Kanye West

Downtown Stage, Las Vegas NV, October 24

Kanye WestDowntown Stage, Las Vegas NV, October 24
It was ironic that Kanye West's tour stop in Las Vegas — a city hardly known for its restraint — would lack the ostentatious delivery that's become a hallmark of his Yeezus tour. Yet time and space, concepts that rarely enter into West's world, dictated that the show be scaled back to its bare bones, with Yeezy performing against an LED screen with his tour DJ and backup vocalist lending a hand.

Opening with "Black Skinhead," West emerged cloaked in one of the many masks he's used on the tour to obscure his face, yet he removed it early in the set, in time for "New Slaves." The mannered stage directions and pacing of his current tour helped shape the evening's performance, but without the conceptual backbone of the show — the mountain, apostles, White Jesus — things felt flat; even the now infamous pause during "Runaway," where West vents whatever's on his mind, lacked the passion or vitriol he's delivered in the past.

Still, West has a shockingly deep catalogue of hits, which he mined to great effect on his set's back end, delivering classic after classic. Yeezy's heart might have been elsewhere on this night, but he's more than earned the right to rest on his laurels from time to time.
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