Kanye West rocks out X Games crowd Saturday night
By Tony Atkins
Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 8, 2014
Saturday night, Grammy award-winning rap superstar Kanye West took over a packed Austin360 Amphitheater following all of the day’s X Games festivities. Many people waited for hours to catch West in action and the wait proved well worth it.
Fans began filling up the queue early Saturday afternoon and as show time drew closer, the sea of people vying for their spots inside grew rapidly.
“I don’t know if I’d do this for anybody else,” said one person waiting in line. “Just ‘Ye.”
Eventually, the floodgates opened and the crowed poured onto the lawn, which filled up quickly. However, for the most part, everyone waiting got inside to see the show. Some spectators even spilled over after watching the Big Air BMX competition, which took place just south of the main stage.
Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller took the stage first and got the crowd going.
“Are you ready to see Kanye West?” Miller shouted to the fans early on in his set. “I’m only going to say that one time during this show.”
Following Miller’s hour-long performance and a 20-minute interlude, it was time for Mr. West himself to take the grand stage.
The lights dimmed and the smokescreen began. A bright red light emerged from the stage. It was time. The anxious crowd roared in excitement.
After a short moment of anticipation, West hit the stage draped in a long trench coat as he began to deliver his set. Songs like “Black Skinhead,” “Don’t Like,” “You Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “New Slaves” quickly got the crowd going.
The security guards working the venue would probably want to thank Kanye for Saturday’s set list. For instance, the capacity crowd picked up so much energy when songs like “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” were sung, but then West would pacify and offset that energy by following up with a his more serene hits, like “Runaway.” It was a perfect blend of tempo and the entire show would go off without a hitch.
There was a fun moment during the show when West pointed out how slippery the stage was.
“I just don’t want to bust my ass in front of all these people,” he said jokingly.
Shortly after, a staffer scurried to the stage to wipe up the spot and even he got an ovation. Needless to say, it was a “good” audience.
Following that sideshow, West continued on with a medley of his older hits. “Gold Digger,” “Heartless” and “All Falls Down” were just a few of the tracks that riled up the fans of his older music. West once again nullified the hype and energy he garnered by finishing out with the soothing “Bound 2” and sent home a very pleased crowd Saturday night in the process.
Despite all of the bad publicity he’s gotten throughout the years, shows like this reminds you of how talented West is as a musician and he proved that once again on Saturday night.