Last night I was in a room filled with people who love Kanye. That’s a very rare occurrence considering everyone “hates Kanye” or at least pretends to.
During his show at the Allstate Arena on Saturday night (and presumably his show at the United Center on Friday) there was nothing but love for the South Side native.
His show wasn’t the typical full-blown production that we’re used to seeing from the man who likes to “outdue” himself and stir up controversy. In fact, it seemed like Kanye didn’t want to really be seen, barely leaving the shadows of his UFO-like ship.
Compared to his other shows, modesty was in full display, despite the fact that Kanye was floating above the crowd in a manner that displayed he was “better.” Personally, I felt like this gave EVERYONE a better view of him and those mosh pits under the stage were fun to watch also.
His entrance however was of Kanye-like proportions. An announcement was made 20 after 9pm that Mr. West would be taking the stage at 9:45, a whole hour and 45 minutes late. Fans didn’t seem to mind because well “it’s a Kanye show ” someone was heard saying.
At precisely 9:43pm, the smoke filled arena lit up in “Yeezy” cheers.
Then it happened – the sound of Kanye’s stage being lifted into the air, followed by an explosive opening performance of “Father Stretch My Hands.”
But despite being titled after his latest album “”The Life of Pablo,” Kanye brought it back to his roots – the old Kanye, the “straight from the go Kanye.”
As fans worshiped the glowing altar that Kanye stood on, he dropped hit after hit including “Jesus Walks,” “Flashing Lights” and “N***as in Paris.” At times, he even gave up trying to sing over the crowd, a crowd of folks who knew ever single “genius” lyric he’s ever rapped.
At a time when racial tensions are high, Kanye was able to do something he even praised himself on – unite races. Race, gender, age, none of it mattered during the hour and a half show. Everyone was there for the love of the music and he referred to it as “one race.” I’d say some haters would be quite surprised that Kanye’s music had such a power to bring people together.
And despite all the recent hoopla in his life surrounding his wife Kim’s attack in Paris (this was his first show after cancelling multiple dates to console her, Kanye never stopped the show to go on one of his famous rants, which could be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. I would lie if I said I wasn’t waiting with my camera ready at the bat to capture his dramatics. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised when he simply delivered what he came to do – entertain his hometown and poke fun of Taylor Swift… in that order.
I always wonder what it’s like for Kanye – the dopest rapper in the world, Yeezus, Mr. Kim Kardashian – to return hometown, where he spent his life believing he would achieve greatness.
If last night was any indication, I think it’s a humbling feeling. “I’m so happy to be home,” Kanye told the crowd that literally lost it anytime he mentioned “Chi city.”
Kanye West came home again last night and it felt good.
And Chicago loves Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye.