Kanye West Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC, October 17

Kanye West Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC, October 17
Photo: Joshua Peter Grafstein
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The "Saint Pablo Tour" landed — or more accurately, hovered over — Vancouver's Rogers Arena last night (October 17). Kanye West and his team have brought what is perhaps his most ambitious stage show to life, with Ye tethered to a suspended stage with built-in lights. A massive lighting rig floated above him too, raising, lowering, pulsating and adjusting angles to complement West's energetic performance below.
 
The focus was on songs from this year's The Life of Pablo, and the opening notes of "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" immediately drove the crowd into a frenzy as Kanye surfed over the general admission floor. He frequently paused to let the crowd complete phrases, their enthusiasm heightening the experience. West's position atop the crowd made his larger than life status apparent, concertgoers bowing down and clasping their hands together in prayer as he rapped.
 
"Black Skinhead" from 2013's Yeezus tore through the packed arena, while tender moments were found during "Heartless" and "Wolves." He used The Life of Pablo as a through-line, but performed a range of other tracks such as "All Day," Jay Z collaboration "N****s in Paris" and Drake's "Pop Style," Kanye's sass was welcome as he returned to the likes of "I Love Kanye" and such.
 
He only briefly touched on older hits such as "Stronger," "All of the Lights" and "Good Life," yet concertgoers were more than satisfied by his latest material. It proved infectious and explosive, especially sweet, truly cathartic closer, "Ultralight Beam," which provided the soundtrack for Kanye's journey from one end of the arena to the other, where his stage angled downward to allow him to step back down to the same ground as his followers.
 
As he continues to innovate, Ye remains one of music's most forward-thinking artists. Why look back when you've reached ascension?