Written by Patricia Arias, Staff Writer
On a warm Friday night in September, Kanye West performed one of his most iconic albums to its entirety at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. He revisited the 2008 pre-Yeezus LP, 808’s and Heartbreak, for one of the few times in his career.
This album was the start to his new sound. Playing with auto-tune, tribal drums, and pitch correcting software, this sound can be found in many of today’s music. Then criticized for his provocative music videos depicting anti-racism images and eccentric beats, much of what is now the trending topic and musical styles of many celebrated artists today, Mr. West was many years ahead of his time.
His performance began at 9 pm with the song “Love Lockdown.” A female conducted orchestra and well-timed fireworks added excitement to an already much-anticipated opening performance. The orchestra, along with dancers and other performers, were all dressed in white tunics to add to the white stage set-up. Broadway-like stage direction opened up to a wall of African-American men dressed in white pants and covered in white powder. Another visual performance was that of Zoë Kravitz who took the stage in gold face paint and a white see-through cape and gazed out into the crowd while West performed.
Guest appearances from the album, which includes four features such as, Kid Cudi (singing backup in “Welcome To Heartbreak”), Young Jeezy (adding a verse to “Amazing”), Mr. Hudson (contributing choir-like vocals to “Paranoid”) and Lil Wayne (featured on “See You in My Nightmares”), included three out of the four with Wayne not making an appearance. Kid Cudi also accompanied West in “Heartless” by singing the chorus.
Some technical difficulties were experienced when the track to “Amazing” was ahead of Kanye’s own microphone. Another problem arose when Jeezy’s microphone was switched off during parts of “Amazing.” Kanye, already frustrated, asked to keep the piano alone and sang alongside it until the end. He then apologized by saying, “This is one of the best dress rehearsals…so please excuse…”
The rest of the night ran smoothly while the crowd sang and rapped alongside West to his 2008 classics.