(once upon a time I tried culture reporting, I think I did alright)
Kanye West (especially if you ask Kanye West) has transcended the bounds of a typical recording artist. On any given day he may be wearing/ranting about leather sweatpants, comparing himself to Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph or making nice post-Twitter feud with Jimmy Kimmel. Of course, all these antics are as hilarious as they are insane, but there’s a big difference between watching TMZ and dropping hundreds of dollars on concert tickets. With that in mind, as a public service, I’ve collected a handy list of what to expect if you attend the self-aggrandizing narcissism-fest that the Yeezus tour will inevitably be.
– While your original intention might’ve been to buy upper-bowl tickets at a reasonable price, you’ll splurge on floor seats because you might see Beyonce or Jay-Z or god willing, catch a branded tee. You will not do either.
– You will walk through a sea of people wearing Kanye tees and garments that have no business being made of leather.
– You will briefly feel out of place for not having any of these clothes—this shame will quickly turn to smug superiority.
– You will walk by the merch stand selling concert tees. They will be aburdly designed and priced. (last I went, it was Kanye’s face merged with a cougar).
– You will consider buying one of those shirts for $45. If you do, you’ll probably regret it. If you don’t, you’ll probably regret it. I did not. Do I regret it? Yeah, a bit.
– You will want beer. Your only option will be lukewarm Molson Export at $9/plastic. You’ll buy it anyways and pretend to enjoy it. You will not enjoy it.
– Kanye will not go on at the time it says on the ticket. This is not unique to Kanye; this is how every concert is. It’s a fact of life and you just gotta accept it, OK?
– This is okay however, as Mr. West’s ego has swelled to the point that he will not tolerate an opening act that might draw attention away from his brilliance, so feel free to show up a bit late. I would love to tell you who the opening acts were when I went but for the life of me I cannot remember, surely they were great though.
– There will be some large unnecessary prop as part of the performance. When I went there were 30-foot high platforms in the centre of the floor that eliminated about half of the floor seats. They were used for approximately 4 songs. At your concert they will be just as random, just as token and just as forgettable.
– If you’ve never been to a rap concert, be prepared: the ratio of marijuana smoke to breathable air in the Bell Centre will be approximately 1:1.
– Addendum: many of the people smoking weed will be caught and thrown out by police. This is a great opportunity to eavesdrop on the hysterical pleas of the soon to be removed, which will be both absurd and hilarious. My personal favorites; “Plants can’t be illegal! Facists!” “But I have glaucoma,” and the classic, “Please, put me down—I burned off my eyebrows!”
– Beer will be spilled on you. In my odyssey to the Bell Centre, I had three separate beers spilled on me, not counting the ones spilled by my friends.
– If your fellow concertgoers are kind souls, they will buy you a beer to make up for this affront. Do not count on this or you will just end up like me; covered in warm Export and sad.
– There’s an even better chance that Kanye will abruptly stop the concert at some nonsensical point because he is a delicate genius and that is his prerogative. If you (and the rest of the crowd) simply shout that he’s a revolutionary, that his music moves not only bodies but souls, and that he is the second coming of Christ. This will sufficiently motivate him to continue the show.
– You’ll complain about this, claiming that for the price you paid for your ticket this type of disturbance is unacceptable. This will be a lie, because you just bore witness to the struggle of the artist, and no financial expense of yours could ever outweigh Mr. West’s spiritual expense in performing for us, the under-appreciating masses… Also it will be cool to have been in attendance for something that will be in the news the next day.
– You’ll be judged by the people next to you for not knowing the words to every song. Again, you’ll briefly feel inadequate to your neighbours, followed by a smug sense of superiority for having more going on in your life than the lyrics to Black Skinhead.
– Many unpredictable things will predictably happen. Kanye’s clientele is diverse enough that trying to predict their shenanigans is difficult bordering on impossible. My personal favourites from the Watch The Throne Tour were the half-dressed/fully-grown man passed out in the bathroom, a man wearing an exact replica of Kanye’s stage outfit down to the leather skirt and a man urinating against a wall in the upper bowl so he wouldn’t miss the “Stronger” set.
Maybe this has deterred you from attending a Kanye concert in the future. Maybe this has just made you amped as fuck for the concert on November 14. But still the question remains, why would we spend hundreds of dollars to spend a few hours in this insanity?
Because regardless of how much of a douchebag he is, dude still makes good goddamn music