Event Review: YEEZUS Tour Final Stop - Toronto - December 23
Wrapping up his highly publicized Yeezus tour Kanye West- self proclaimed “#1 rock star on the planet” touched down in Toronto. Kanye killed back-to-back shows while finding time to hang out with Drizzy at the Hoxton and TURN UP (the man was hanging from the ceiling at one point). With Monday night being the final stop of the tour, Kanye did not disappoint. Early reviews described the show as 'A spectacle' and 'An event any fan needs to experience'. I can attest to the fact that those comments were spot on. I've been to a lot of concerts and I can honestly say that Yeezus was truly like no other. From the mountain to the hydraulic stage to the light show to the masks and costumes, you couldn’t help but turn to your friends and say, “this is fucked” while at the same time being mesmerized by the craziness of it all.
In terms of his set list, he did an excellent cross section of his catalogue. Playing almost all the tracks from Yeezus, Kanye started the night off with 'On Sight'. He dropped a number of non-album hits including 'I Don’t Like', 'Mercy', and 'Clique'. All of which had the crowd going nuts. He covered tracks off 808s & Heartbreaks (I don't fucks with them, but other people seemed to enjoy it) and Graduation ('Can't Tell Me Nothing', 'Stronger' and 'Good Life'). A standout was his performance of 'Runaway'. He used a beat machine to recreate the song live on stage, all while wearing an oversized trench coat and mask that looked like it was made of white Chiclets.
Following 'Runaway', Kanye got into one of his infamous rants. Changing his approach from the angry rapid fire style we’ve seen from the earlier shows. Kanye’s tone was quite mellow as Mike Dean softly played the keys as his backdrop. He said that he’s finished being angry, and in 2014 he will be turning over a new leaf (he’s basically done saying fuck Nike). But he still took some time to vent his frustrations at naysayers in the fashion industry and the Grammys:
I don’t think you have the ability to make a T-shirt because you are a musician. And I say, bitch I made a mountain!...fuck the Grammy's for Christmas... with love
He later apologized saying Merry Christmas to the Grammys. The rant went on a bit long but overall it was quite hilarious.
About 2 hours into the show Jesus appeared causing Yeezus to take his mask off for the first time and ask, “White Jesus is that you?” Right there and then 'Jesus Walks' bumped through the speakers and the crowd got electric.
When the crowd thought the show was about to come to a close he decided to drop a track that he “never does on tour”. With 'Forever' blaring, everyone was out of their seats rapping along as Kanye spit his verse. As the chorus played you could see Drake creeping towards the stage, jumping up just in time to rip his verse. Needless to say the crowd exploded. Kanye and Drake exchanged daps before the DJ dropped 'All Me'. Midway through the song Drake stopped to say “this my favourite part of the song” before spitting Big Sean’s entire verse. After Drake exited, Kanye played a few more huge songs including 'All of the lights' with some of the best pyrotechnics I've witnessed. The final song he performed was Bound 2 saying he wanted to go out on a high note with a song that’s about love. Before calling it a night (after 2.5 hours of performing) he reiterated the fact that he’s turning over a new leaf and thanked the Toronto fans for coming out to see him just two nights before Christmas. All in all the show was one hell of an experience and made his claim of being “the #1 rockstar on the planet” seem a lot less outlandish. Oh yeah, Kendrick Lamar performed too. It’s not that his performance wasn’t good (it was) it’s just that Kanye’s mountain casts a pretty big shadow.