Go 'head switch the style up

Glow in the Dark Tour: Kanye West, Rihanna, N*E*R*D, Lupe Fiasco
Tampa Ford Amphitheater
May 5, 2008

First things first.

A bumped-up start time does no favours for Lupe Fiasco, who is on at 6pm and playing to a quarter-filled enormodome. He gives it all he's got, but cutting off the track to let the audience sing choruses doesn't really work in this situation. Still, 'Kick Push', 'Go Go Gadget Flow' and 'I Gotcha' are all stone-cold stormers, and by the time he rounds out with 'Superstar' and 'Daydreamin', everyone's on his side.

Has it really been four years since 'Fly or Die'? Even an appearance from the Madden Brothers couldn't make that album not enjoyable. Now N*E*R*D have a third album due sometime soon, and Pharrell is still wearing the American flag. There are some new songs - one of which is called 'Spaz' - a crowd-surge, and 'Lapdance'. Also, there are two drummers and - ugh - a drum off. The set was tight, the new songs sounded pretty good, 'She Wants to Move' was great, but overall I didn't think they were more than 'pretty good'.

I admit it. I don't own any Rihanna albums. But I wish I did, because her short set - seven or eight songs, one costume change - was really good. No 'Shut Up and Drive', alas, but the rest of the hits. Finished with 'Umbrella', maybe you've heard that one before.

Kanye West made my hands glow. Seriously, at one point my glowstick exploded and my right hand was covered in shiny yellow glowstick juice, which though cool-looking was probably quite toxic, so I had to run to the bathrooms, thereby missing 'All Falls Down'. Straight up, this man is Mr. Main Event (sorry, this guy). Dude puts on a SHOW. With video screens, a talking spaceship, a narrative (!), pyro, a pseudo-cover of 'Don't Stop Believin', did I mention that the talking spaceship flirts with Kanye, some weird lady-things from Jim Henson's studios, a gold belly dancer, this was not just seeing some band play in a smoky bar. Also, he played some songs.

It's been a long time since I've been to a big-scale, outdoors show. I elected to see Kanye instead of Radiohead at the same venue the following night (couldn't afford to go to both). I'm glad I made the choice I did - nothing against Radiohead, but I've seen them before, and doubt they'd have had me dancing like a twat for ninety-five minutes. Somebody give this man a medal.

Good Morning / I Wonder / Heard 'Em Say / Through the Wire / Champion / Get 'Em High / Diamonds from Sierra Leone / Can't Tell Me Nothing / Flashing Lights / Spaceship / All Falls Down / Gold Digger / Good Life / Jesus Walks / Hey Mama / Don’t Stop Believin’ / Stronger / Homecoming / Touch the Sky

[download Kanye West - Champion (live on SNL)]
[download Kanye West - Everything I Am/Freestyle (live on SNL)]

[Kanye West myspace / official]
[Rihanna myspace / official]
[N*E*R*D myspace / official]
[Lupe Fiasco myspace / official]


Jim said...

It would be really funny if you'd gone to see Radiohead and danced like a twat throughout though :)

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