Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Tour Of The Summer.

"The Biggest Star In The Universe"

Those words, uttered by a plastic Takashi Murakami inspired female "shooting star", rang true in reference to the front man of the Glow In The Dark Tour, Mr. Kanye West. The highly anticipated tour ran through Atlanta Sunday night at the Gwinnet Arena and became home, if only for one night, to Kanye and his spaceship, Jane. After crashing somewhere in the galaxy, Kanye, with the help of "Jane", took the crowd on a literal non-stop (Kanye did a seamless, non-interrupted 90 minute set) ride of countless hit songs. Opening the show, with "Good Morning" and transitioning in to the "stadium status" smash single, "Stronger", 'Ye delivered a rousing performance on the level of a Broadway play or Las Vegas show, a la Cirque Du Soleil. From the stage length LCD screen to the actual design and automation of the "spaceship", it was clear that Kanye and his creative team wanted to create an experience unlike anything seen in the music community. Speaking of music, the band for the evening played at a stellar level, utilizing Congo drums and a "Roger & Zapp" vocoder throughout the show. "Flashing Lights" with it's descending glow in the dark lanterns and "Can't Tell Me Nothin" with it's immense crowd participation, were the standout performances in West's set. West closed the show by speaking directly to the audience about his critics and how this entire tour process has been a labor of love that has aided his grieving process in regards to his mother, the late Dr. Donda West. He called this tour a gift to his fans. A true gift indeed.

Opening the show, Lupe Fiasco ignited the capacity crowd with a set that included hit single, "Superstar" and "Little Weapon". He was outfitted in all red, as was the rest of his "1st & 15th" crew. Vocalist Sarah Green gave a great backing to Lupe's conscious-cult hits. Lupe was seen again later in the night joining Kanye for "Touch the Sky", where Lupe took a fall on the stage, but recovered quickly. Next up was the proverbial rock-star, Pharrell. Sans his N.E.R.D. crew, Pharrell rocked out with the aide of StarTrak rapper, Fam-Lay. Pharrell brought the Gwinnett arena to it's feet with a new song, "Spaz", from the forthcoming N.E.R.D. album, Seeing Sounds, with the help of a celebrity mosh-pit that included Bow Wow, Chris Brown, Fabolous and Musiq Soulchild. Last but not least, Rhianna hit the stage, giving the ladies the best of her "Good Girl Gone Bad" swag. In a skin-tight leather get-up, Rhianna opened with fan-favorite, "Breaking Dishes" and quickly ran through a host of hits from her first record, "Music of the Sun." Rhianna performed her ballad, "Unfaithful" in perfect voice and showed she is a unique vocalist in her own right.

GITD was the best concert I have ever witnessed. Hands Down. Thanks Kanye.