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Nearly halfway through his set at the United Center in support of this year's strange and fascinating Yeezus, Kanye West rested atop the tip of the stark white, triangular center stage, which rose off the ground like an acute angle; splayed out on the perch and wearing a black, jewel-encrusted mask that made him look a little like Bane if Bane had a thing for BeDazzling, Kanye belted out the heart-wrenching, Auto-Tune touched hook for 808s & Heartbreak's "Coldest Winter" as fake snow fell to the stage. This was just one of many brief, dazzling moments in Kanye's visually outstanding show.
Here's a quick breakdown of some of what Ye rolled out during the two-plus hours he spent onstage: pyrotechnics and columns of flames reaching for the ceiling; a team of women veiling their faces in nylon and performing the roles of quasi-dancers, actresses, stage props, or, in one case, a chair for Kanye to sit on; a guy dressed up as Jesus; several costume changes, which included four different jeweled masks; a ton of fake fog and a gigantic stage mountain. Kanye spent most of the set rolling out tracks from Yeezus, last year's Good Music Cruel Summer compilation, and bits of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and 808s before rolling out his earlier hits toward the end of the set and ending the night with Yeezus single "Bound 2." Oh, and he spent close to 20 minutes engaging in a (one-sided) conversation with the audience—a rant, if you will—about bringing smiles to people's faces, his fractured relationship with Nike, and his problem with "the media," which ended with West singing in Auto-Tune about how he'll "outsmart the media."
My Reader cohorts Drew Hunt and Brianna Wellen are going to the second and final night of Kanye's local Yeezus shows, and we'll post our discussion of the concerts on the Bleader tomorrow. Until then take a peek at some photos from last night's gig, courtesy of Bobby Talamine.