outlander, season 3:

 

  • Gotham:

 

  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard:

 

  • Wakefield:

 

  • Krypton:

 

  • Lost in London:

 

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

 

  • Wizard of Lies:

Music

Theater

Stand-up

Books

Odds and Ends

The first time Jasmine's favorite character, Pikachu came to visit her months ago she was only crawling. For Easter Sunday @laurenhashianofficial and I thought, Pikachu should make a special visit once again. Well, Pikachu didn't account for the fact that now Jazzy RUNS and for 2hrs straight she wants to play her new favorite game, "I run away and you chase me Pikachu. And you're not allowed to take a break until I go night night". At the end of the vid you can hear her yell, "Peekyu" because she can't say, Pikachu. I'm tired, today's my only day off, it's 118 degrees in this costume and Hobbs keep trying to p*ss on my leg. And I luv every minute of it. Bring it on. It's what daddy's do. Happy Easter to you guys and enjoy your families. #Rockachu #DaddyPuttinInWork #TheGameThatNeverEnds #PikachuLooksBloated

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Mashups and Supercuts

  • Riz Ahmed and James Corden had a rap battle:

 

  • A Rick and Morty mod for Grand Theft Auto V:

 

  • A heavy metal cover of “Dancing Queen”:

 

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 takes on Stranger Things:

 

  • The Force Awakens mashed up with The Last Jedi:

 

  • Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon take their feud to the not so friendly skies:

 

  • Classic love and heartbreak songs as Stephen King novels:

 

  • La La Land mashed up with lots of songs:

 

  • Doug Funnie sings “Throw Some D’s”:

Heather Watches the 2016 Grammys

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I was solely in this for Hamilton.

I normally have little to no interest in the Grammys. Part of it is just sheer awards show fatigue; there are just so many awards show this time of year, including the granddaddy of them all, the Oscars, so it’s easy to get burnt out on watching people thanking their managers. It doesn’t help that I’m just not as into music as I am into movies and television. I of course enjoy music, but the who wins the Grammys means very little to me. I like who I like and I don’t get too bent out of shape if the artists I dig fail to get formal recognition for their work. Plus the Grammys are a very performance heavy ceremony that sporadically gives out awards, and usually the performers are either people that I’ve seen perform many times or people I’ve never heard of. So there isn’t much incentive for me to tune in.

This year, however, the Grammys were going to feature a live performance by the cast of Hamilton, which was enough to lure me in. Sure, I’ve seen Hamilton already (and will be going to see it again later this year), but I love this musical so much that I could watch the talented cast perform 1000 times and I wouldn’t tire of it. The Grammys new what they were doing – since it’s basically impossible to get tickets to the show (unless you are me 🙂 ), there was a very high chance that people would tune in to see what all the hubbub is about. Most years, the best musical theater album isn’t even given out during telecast, so this was clearly a calculated attempt to cash in on Hamilton‘s popularity. It totally worked, since here I am, giving up my Monday evening for an awards show I normally would have skipped. So well played Grammys. Well played.

8 pm – Wasting no time by kicking things off with Taylor Swift. Is she doing a song from Into the Woods? That’s what the set looks like. (Watch her performance here).

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Recording artist Taylor Swift performs onstage during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/WireImage)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/WireImage)

8 pm – Oh wait….this song is called “Out of the Woods?” This makes more sense. I clearly need to bone up on my T. Swift knowledge.

8:01 – Not a big fan of this outfit she’s wearing. It kind of looks like they forgot to but sequence down the side.

8:02 – It will never happen, but it would be pretty awesome if she somehow took a shot at Kanye during this performance.

8:03 – It appears she has abandoned the extensive choreography, for which we can all be thankful. Dancing is not her strong suit.

8:04 – Kind of weird to show LL Cool J walking in from the control booth.

8:05 – I think he thought that line about the power of music was going to get more applause than it did. The silence was deafening.

8:06 – I don’t really think people were that impressed with Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar last year. Probably best not to bring that up again.

8:09 – Kicking things off with best rap album. Ice Cube and his son are here to present what I assume has to go to Kendrick Lamar.

8:11 – As I expected. To Pimp A Butterfly is an amazing album.

8:12 – Anquan Boldin and Von Miller introduce Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt, which is a little odd but whatever.

carrie

8:14 – This song has kind of been ruined for me by Tim Tebow doing it on Lip Sync Battle.

8:16 – Both Taylor and Carrie are rocking shorter dos. Is it possible that I’m actually on trend?

8:17 – That performance was fine, but boring.

8:23 – Arianna Grande – singing a terrible joke won’t make it better. Go home now.

8:24 – I really like this song by The Weeknd, but I feel like it’s been out forever.

8:25 – I guess they heard me; he abruptly left his box of light to sing a different song.

weeknd

8:30 – So far there have been three performances that have all been unexciting. I think I’ve become spoiled the insanity that is the MTV Music Awards. Someone has to do a more fun or upbeat song soon or I’ll fall asleep.

8:34 – Selene Gomez introducing Ellie Goulding and Andra Day, which means more not very exciting music.

8:37 – Is black and white the color scheme of the evening? I feel like everyone performing has worn this so far.

8:38 – I do dig Andra Day’s barrettes though.

Ellie-Goulding-Andra-Day-Grammys-2016

8:39 – Obligatory shout-out to the troops from Lt. Dan (aka Gary Sinese).

8:40 – Apparently this Cam person did not get the black and white memo – that is a very yellow dress. They’re here present best country album.

8:41 – Justin Timberlake’s pal Chris Stapleton wins (and we’re back to the black motif). I would have gone for Kacey Musgraves, but I’m biased.

8:47 – LL Cool J brings out James Corden to introduce the celebration of  Lionel Richie.

8:47 – Well this is a motley crew to perform: John Legend, Meghan Trainor, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan, and Tyrese. Watch the performance here.

8:48 – I’m hit or miss with John Legend, but he’s doing a great version of “Easy Like Sunday Morning.”

8:50 – Sometime you forget that Demi Lovato can really sing.

demi

8:51 – This song just sounds weird being sung by Luke Bryan. I didn’t even recognize it right away.

8:52 – First time seeing Meghan Trainor as a brunette. I like it. But she needs to stop adding “heys” to this song.

8:53 – Tyrese sings? Did I know this?

8:55 – The man of the hour takes the stage.

8:55 – I wonder if Robin Thicke actually new that woman whose ear he was singing into or if he was just being a creeper.

8:56 – It is weird to see Dave Grohl singing along with “All Night Long,” red solo cup in hand.

sologrohl

8:57 – New life goal – to have my name and face lit up on a stage.

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9:02 – Honorary Grammy board chair, Ryan Seacrest? Doesn’t he do enough already?

9:03 – Little Big Town to perform “Girl Crush” which was of course a song embraced by the country music industry *sarcasm* (and which isn’t even about what people assumed it was about).

little big

9:04 – This is a cool arrangement with the orchestra, but this isn’t all that electrifying either. So far Lionel Richie has been bringing the enthusiasm. That’s not a good thing.

9:07 – Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix pay tribute to from Maurice White from Earth, Wind and Fire. Watch the performance here.

9:08 – Are the members of Pentatonix always the same? Because the girl looks different from who I’ve seen perform previously. Maybe it’s the hair.

9:09 – Now Pentatonix introduce Song of the Year, presumably the Kendrick Lamar/Taylor Swift showdown.

9:11 – Stevie Wonder teases that he’s the only one who can read the winner because it’s in braille.

Braille

9:12 – Moderate surprising – Ed Sheeran wins. Less surprising, they have shown more reaction shots of Taylor Swift than of Ed Sheeran.

9:13 – Someone messed up there. First they cut that poor lady off and then they cut off the video introduction. Stevie Wonder must have taken up too much time with his jokes.

9:14 – The Eagles and Jackson Browne pay tribute to Glenn Frey. This isn’t going to be high energy either. Watch the performance here.

9:22 – Anna Kendrick introduces Tori Kelly and James Bay (both wearing black and playing acoustic guitar). I will go back to my coma.

9:28 – THANK GOODNESS…..finally Hamilton!!

02-grammys

9:38 – Don Cheadle to introduce Kendrick Lamar, who I guarantee will do something interesting. Watch his performance here.

9:40 – Coming out in shackles? Yup, that will liven things up.

9:41 – The stage is literally flames for Kendrick Lamar.

03-grammys

9:42 – Finally – someone with some energy and something to say. Loved it!

9:47 – Seth MacFarland to give out the Hamilton award (officially known as the best musical theater album).

9:47 – Lin-Manuel Miranda knows how to give an acceptance speech!

 

9:53 – Miguel performs. We’re back to the snoozefest.

9:54 – Wait – why is there a video of Michael Jackson in the background?

9:55 – Oh – that was a Michael Jackson song. Shows how much I know.

9:56 – Tepid applause for mention of Spike Lee.

9:56 – Best Rock Performance – here’s to hoping for the Foo Fighters, though I actually like everyone in this category.

9:57 – Eh – Alabama Shakes wins. Can’t really argue with that.

9:58 – Bruno Mars introduces Adele. That seem about right.

9:58 – I’m intrigued that Bruno Mars and Adele area pals. Like, what does that friendship look like?

9:59 – WHAT? You cannot screw up the sound during Adele. Someone should get fired immediately! (Watch her performance here)

04-grammys

10:04 – All hail Queen Adele. Is it September yet? I cannot wait to see her live.

10:10 – Kaley Cuoco here to introduce Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo. Watch the performance here.

10:11 – Bieber can play guitar?

justin-bieber-zoom-44e3256e-f663-4eab-92fb-86fb5bfb480c

10:12 – Man, it kills me to admit this, but I like Bieber’s new album.

10:16 – LL Cool J is back. We haven’t seen him in a while.

10:17 – Sam Smith to present Best New Artist.

10:18 – And the Grammy goes to….Meghan Trainor, which isn’t super surprising.

10:19 – Probably the most emotional speech of the night, which isn’t saying too much.

10:25 – Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie. This should be interesting. Watch the whole performance here.

Bowie

10:26 – She has certainly committed to the Bowie look.

Bowie2

10:28 – I’m honestly surprised that there haven’t been more costume changes.

10:30 – And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you do a freaking tribute to Bowie.

10:35 – I just realized this foolishness goes until 11:30. Sorry Grammys – at this point, you’ve blown your best material.

10:37 – No offense to the great Bonnie Raitt. Always glad to see her on my TV screen.

10:38 – It seems like so long ago that B.B. King passed away.

10:39 – Raitt is joined on stage by Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr. Watch the performance here.

10:42 – Fitting tribute to a music legend.

10:50 – An Alabama Shakes performance is always a good thing. Watch it here.

alabama

10:54 – Everyone’s favorite rock star, Dave Grohl, is here to pay tribute to Lemmy and introduce The Hollywood Vampires, a band that has great potential to be either amazing or a train wreck.

10:56 – This camera work is making me dizzy. Is Johnny Depp even out there? (Watch the performance here)

10:57 – Oh there he is! He looks like Captain Jack Sparrow joined a band.

JD

11:07 – This kid is 12 years old and playing at the Grammys. Kind of makes you feel like you aren’t living up to your full potential.

11:11 – That was a weird transition from the business of the music industry to the In Memorium segment.

11:12 – They didn’t save David Bowie or Glenn Frey for the final person. That’s surprising.

11:14 – Ah – Natalie Cole gets the power position. I guess that makes sense since they didn’t do a tribute to her during the broadcast.

11:19 – At this point, I’m only still here because they promised me a Beyoncé appearance.

11:20 – Members of Earth, Wind and Fire to present album of the year.

11:21 – Taylor Swift wins. Can’t say I’m surprised by that, but her dress is not what I expected her to be wearing.

11:22 – Oh snap! She’s calling out Kanye! That was a boring version of this:

vma-gif-recap-nicki-minaj-vs-miley-cyrus-3-1454607980

11:24 – Bow down – it’s Queen Bey to present Record of the Year.

Beyonce-Grammys-2016

11:25 – How in the hell is “Uptown Funk” still eligible? That’s been out for YEARS. Like shouldn’t that have won last year? I do not understand the Grammy timeline.

11:26 – I can’t believe they opted to cut off Bruno Mars for Pitbull. Watch the performance here.

11:27 – This song will be all the rage in zumba in a few weeks.

11:28 – Wait – that really is Sofia Vergara. She should be home with Joe, not participating in this foolishness.

sofia-vergara-main-1f063186-83f6-449d-a6fa-a4faa55d3703

11:29 – I don’t know that the addition of Robin Thicke and Travis Barker makes this performance legendary. Nice try, Pitbull.

11:30 – They are running the credits over this performance. I wonder if they’ll cut away from it in progress. That would be something.

11:31 – Hot damn! That’s finally over!!

 

Man… that was a snoozefest. There were a few standout performances – Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Adele – but overall this was a very low energy Grammy award ceremony. It was way too long and since the overall mood of the show was kind of low key, it only made the whole thing feel even longer. I much prefer the train wreck that is the MTV music awards; it may be messy, but at least it was memorable. There was very little reason to tune into the Grammys. It definitely wasn’t worth me being tired this morning. I’m curious to see if/when Kanye refers to Taylor Swift in their reignited feud, but otherwise the 2016 Grammys were fairly forgettable. At least Hamilton was great; if that had led off the show, I might not have watched the whole ceremony.

Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar (Yeezus Tour) – Madison Square Garden (New York, New York), 11/23/13

Well…that concert was actually a lot less crazy than I thought it would be. Either I’m starting to understand how Kanye’s mind works or I had such a contact high that logic and reason became more fungible concepts.

I first became fascinated with Kanye West the person back in 2005; while I was already very familiar with Kanye West the artist from his fantastic debut album The College Dropout, I didn’t know much about the man behind it until he popped up on the Hurricane Katrina relief concert to announce that President George W. Bush didn’t care about Black people (Mike Myers super uncomfortable reaction through this whole speech is priceless):

This was the moment that I realized that Kanye was going to provide us with years of entertainment, not only on stage but off; here’s a dude that was going to say whatever he thought, whenever he thought with little care about what other people thought of him. This frequently extends to him talking about how talented and great he is, which isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world but makes people uncomfortable about his apparent lack of hubris. I mean, the guy’s latest album is named Yeezus and contains the song “I am a God.” To paraphrase the great philosopher Terrell Owens, Kanye clearly loves himself some Kanye. Half the fun of Kanye is that you never know what exactly is going to get him on his soapbox; his recent beef with Jimmy Kimmel was unexpected and seemingly came out of nowhere. You can call Mr. West a lot of things, but boring isn’t one of them.

His unpredictability and his confidence in himself as an artist is one of the reasons that I wanted to go see him perform. I was honestly very curious to see what he had up his sleeve and his vision for his first tour in five years. I’ll admit that I had my doubts about how Kanye would be as a live performer – I hadn’t necessarily been impressed with some of his award show performances – but I knew that there would be such a spectacle involved that it would be entertaining regardless. The tour might be tremendously awesome or a train wreck, but either way I wanted to witness it first-hand. I was leaning toward the former rather than the latter, since what people forget is that Kanye isn’t completely delusional. The man is in fact ridiculously talented and extremely innovative. It’s a shame that his personal life and personality have somehow obstructed that; he’s really doing some creative stuff and it’s no surprise that his music is routinely used to score trailers for motion pictures. He is constantly reinventing his sound and you never know what direction he’ll go in next or what will inspire him (Yeezus was reportedly influenced by a Le Corbusier lamp).

tumblr_mlgz21PlwI1qi3ovxo1_500

Whatever the Yeezus show was going to be, it was most likely going to be something unlike anything that I’d seen before.

As I boarded Amtrak for my pilgrimage to MSG, I wondered what exactly I had signed myself up for. I had heard bits and pieces about his show from earlier stops on the tour, but I had really tried to avoid knowing too much going in so as not to ruin the surprise. I was extremely curious what the composition of the crowd would look like; multiple people asked me if I was nervous to be going to this concert – which I wasn’t – but I had no real idea of what the fan base for Kanye would look like. My instincts told me white 18-25 year olds, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to find a much more diverse crowd awaiting me. Turns out that my hunch was right as to the audience demographic; at 37 years old, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I knew that the show would lean heavily on the material from Yeezus – this was after all a tour in support of that album – which raised a whole other set of questions. Yeezus is a great album, but it is a very dark and raw album. It isn’t an easy listen; if your primary reference for Kanye is his song “Gold Digger,” Yeezus would be a shock to you. I wasn’t sure what kind of show you could build around such a punishing collection of songs that wouldn’t be extremely depressing.

Things got a little weird from the get-go when we were handed rain ponchos as we entered the arena. What could this possibly mean? What is Kanye up to? It speaks to the man’s creativity that you could have told me just about anything and I would have believed it. Sadly, it turned out to just be a publicity thing and wasn’t related to the show, but it still set the mood for the evening.

Kanye also has an interesting collection of merchandise for sale at the concert; there is a lot of Native American imagery as well as several items that sport the Confederate flag. I hadn’t been planning on buying a concert T-shirt, but this pretty much solidified the deal. I don’t know that I would be comfortable wearing any of that stuff.

Kanye-West-Yeezus-Tour-21

2013-11-23 19.16.24

Kendrick Lamar kicked things off promptly at 8 pm and did a very impressive 45 minute set. I knew of Kendrick and I’m sure that I have his music on my iPod, but I was admittedly not as familiar with his body of work. His song selection relied heavily on his 2012 album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, which will definitely now move its way up in my rotation. He really was as good as I had heard he was and I thoroughly enjoyed him. I’d kind of looked past him while focusing on Kanye, but Kendrick held his own with the crowd. If you aren’t familiar with him, he’s worth checking out.

I was sitting on the second tier of MSG and the seats were further away from the action than I would have liked. My view of the giant video screen that derailed the beginning of the tour when it needed repair was obscured by some sort of catwalk seating at MSG. During Lamar’s set, behind him was a giant structure that was covered by a black sheet. As the crew broke down the state to reconfigure it for Kanye’s set, the sheet was removed to reveal a giant white mountain:

2013-11-23 21.53.37

Yup. Shit just got real.

The Yeezus show is broken into five parts: Fighting, Rising, Falling, Searching and Finding. Each section of the show begins with a definition of the word displayed up on one of the many screens throughout the arena. After the definition of Fighting was projected, a group of women slowly walked out on to the stage, wearing white flowing robes and their faces obscured with a pantyhose like covering.

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They made their way to the triangle shaped main stage, while a beam of light shone down on the empty tip of the stage.

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The arena faded completely to black and then out came Kanye, clad in a mask that looked something like what a Mexican wrestler would wear.

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He launched into his first song “On Sight” and the arena exploded. I consider myself a Kanye fan, but these kids were disciples. They knew every single word of every single song and screamed them out with the same angst and rawness of Kanye. There were actually parts of the show where it was difficult to hear him over the fans rapping along; it was amazing to watch the quiet arena transform into pure energy as soon as he took the stage. Everyone was jumping around and gesticulating and I suddenly felt very old and out of place. I probably should have studied up before the show and given Yeezus a few more listens.

The women disappeared for a little while and Kanye was on his own on stage. He threw himself into his set list, throwing in some dancing where appropriate. The stage was built something like a wrestling ring and bounced up and down with him as he jumped up and down. It was kind of like watching a show on a low rider. The place stayed pretty crazy during the duration of the show, but it went especially nuts when he did “New Slaves.” This song featured a call and response portion, where Kanye would say the lyric “there are leaders” and the crowd would respond by yelling “and there are followers.” Kind of reinforced the whole cult-y feel to the evening, but the crowd was enthusiastic to accept their subservient role. I was just happy that I actually knew the words to this song well enough to participate.

Kanye disappeared too when the show transitioned to the Rising portion of the program. He reappeared on top of the mountain (obviously) with a totally different mask on. This time it was black jeweled mask.

photo from consequences of sound

photo from consequences of sound

photo from yahoo music

photo from yahoo music

Kanye slowly worked his way down the mountain and back to the main stage where he was rejoined by his Greek chorus of women, who had noticeably shed their white robes in favor of flesh colored body stockings.

photo from hiphopwired.com

photo from hiphopwired.com

The women then picked him up and held him in the air, one of the many overtly religious co-options of the evening.

photo from thisismax.net

photo from thisismax.net

The stage then rose up into the air, with Kanye performing on the very edge. It reminded me of Simba being presented to the herd in The Lion King.

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Things slowed down a bit as Kanye briefly addressed the crowd to talk about how his song “Coldest Winter” was written after his mother passed away. It was the most vulnerable that I’ve ever seen Kanye and as he performed the song he lay on the edge of the cliff of the stage. It was rather dramatic, but it felt authentic and the emotions were real. Plus Kanye made it snow inside the arena during this song. Is there nothing that this man cannot do?

photo from entertainmentwise.com

photo from entertainmentwise.com

We then entered the Falling portion of the evening, where Kanye sat on a chair made out of the women.

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The women also formed a circle around Kanye as he performed laying on the stage:

photo from entertainmentwise.com

photo from entertainmentwise.com

This also marked the introduction of some sort of monster, who appeared on the main stage and the retreated to hang out on the mountain. The presence of this creature was never addressed and it just kind of hung out, with laser red eyes ominously alerting his presence. It was weird, but at this point in the show it seemed to be the most normal thing going on. I actually would have liked to see more of the guy.

photo from kanyetothe.com

photo from kanyetothe.com

The giant mountain behind him was transformed into a volcano – I suppose to show his anger and angst or his descent into something – though it was done with lighting and not actual lava (bummer). It was a very cool visual in a night of very cool visuals. It seemed to me that Kanye was wearing the same mask that he wore for the Rising set, but I could be mistaken on that.

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The beginning of the Searching portion of the show was kicked off with the mountain – now no longer a volcano- splitting open in a sea of white light. The women returned, once again clad in their robes, and performed something pretty close to a mass. They had candles and a giant cross: I found it ironic that the closest that I’ve come to going to church has been going to concerts. Performers have really been doubling down on the religious imagery.

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Kanye reemerged with yet another mask; this time a brighter white jeweled mask. I knew about the masks going in, but the fact that he wore them for pretty much the entire 2.5 hour set seemed to annoy some in the audience. The guy sitting next to me occasionally yelled out “Take of your mask” in between enthusiastically and drunkenly making out with his girlfriend. Yup – they were super fun to be sitting next to all evening.

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Kanye hadn’t really spoken all that much to us during the show – he let the music speak for him – but it isn’t a Kanye show unless he goes off on some sort of rant. This is planned of course, but I’m guessing that he thinks of it as the sermon portion of the evening. It was kind of hard to really understand him from where our seats; I don’t think it was the mask’s fault but rather a common problem with the sound system at concerts. I find it difficult to clearly understand the performer when they are speaking at most shows, so this really wasn’t anything different. It appears Kanye was super annoyed at Yves Saint Laurent’s creative director Hedi Slimane. You know – something totally relatable. He was also ticked off at Nike:

This, unfortunately, was the last part of the concert that I got to see. The last train back to Albany was leaving at 11:35, which I thought would be enough time, but with Kanye not taking the stage until 9:40 and doing a 2.5 hour set, that wasn’t meant to be. Sadly, Amtrak doesn’t run on Yeezus time. I had expected to miss some of the show, but I was a little bummed that I missed what happened right after he completed his rant. After he said his peace, a special guest star made an appearance – none other than Jesus himself:

photo from NY Daily News

photo from NY Daily News

Kanye addresses him as “White Jesus.” Classic. This led into “Jesus Walks,” which I was disappointed to have not seen performed live.

I also missed Kanye finally taking his mask off; it is kind of funny that I sat through a Kanye show and never actually saw Kanye. I’m ultimately OK with it – I know what the dude looks like and I have absolutely no doubt that it was Kanye up on stage (I heard some conspiracy talk as I left the arena). In some ways, seeing that show was in fact seeing Kanye, even if I never saw his face. That concert was a pretty perfect representation of who he is and how he sees the world.

Even though I had to take off before the show wrapped up, I had a really fabulous time. The Yeezus show weirdly made sense to me and I think I pretty much got what Kanye was trying to say. It was really more of a performance art piece than a traditional concert; in a lot of ways it reminded me of the Madonna concert that I went to last summer (a comparison that I’m sure neither Kanye nor Madonna would be entirely happy with). Anyone can get on a stage and sing one of their songs; it was clear that Kanye put a lot of thought into this show and what exactly he wanted to say. For the most part, everyone in the audience seemed to be totally on the same page as him. As his “rant” continued, I could sense people losing interest. However, it wouldn’t be Kanye unless he spoke his mind.

I am so glad that I got to experience the show for myself and see what it was all about. It certainly wasn’t boring, but it wasn’t all just spectacle. Kanye really put on a show and has a true presence when he is out on stage. I’m sure that some people will find the show too self-indulgent, but I thought that it was more entertaining than most of the shows that I go to. It’s not a concert that I am soon to forget. It really is a show that has to be seen in person to be believed and though I didn’t get to see the last part of the show, it was still a memorable experience.

The Yeezus tour continues through December 23rd.