Kanye West left some punters (especially the Soundgarden fans) wondering if he really justified his position as headliner after a somewhat self-indulgent performance at yesterday’s Melbourne Big Day Out.
Unlike his slick, all-killer, no-filler performance at last year’s Splendour In The Grass – Kanye extended a number of his songs by several minutes to add in various messages and personal stories.
This particularly was the case in ‘Act II’ of the set – where he messed around with autotune towards the end of Love Lockdown. He then told the crowd a story about a Friday night date gone wrong in the middle of Say You Will – which went along the lines of “11.15 still haven’t from yo ass…. 1.15 you say you finally coming round…. Saturday morning I still haven’t from yo ass…” The story dragged the song out beyond the 10 minute mark.
But the clincher was his 7-minute ramble at the end of Lost In The World – where he discussed everything from crying in front of his tape deck in New York because he couldn’t get a break, to people not wanting him to break into the fashion industry. The latter comments were brought to life in his 86-tweet Twitter rant last month. He did all this lying on the stage floor, looking up to the sky.
He also made Runaway go on for several minutes as he told the crowd to hug the person next to them – and repeatedly mentioned that if they love somebody, “to hold them close and not let go.”
Rambling aside – there were plenty of hits for ‘Ye fans to happily bounce around to in the set – with tracks such as opener Dark Fantasy, Power, Good Life (with a shout out to Michael Jackson beforehand), Touch The Sky, Homecoming and Jesus Walks all delivered in trademark style.
And, notably enough – he really hit his straps when declaring about 75 minutes into his set “We only just getting started, this is the first song of the night.” He then launched into his breakout hit Gold Digger – and continued to send the crowd bonkers during All Of The Lights, Stronger and Runaway.
The rants contributed to his lengthy set – despite being scheduled on paper to finish at 10pm, Kanye wound things up at 10.30pm. It was still by all means an impressive display – but I’ve seen better performances from Kanye West in the past – especially when he sticks to the script and doesn’t get as self-indulgent as he did last night.