REVIEW: Kanye West, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne -
Kanye West 2012 - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

Kanye West 2012 - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

REVIEW: Kanye West, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

by Andrew Tijs on February 2, 2012

in Live,News

Let’s assume that the reason Kanye West’s set at the Big Day Out and his solo shows were identical is because he doesn’t do things by halves.

Kanye West 2012 - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

Kanye West 2012 - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

If the Big Day Out wanted him, they were getting the mid-crowd scissor-lift intro, the twenty dancers, the renaissance back-drop, the set and costume changes, and the three act performance where each section focuses on each indulgence he wallows in: reconciling braggadocio with humility when it comes to his God, reconciling his wounded romanticism with his permanent erections when it comes to women, and his final pledge to himself (and all attending) to better themselves, with a little help from Mama.

If you want a track-by-track, blow-by-blow, skip to the bottom of my BDO review here.

The difference between seeing it from the back of a paddock among thousands who have varying levels of interest and being within spitting distance of the physical manifestation of hip-hop’s most conflicted ego is simple: intimacy. The Big Day Out set was a monumental spectacle for the masses. In this, Yeezy’s final Australian show and one where I was lucky enough to be about six rows from the stage, you could see those pearly whites along with the cartilage-rattling bass.

Even when he was recreating the coldest stories ever told from 808s & Heartbreak (a significant section if only because of elongated confessional mid-Heartless which I really wish I’d timed but I estimate at least 20 minutes),  Kanye was happy. In that rumination, he was recounting the hours of a night he was stood up – his pride battling with his libido – and he was funny.

No doubt Kanye is a titanic douche. He says it himself, which contributes to why his naked ambition to be the new King Of Pop is so fascinating. But he never gets points for how funny he is.

Tonight, he gently ribbed the lighting guy for not being able to give him a strobe during an epilectic verse of ‘Hell Of A Life’. When Rihanna’s ‘Run This Town’ popped up during a brisk medley of hits, he spotted an overexcited balcony punter and cheekily yelped “I love this song, too!” During some stream-of-consciousness piece he made a droll reference to Pitbull. He seemed present.

He grinned and galloped and shrugged when, at the very beginning of the third act after an elaborate set change and swelling Vangelis left him alone on the podium, the very first piano note on ‘Runaway’ was crazily off-key. That note is the whole damn song! Kanye’s perfectionism got a night off. It was the final hurrah and he could be loose.

Not to say it wasn’t a highly choreographed, pretentious exercise is classicist appropriation – stone angels and interpretive dance and plumes of smoke the only visuals that could do justice to his gilded pop.

As he, his musicians (who employed the use of ciggie-and-champagne roadie ninjas during the show) and the hordes of lithe dancers walked out for their deep theatrical bow at the end, they were completely obscured by the output of a hyperactive smoke machine. Did Kanye crack it, dragging them to the front of stage? No. He grinned, looked to his friends, and waited until it dissipated.

West’s obsessively-crafted, grandiose hip-hop moved the masses, but tonight he was content to let fate have its way. Which can be fun sometimes, Ye.



Related Posts

Daft Punk photo by Tim Cashmere, Noise11, photo
Daft Punk Become First French Act To Top Australian Chart

Daft Punk climbs a place from their No.2 debut last week to claim the ARIA Singles Chart crown with the track “Get Lucky”, making them the first French Group to take the honor, plus the track is now Gold (●) in sales.

May 5, 2013
Pink at the Forum Theatre 2012
Pink The Truth About Love Was Australia’s Top Album Of 2012

Pink had the biggest selling album of 2012 in Australia with 'The Truth About Love.

January 8, 2013
Paul Kelly - Image By Damien Loverso, Noise11, Photo
Paul Kelly, Bamboos, Lanie Lane To Perform At 2012 Independent Music Awards

Paul and Dan Kelly, The Bamboos with Tim Rogers, Lanie Lane, and more will perform at the 2012 Jagermeister Independent Music Awards.

September 5, 2012
Nero - Photo By Ros O'Gorman
Parklife Line-up Includes Nero, Presets And Passion Pit

Here is the line-up for Parklife 2012 and it includes The Presets, Nero and Passion Pit as well as Plan B, Tame Impala and Chairlife.

June 19, 2012
Sigur Ros
Beck and Sigur Ros Expected To Appear On Harvest Festival, 2012

Fans of Sigur Ros and Beck fans had better make sure they have some festival money lying around because the second annual Harvest Festival is expected to be announced soon and according to one industry insider, Sigur Ros and Beck going to be on it.

May 30, 2012
Everclear Announce Australian Tour

Portland alt-rockers Everclear return to Australian audiences after 14 years .

May 28, 2012
Flight Of The Conchords
Flight Of The Conchords Add Another Perth Show

Kiwi comic folk duo Flight Of The Conchords book their third stadium show in Perth. Madness.

May 24, 2012