October 25, 2016
Forum- Los Angeles, CA
When the Saint Pablo tour hit Los Angeles, fans wrapped the building hours before, buying merchandise from the parking lot. Originally with five shows announced for Los Angeles, a sixth show had recently been added due to the high demand for more Yeezus, AKA Kanye West.
No opening act warmed the crowd up, and there was no need. Kanye West kicked off his first night at the Forum starting at one end of the pit and ‘floating’, on a stage suspended over the fans, all the way to the other end during his opening track, Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1. He would remain on the stage for the entire 31 song set, and only his silhouette would be seen for much of the night. The screens surrounding the pit, intentionally blurred the outline of his figure, giving him a saint-like-look. Orange and red lights below West’s stage shined on the crowd below, giving fans in the seats, a better view of them, than the performer himself.
The night was filled with crowd favorites, both new and old, including Famous, Waves, Power, Stronger and more. West would move around his small stage, jumping around and looking out into the crowd, but after a while, the skit got a bit old and boring. Nonetheless, West was not his usual, self-boasting self. He dedicated a song to Kid Cudi, saying “So Cudi, he in rehab right now, but he got a #1 song on the radio, and I want you to sing so he can hear it.” He also humbly thanked the crowd and crew members, and hoped the concert “lived up to your expectations,” while a single beam of light shined down on him.
Fans of Kanye West proved to be loyal and loving, and would jump up and down, making the pit area seem like a mosh pit at some points of the night. They sang every lyric and screamed when their idol spoke.
One highlight of the night was during West’s earlier hits, Heartless, where the crowd would sing full verses acapella as the singer held out his microphone and admired. Another memorable moment was during Only One where West introduced several musicians at soundboard who finished the song with a hymn, which was reminiscent of a church service. The pace quickly picked back up however, with I Love Kanye which brought smiles to everyone’s faces.
After about two hours, Kanye West ended night 1 at the Forum with the opening track to his Saint Pablo album, Ultralight Beam.
Review by: Nicole Lemberg