The Kanye West concert was too short-lived. That was my first reaction when the €œGlow in the Dark event was finished after about four-and-a-half hours. What happened to Lupe Fiasco? Sure, the tickets said the event started at 7 p.m. but this is Miami, no one arrives anywhere on time, much less to a hip hop event in parking-drama Downtown Miami. These excuses aside, a thirty-minute opening set for Lupe Fiasco was a slap to the face; honestly he was one of main factors contributing to my attending the concert. Lupe did do his thin for the fifteen minutes that I was able to catch anyway. Matthew Santos shared the stage, taking care of the R&B hooks including international hit, “Superstar.”
N.E.R.D. was next and Pharrell made sure to keep the crowd hype, letting everyone know he now called Miami home. The set was filled with live band music, heavy on the guitar solos and drums. The single “Lap Dance” definitely got love from the Miami crowd; we do love our dancers. There was an added surprise when Chris Brown popped out acting as lead dancer for the latest N.E.R.D. song, “Spaz out.”
I’m not too sure if the crowd noticed though, or maybe they didn’t care because there wasn’t extra cheering with the Brown cameo. Maybe everyone just assumed he’d be there with all the rumors circulating about him and the next performer to hit the stage at the Kanye-headlined event, Rihanna. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised when she switched between songs from her latest album as well as her debut CD. The Bahamas native even showed a little Caribbean love with her own version of Sim simma, who got the keys to my bema. She was at home on the stage and you could definitely see that (and no Chris Brown did not come out for a duo). Of course, she closed out with her breakout hit, “Umbrella.”
Timbaland had his own cameo, keeping the crowd cheering while the stage was set up for main act and protÃ©gÃ© Kanye. The arena DJ played radio favorites by Timb, including “The Way I Are.”Dressed in all white, he posed for pictures and sang along with the crowd.
Finally it was time though and a spaceship backdrop, christened”ane shared the stage with Kanye as he tried his acting skills as the greatest artist landing on a strange planet. I admit I do say this with a little sarcasm, but Kanye West really did not disappoint. He performed new favorites like “Stronger”and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” He also took it back to “Through The Wire,” and “All Falls Down.” He also performed some of my personal favorites, including “Wonder” and “Spaceship,” not to mention the heartfelt dedication to his late mother. It was just Kanye and his lady Jane until the end. Impatient concert-goers started walking out when the lights dimmed, but Kanye kept the party going, ultimately bringing Lupe Fiasco (yay!) out for a performance of “Touch The Sky.”
The concert ended on a positive note, with Kanye encouraging everyone to follow their dreams and ignore the naysayers. He also spoke about hip hop, telling fans to not allow it to be pigeonholed into any category or limited expectation. The concert theme came to a head, glow in the dark, stand out in the crowd”and don’t be afraid to be original. In Kanye’s own words, everything he’s not has made him everything that he is. This was a concert with a lineup of artists bringing a different look and sound to the music game.
= Yahnilet Colon