So, I was one of the few lucky fans who got the chance to watch Kanye West perform his first show for 2016 after the release of The Life of Pablo. To be honest, at first I thought this concert was a scam because there were literally no traces of the show announced in any of his social media assets. It was only until I think last week that it was confirmed in his website that he was going to Manila – out of all the places in the world to be honest.
After witnessing him live, I now understand why the guy’s so full of himself. Yeezy’s just too good to be true. I haven’t seen anyone who puts so much passion in his work to the point that he sang Famous 3 times in a row because he wasn’t happy with how it turned out. He got so emotional during the performance that he freestyle rap-ranted in the middle of the song, talking about how much he wanted to do his own thing because it was the ethos of being an artist – creating things aligned to your essence and not being told what to do. “So if I get in trouble for saying the truth, what’s being said the rest of the time? And I had to fight every day of my life when the whole world turned against me for saying what I felt. That’s the job of an artist, of a true artist — not to be controlled by their finances, not to be controlled by perception, but only to be controlled by their truth. What you see, what you feel, and say what you f*cking feel!” Everyone was fully supportive and confirming his rants, cheering him on throughout this scene.
His set design was super minimal. It was just a bunch of lights similar to his SNL performance with Sia and Vic Mensa when he first released Wolves. What’s great about this setup is that the whole focus of the crowd was solely on him. There was only one change in the setup when he brought out his synthpads when he sang Runaway.
What I loved most about his performance was he mixed a bunch of his old and new stuff to keep the crowd interested and craving for more. Most of the songs transitioned to the gospel chorus of Ultralight Beam, which was a perfect attention-getter it made you feel like you’re listening some pastor preach the Sunday gospel in church. He opened his set with Stronger, which I believe was the right mood setter as it instantly got the crowd so hyped up everyone was dancing and literally singing their hearts out to every word. Aside from Famous, some tracks he sang from TLoP were Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2, Waves, and some bits of Fade. He actually sang a little bit of everything – Black Skinhead, New Slaves, and the catchy sample from Bound 2 from Yeezus, All Falls Down and Jesus Walks from College Dropout, Gold Digger from Late Registration, All of the Lights and Runaway from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Stronger, Flashing Lights, and Good Life from Graduation, and whole lot more. It was literally a back to back to back to back of his biggest hits. I’m quite surprised he included these past hits in his set list as these are already so far from the new experimental hip hop Yeezy sound he’s been known for the past few albums.
This man is just out of this world. My mind still cannot comprehend that he actually went to this humble 3rd world city. Kudos to the Paradise IMF team for putting up this one helluva show. I’m crossing my fingers now, and hope they bring in Drake and Childish Gambino next.
Yeezy’s next confirmed show will be this 16th of April called the “Yeethoven” – a 70-piece orchestra in collaboration with Yuga Cohler and Stephen Feigenbaum. Either way, stay updated by following him on Songkick. This man is just full of surprises you never know where and when he’s gonna strike next.