Music | Story by Zoneil Maharaj

All Praise the Almighty Yeezus

Life Is Beautiful, Downtown Stage, 10:35 p.m. Oct. 24

Photo by Tony Tran | SpyOn Vegas

Photo by Tony Tran | SpyOn Vegas

Thousands gathered at Life Is Beautiful’s Downtown Stage to witness the spectacle and wonderment that is Kanye West. Would he descend upon us like the God he believes himself to be and lift us to the heavens? Would he wig out and say some insane shit for 30 minutes? Or would he just rap his fucking ass off?

To my devoted satisfaction, he did mostly the last, digging through his decadelong catalog of genre-pushing rap classics without too much pretention. It was a surprisingly minimalist setup compared to his recent Yeezus tour—one backup vocalist and a keyboard player off to the side, with one giant LED screen behind him pulsing red and orange hues and projecting the masked rapper in inverted colors. The backdrop made for a jarring experience, but complemented his brash Yeezus bangers, especially opener “Black Skinhead” and his spastic performance of “New Slaves.” He toned it down a bit when going through some of his College Dropout and Late Registration hits—he even removed his mask and let us see his face!

Of course, it’s Kanye, and a rant was to be expected. At the end of “Runaway,” he announced: “This is the part that always gets me in trouble.” I grimaced. Don’t Kanye this moment, Kanye! Instead, he gave us a positive 10-minute speech about wanting to inspire people and how happy he is. “I’m just happy to see my daughter’s first smile and how happy I am to see my beautiful wife.” He even thanked us. “Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives,” he said, before amping up again and closing with two rounds of “Niggas in Paris.” No no, thank you, Kanye. Thank you. ★★★★✩


Black Skinhead
I Don’t Like
Can’t Tell Me Nothing
New Slaves
Run This Town
Diamonds from Sierra Leone
Jesus Walks
All Falls Down
Touch the Sky
All of the Lights
The Good Life
Gold Digger
Bound 2

Blood on the Leaves
Niggas in Paris
Niggas in Paris