In Concert

Thursday, 07 July 2011 12:37

All of the Lights Shine on Kanye West at Summerfest Featured

Written by


"Hark,who goes yonder? Well speak up man, what is it?"

"News from the East sire, Mike Kincaide has returned to!!!!"


I absolutely un-apologetically love hip hop. Always have. Its in my blood. Coming from the rough neighborhood of Englewood on the southside of Chicago, r&b soul music is the soundtrack to life in that area. Growing up its hip hop which dominated the culture and way of life in the community. All your friends listened to it, hustlers sold bootleg t-shirts and tapes, gangsters dressed the and friends lived by it. Happy or sad, tv or radio, it was everywhere.You couldnt avoid hip hop no matter how hard you tried.

With all that said I immediately had a strong connection to Kanye West, another southside guy who grew up in the same areas, listened to the same music and radio, and dealth with the same struggles I did. He had a strong connection with soul music, talked aout places I'd been and hung out at, had owned a very personable personality and affinity for my favorite rapper, Jay-Z...all which drew me to him. In time, while my love of Mr. West has gone back and forth because of his actions there has never been any doubt aout his talent. Continuously puts out quality if not outstanding music. He has begun to transend beyond the hiphop world which may have become his gift and his curse.

The one thing Kanye does really well is hip hop music. He can orchestrate a scene or project feeling and emotion through the artistry of his work, which is something alot of music artists  can't even fathom. Because of this and the numerous opinions and attacks by the media and others Kanye has become very reclusive in his appearances,going so far as to even move out of the country. So with the rare chance to see Kanye's act live in person at Milwaukee's Summerfest, my decsison to see his show was a no brainer.

Again much different than a typical rap shows Kanye's stage set-up is more artistic. He doesnt have a dj and performs with ballet dancers. Opening act Kid Cudi was extremely energetic and had the crowd into his show albeit only for a brief time as he only played for about 25 minutes. Cudi performed with no ballet dancers but was easily a crowd favorite and all over Kanye's upcoming set.

After about an hour wait the booming and radiating sounds of "HAM" played over the speakers. West opened the show performing "Dark Fantasy", the opening from his latest album, from a pole in the audience. Kanye didnt just connect with the crowd he had them at his mercy all night long. Dressed in all black wearing old-school red and black AirJordans and an old school snakeskin Chicago Bulls hat, Kanye opened his show very strong with a ton of energy and confidence. Kanye wasted no time ripping into hit after hit and owning the crowd. And everything he gave the crowd gave right back. West rocked out with "Hell of a Life" and tore the house down with "Monster" before turning to Kid Cudi for some assistance.


Kanye did at one point get on his soapbox, which is fine, as he made up for it by again piling hit after energetic hit together, working the stage and sweating like a madman. Going over material from previous albums including a guest appearances (West really rocked his verse from his Katy Perry collabo "E.T.") Kanye showed his hand to the observant fan on where he got his ideas for creating the setlist and show. Listening to newer material made some songs performed from the first album sound dated. Its a trick however, his mentor Jay-Z has mastered and perfected at his shows. Jay-Z seems to pull it off effortlessly while West rocks them out like they are today's current big hits when there's a strong portion of the crowd who just werent fans back then. West also follows Jay-Z's stage manerisms to a  tee, wether it be him running all over the stage, swinging his arm and hand gestures, commanding the crowd, not necessarry rapping for them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however West needs to find his own stage persona and presentation, which he is highly capable of.

Kanye doesnt finish as strong as he starts but the energy and list of hits keep the crowd into it. West re-creates a cool moment of the MTV debut of his big hit "Runaway", "All of the Lights" performed with Kid Cudi whips the crowd into a near frenzy, and then....splat. While I understand the significance of the song "Hey Mama", its use of a closer takes the life out of a great concert. Or maybe I'm just being insensitive. Anyway, Kanye's how isn' t much of a show, but more of a exciting presentation to loyal fans...complete with swan-like ballet dancers.


  1. H.A.M intro
  2. Dark Fantasy
  3. Power
  4. Jesus Walks
  5. Can't Tell Me Nothing
  6. Diamonds From Sierra Leone
  7. Hell of a Life
  8. Monster
  9. Gorgeous
  10. Erase Me with Kid Cudi
  11. Make Her Say with Kid Cudi
  12. Flashing Lights
  13. Good Life
  14. Love Lockdown
  15. Say You Will
  16. Heartless
  17. Swagga Like Us (bit)
  18. Run This Town (bit)
  19. E.T. (bit)
  20. Homecoming
  21. Through the Wire
  22. All Falls Down
  23. Touch the Sky
  24. Gold Digger
  25. All of the Lights with Kid Cudi
  26. Stronger
  27. Runaway
  28. Lost in the World
  29. Hey Mama
Last modified on Thursday, 14 July 2011 23:19



10 Years! Fave Issue Covers


Latest Articles

Guests Online

We have 226 guests and no members online

Buzz Chicago on Facebook Buzz Chicago on Twitter