GITD finally landed in Miami last night and, after months of anticipation, I finally saw what will go down as the greatest Hip-Hop show ever. Kanye completely raised the bar for all performers. Next time I go to a concert and the MC simply raps over his best tracks, I'll be slightly disappointed. That's the kind of performance I saw last night. It's clear that Kanye is doing everything he can to take the torch that has been vacant ever since Michael Jackson stopped making Michael Jackson-quality music. But I don't fell like his self-imposed comparisons to The King Of Pop aren't entirely accurate. While MJ was the ultimate performer, Yeezy is more than that. He doesn't want to simply put on a memorable performance for his fans, he wants to annihilate every other musician who ever stepped on a stage. That is the chief reason that Kanye West reminds me of Muhammad Ali if Cassius Clay were a musician. Both men are ultimate showmen.
If you are still waiting for The Glow (I'm not going to say the entire thing because I'm trying to save time. Then again, I'm writing two sentences in parentheses so I've pretty much defeated the purpose.), here is a word of advice: get there on time. Most concerts that I've been to start between 45 and 60 minutes after the announced time. Lupe was the opening act and I checked my cell and it read 7:01 when he came on. I bought tickets with Gonzo and he was planning on meeting me there. He arrived at 7:15 and he missed 5 or 6 songs. Here is my first and only quip with the show: Lupe doesn't get nearly enough love. He plays for only 35 minutes and you feel like he could perform for an hour and 35 minutes. His best songs live were Go-Go-Gadget Flow and Daydreamin'. On Gadget, he absolutely kills it for like 45 seconds during his second verse. As far as Daydreamin' is concerned, it was his final song so he let it all hang out. I felt like he was kind of a tease and I was left hoping for more, but I know he has no control over that. Lupe, after the tour is over, will you please come back to the M.I.A. and perform solo? You can bring you're entire 1st and 15th crew and you can crash at my house if you need to. Please!!!
Then, N.E.R.D. jumped on stage and went nuts. If you've ever seen them live, you know what to expect. For the most part, they played tracks off Seeing Sounds (in stores June 10th). The only songs I recognized were Rockstar, She Wants To Move, Everyone Nose, and Spaz. Regardless, their part was nasty and it ended with Pharrell jumping on an alternate stage and throwing up the Vulcan salute and everyone saluting him back. I couldn't help but feel like Pharrell was the leader of a cult, but I guess he kind of is. Think about it: we listen to all his music, drop an ungodly amount of money on his clothes, and basically do whatever he tells us.
Then came the low part of the show in my opinion. Rihanna jumped on stage and "rocked out." I think 'Ye threw her in the lineup to bring some extra mainstream appeal and please the ladies. I looked around and couldn't find one straight guy getting into her performance. Don't get me wrong, she was cute and made me jealous of her "best friend" Chris Brown, but I just couldn't get into it. As I told Gonzo, it was kind of like watching a stripper who could sing. Oh, and at the end of the show, Kanye thanked all his openers and when he thanked Rihanna he added, "and thanks to Chris Brown" before giggling. It was pretty funny and i don't think everyone caught it. The best part of Rihanna's performance was when M.I.A. made a guest appearance and they sang a sped-up version of Paper Planes.
Then we had to wait for The Louie Vuitton Don. Between shows, Timbaland was spotted by the sound boards and everyone rose like he was presiding over a court. The Way I Are played over the speakers and everyone expected Timba to do something, but he just did some pointing which was slightly disappointing.
Now, it was time for Kanye's show. I'm not going to talk to much about it because you have either seen it already or are waiting to see it and I don't want to ruin it for you. All you need to know is it was an extremely theatrical and emotionally-driven performance. He played for about 90 minutes and by the end even I was completely drained, I can;t imagine how he was feeling. I did not take any pictures because I could not bring in my camera and my seats weren't good enough to get a good shot anyway. If you want to see pics, there are plenty of good shots floating around the internet.
If you read Mr. West's blog, you know about his rant against Entertainment Weekly grading his concert as a B+. I think Kanye overreacted and have EW too much power. He can't let one review make him THAT upset. He put his heart and soul into that show and his fans appreciate it. Isn't that all that matters. Oh, and money. I'm sure he's making plenty off this show.