Kanye West “Glow in the Dark” @ Staples Center

Kanye West brought his “Glow in the Dark” tour back to LA this past weekend. This time it was held at the Staples Center. As usual, I was late to the concert and got there in the middle of Lupe Fiasco’s set (this time I really had no excuse seeing that I was right next door attending Erotica LA at the Convention center). Apart from “Superstar” and “Daydreamin” I had no idea of any other songs that Lupe did (discounting his collaboration with Kanye). I really liked his enthusiasm on stage and the crowd responded in kind. When I got there Mathew Santos was on stage with him and they did a couple of songs before launching into “Superstar”. I actually liked what I saw of his set. His voice/sound was clear and there wasn’t a commotion on stage with him. This was in contrast to the act that followed him, NERD. They came out with a lot of energy, I have to give them that, but I couldn’t hear them clearly. “Lapdance” is one of my favorite songs but if Saturday was the first time I was hearing it, I would hate it. On a couple of occasions there were at least 20 people on stage with them just jumping around. After a while, all I was watching were a couple of inaudible guys jumping up on stage with a bunch of people. During their set I actually got more interested in watching the creepy usher in our section trying to kick people out for taking pictures.

Then came Rihanna, and this is where I lose all objectivity. Her set started out average, but then she started doing the “Bogle” dance. I had completely forgotten that she was from the Islands as well. After she did a version of Beenie Man’s “Who am I” (one of my all-time favorite dancehall tunes), she could do no wrong in my eyes for the rest of the set. Even though “Please Don’t stop the Music” was lacking in energy, I was still alright with her. During her ballads, I was wondering who or what is to blame for the horrendous sound at Staples that night. Is it the general acoustics at Staples? The only other concert I have been to at Staples was Linkin Park, and I remember they sounded much better than the show tonight did. But I enjoyed her set, and while Lupe may have been the better performer that night, I still give second place to Rihanna because she got my mind of that creepy usher.

Next up was a very very very long set change. If I had realized it was going to be this long, I would have driven back to West LA to get some decent food instead of getting the fast food at Staples. And the creepy usher is back and he looks pissed as hell while he is scanning the crowd.

Kanye was introduced in the usual fanfare of smoke and loud sound effects. I was just interested to see the “Spaceship” I have been hearing so much about and what took so long for them to build on stage. At first, I didn’t know what to make of the fact that Kanye had the stage all to himself with no visible band (they were below the platform that Kanye was performing on) or back up singers. All we saw from our vantage point was Kanye. While his set, which plays out more like a musical, progressed I actually liked the effect. He gave a powerful performance despite the fact that his set was also plagued with sound issues. He really gave his all and was even sweating profusely through his shirt a third of the way through his set. The crowd showed their appreciation by never letting the energy wane for a second. He performed a long set including all his hits. The first Kanye track I ever heard was “Through the Wire” and hearing it live reaffirmed why I instantly became a fan. I almost lost my voice singing along to the extended version of “Good Life”. During “Hey Mama” I paid tribute to my own mom who died nearly seven years ago. I thought it was a stroke of genius how he incorporated Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” into his set. Being Kanye, he of course took time out to tell the crowd how he will be greater than John Lennon, U2 etc. someday. And after that show I think he may have made me a believer.

Rihanna performing “Take A Bow” - Glow in the Dark Tour, Los Angeles



4 responses to “Kanye West “Glow in the Dark” @ Staples Center”

  1. Salsa @ Erotica L.A.? | Jamaican Salsero in L.A.

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