Kanye West took fans on a journey through the entire 808s & Heartbreak album.
The Hollywood Bowl was sold out as it hosted Kanye West and his fans this weekend for his first ever performance of his entire 2008 platinum-selling album, 808s & Heartbreak. West did not disappoint on Friday, and as always, the Hollywood Bowl created chaos for the city of Los Angeles. But the long drive for many, and the countless-hour flights for a few fans, were all well worth it when the lights that illuminate the white hollow shell were unplugged and West took center stage.
From bottom to top, in its entirety, West, his live orchestra and background singers brought to life arguably one of the most underrated pieces of art in his collection. The full string section of the orchestra wasn’t even the wow factor in this show. No, he took it a step further. Manifesting his power to the world, he brought out every featured artist on the album to join him on the stage – with the exception of rapper Lil Wayne – and also a full cast of performers to turn this concert into a theatrical play.
Mr. Solo Dolo, better known as Kid Cudi, blessed the clean, white, dimly-lit stage first alongside West to perform his chorus in “Welcome to Heartbreak.” The elegant bowl seemed to spit fire as it shot out red fireworks from its top, which only seemed fuel the already uncontrollable noise of the cheering crowd.
Then, the Bowl went dark again. Only an enormous, glowing-white balloon floating above West’s head lit the stage as he performed the Auto-tune hit “Heartless” in the darkness of the of the Hollywood Hills.
It was barely the fourth song into the show, and the crowd was already overwhelmed with excitement. The loud intro thumps to the track “Amazing” only added to the electric atmosphere that got way louder once Jeezy stepped under the glowing ball with a microphone in hand.
The pyrotechnics in the show were breathtaking, and they continued on throughout the concert. When ‘Ye performed “Love Lockdown,” the night seemed to pause and rewind again and again. Matching the beat of the drums in the lyric-less loop, an infinite amount of white fireworks shot out of the Bowl and into the cloudless, dark purple sky.
Mr. Hudson was the third artist to join him that night. The trio that included Cudi, Mr. Hudson and West performed the electric-groovy sounding tune “Paranoid.” The three danced their way onto the white staircase that led to nowhere as the crowd danced around in their box seats that were built in the 1920s.
The hits kept coming, and the crowd kept singing along. Everyone in attendance, including West, was having the time of their lives. He was so excited that he made sure the crowd knew it was his first time ever performing at the Bowl, and that this show was “one of the best dress rehearsals ever.”
This was without a doubt my favorite Kanye West concert of all time. Sure we can debate this with performances like Coachella, maybe the Jay-Z and Kanye duo at Staples Center, let’s not forget the Glow in the Dark Tour at Staples Center or you can even bring up his insane Yeezus Tour with his dramatic wardrobe and cast. But this was the Hollywood Bowl, the same stage that the Beatles, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra once performed on – and now Kanye West.