The Brightest Star In The Universe

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 9:47 AM

''We need the brightest star in the universe — you, Kanye! Only you can bring us home. You can glow in the dark!'' – Jane

Concert Review of 'The Glow In The Dark' Tour
Location: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Date: 5.8.08

I’ve never been a huge fan of hip-hop concerts. I mean, I’ve been to my share, but there’s usually nothing really exciting: 16 different guys on stage during one guy’s set and unless you’re in-the-know, you’re probably guessing which one is the actual performer. Beyond that, hip-hop shows in the past (with a few exceptions) have proven to lack the one thing that sells out shows – artistry. The Glow in the Dark Tour, however, challenged that theory: 4 performers, one stage, and thousands of fans. The highlight of the night, Mr. Kanye West, delivered an astounding performance, and while he didn’t make me a fan of hip-hop shows, he definitely made me a fan of the Kanye West show…

Opening the show was Lupe Fiasco. Now when the intro music was cued, I didn’t know whether to expect the cool young Lu, or a half-dressed Spartan named Leonidas. The theme music from 300 melted away for Fiasco’s triumphant entrance, and an energetic performance of The Coolest. With the same swag, he took us to Paris, Tokyo, and then Kick Push’ed us back to the Chi where it all began. At his right hand was vocalist Matthew Santos who assisted as Lupe turned up the heat with their current chart topping duet Superstar, along with Streets on Fire and Fighters. After sparking the crowd, Lupe closed with a rousing electric performance of his Jill Scott collaboration Daydreamin’. It was a performance much better suited for a feature performer instead of an opener.

Next on the bill were the brothers of N.E.R.D. Let me preface this: I don’t own any N.E.R.D. albums, nor have I listened to any in their entirety. However, those brothers can ROCK!! They performed the better known hits Lapdance, and She Wants To Move. Apparently, I was in the minority, as the rest of the crowd sang along to Brain, and some song that asks “Are you ADHD?” Ummmm.… yeah, okay. Only downside was that you couldn’t hear a word they were saying. I know they’re a rock band, but it helps when people can actually hear you along with the music. Try a sound check next time fellas. But hey that on-stage crumping cameo from Chris Brown at least made their new joint Spaz more enjoyable and memorable.

Speaking of Chris Breezy, let’s move on to his woman: the beautiful Rihanna. With her initial engulfed in flashing lights, Rihanna emerges in a neon trimmed, form-fitting outfit to kick off with Breakin’ Dishes, from her latest album Good Girl Gone Bad. She moved the entire arena with some of her previous hits including S.O.S. and Pon De Replay. Ri-ri proved herself to be more than just a studio singer as she belted out her ballads Unfaithful, and a solo rendition of Hate That I Love You. Her set closed with her best smash to date, Umbrella, which indeed led the entire arena to their feet, chanting along every word and every ”ella ella eh eh”. Overall, her performance was great, much better than I expected. Oh, and for the record: I’m officially hating on Chris Brown, this girl is amazingly beautiful.

Harder, better, faster…STRONGER. The guy sitting next to me wondered aloud as to why this show is called the Glow In The Dark Tour. By the end of the night, we all knew the answer – Kanye sets the place on FIRE!!! I’ll try not to spoil too much of this for you but if you’re planning to see the show, stop reading now. He was like a kid onstage living strictly within his own imagination. He performed for 90 minutes straight, with barely any breaks in between. From his elaborate futuristic theme and introduction to his Homecoming ending, Kan-the-Louis-Vuitton-Don kept the entire crowd on their feet. There’s no way you couldn’t feel the energy emanating from Kanye, he was like a supernova on stage! After his talking spaceship crash lands, Mr. West finds himself on a quest to virtually ROCK his way home. Along the way, he took the audience Through The Wire, introduced us to The Good Life, and taught us all how to Touch The Sky with the help of Lupe Fiasco. On Diamonds From Sierra Leone, the audience created a sea of diamonds, as everyone in the place threw up the dynasty sign. He touched hearts and minds with his performances of Jesus Walks and Hey Mama, and you could feel the tears and sadness in Kanye’s voice. The energy reached a max as West moved erratically while performing Stronger bringing the crowd to an ultimate high. As he closed, he reminded the audience that yes, he’s got a big mouth and a big ego. In fact, his ego is so big, there wasn’t room for his background singers or band on stage, they were all down front! You can’t tell him nothing; but I guess when you’re at the top of the charts and selling out arenas, you can do that! After an amazing show like that, he’s bound to set the world on fire, and have us all glowing in the dark.


2 comments and counting...

  1. Kimesha Said,

    Can't wait to go tomorrow!

    Posted on May 9, 2008 at 10:48 AM

  2. Sim-One Said,

    This show was AMAZING!!!! Lupe, N.E.R.D and Kanye...they were on FIRE. Honestly, I think it could have done without Rhianna IMHO..she didn't really add anything. The energy level definitely dropped during her performance, well other than when she did the reaggae peice and when she performed 'umbrella'. Glad that I got to see her perform though but wouldn't go to any of her headliners.

    Posted on May 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM


Post a Comment