Review & Photos | Outside Lands | Friday

3. Kanye West | 8:20–10:00 | Lands End Stage

Some may say that Outside Lands has jumped the shark by putting the spectacle known as Yeezus in the #1 slot. I initially thought that, until seeing Kanye own the crowd for 75 minutes with a set that was just as entertaining for his futuristic productions and hits as it was for his narcissistic digressive rants. With an artful, minimalist stage design and a mask covering his face for much of the set, Kanye opened himself up in front of a sea of people, bouncing and jumping around, alternating between aggressive rapping and rambling, egotistical rants about negative press and the “season of Yeezy.” No matter, whether he was rapping or ranting, the crowd lapped it up equally. But in between the sing-alongs to mega-hits like “Stronger,” “All of The Lights” and “Good Life,” the unequivocal highlight of the set was “Runaway” (“lets have a toast to the assholes”), which saw Kanye break it way down with a huge, melodic, auto-tune free- style that was blissful and near-breathtaking in its open positivity (“I promote self-confidence”). With a flowing waterfall onscreen behind him, Kanye's “singing” vocal improvisations were lighter-in-the-air epic, and made the night for me with their unexpected, uplifting originality. This set reinforced how full of himself this man is, but it was certainly an entertaining experience. If anything, the man is taking advantage of his superstardom by doing whatever he wants (even if it's experimental and non-commercial), and that's something to admire.

[Published on: 8/13/14]

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