5 Crazy Aspects Of The ‘Yeezus’ Tour Only Kanye West Could Pull Off


Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus‘ tour, his first solo outing in five years, kicked off this weekend in Seattle. Almost as soon as doors opened photos began to flood social networks, and now that night one is officially over we’ve sorted through everything to find the 5 things everyone will be talking about in the weeks ahead.

According to reports on Twitter, West played a 27-song, two-hour set in Seattle which encompassed material from his entire discography. Included were the live debuts of Yeezus tracks “Hold My Liquor,” “I’m In It,” and “Guilt Trip,” in addition to “Street Lights” from 808s and Heartbreak. There will be footage from the show a little later in this post.

You probably saw mentions on social networks about various aspects of Kanye’s show and set design. We sorted through all the imagery and video we could find to highlight the 5 big talking points for those who’d rather not waste an hour on shaky YouTube clips and blurry Instagram shots. You can view our selections below:

1. Kanye West knows Jesus


Okay, that is not exactly true. Anyone who has listened to Yeezus knows there is a moment on the album when Kanye actually speaks to christ (“I just talked to Jesus, he said what up Yeezus“) and last night the Chicago native brought a lookalike on stage in the middle of his set just before breaking into “Jesus Walks.” The impersonator came out to visit West, and in the conversation that followed he asked Kanye to help him wake the dead. Kanye fell to his knees, and the track’s vocal sample we all know by heart followed shortly thereafter. If any part of this tour is going to piss off conservatives, it’s this moment right here.

2. Kanye’s merchandise features the Confederate flag


One of the biggest recurring themes on Yeezus is race, so I guess it was only a matter of time before Kanye began his effort to take down the symbolism associated with the confederate flag. For years the flag has been seen as a symbol for those clinging to “the way things used to be,” but now West seems determine to challenge people’s pre-conceived notions of what the symbol of the confederate flag means. West has not commented on the merch himself, but his creative director, Virgil Abloh, called the items “a collection of thoughts.” Whether or not those thoughts will be explained, however, is anyone’s guess.

3. Kanye spends a portion of the show on top of a mountain

I don’t know what your definition of minimalist is, but I don’t know that standing on a 30+ foot tall mountain in the middle of a packed arena counts. Kanye has talked about being on top of the world a lot in recent years, with an equal amount of time spent talking about how cold and lonely such heights can make a person feel. On the Yeezus tour that metaphor is fully realized as West spends a portion of the evening standing triumphantly atop his wintery-looking peak as thousands look up at him in awe. It’s a bit Spinal Tap like, but it’s hard to say it doesn’t look cool.

4. Who needs lights when you have a gigantic video screen?


You probably noticed this in the previous video, but floating above (and somewhat behind) Kanye the entirety of the night lies a MASSIVE video screen. This enormous backdrop projects all sorts of elaborate accompaniment, including animated Kanyes and (as seen in the Jesus video from #1) even Heaven itself. The design is a bit different from the pyramid setup Kanye debuted ahead of Yeezus, but I get the impression that the intended effect is largely the same.

5. Masks on Masks on Masks


Ever since Kanye began teasing his return to solo performances in 2012, there has been an ongoing dialogue about his fascination with designer masks. As you can see in the image above, Kanye (and his dancers – who appear sporadically throughout the night) wear masks during the show. Other clips that have surfaced online show West wearing additional facial coverings as the night goes on, but again, no real explanation is given. It’s just “art,” I guess.

The Yeezus tour will be criss-crossing the US over the next month. Prime seats are sold out in most major cities, but there are nosebleed views left pretty much everywhere. If you want to see this madness live, click here for more information.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • HaulixJames

    I’m a little sad I don’t have tickets…yet.