The Life of Noah – A Kanye West Concert Experience

For those of you who are avid fans of hip-hop, it’s been a very busy past couple of weeks with the releases of Frank Ocean, Vince Staples, Travis Scott, Young Thug, and Isaiah Rashad, among others. I’ve been listening to their albums pretty exclusively since the last time I posted with the exception one other album: Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo. It’s partially because I’m a massive Kanye West fan, but a little more so because I just saw him in concert about a week ago!

 

Fellow MyCA blogger Jerry Clayton and I pulled into a parking lot in downtown Indy at about 7 p.m. on August 25th. We had driven down from Chicago, where he had been visiting with another MyCA blogger, Sidney Burke, for the past couple of days. We had already rapped the entirety of the album in the car on the way down, so I was bursting at the seams with excitement. Before the concert started at 8, though, we decided to meet up with a friend at Circle Centre Mall, which was definitely the right decision. After catching up on our respective lives with her, we made our way to the line at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The line stretched forever around the building and further down the street than I was able to see.

 

Standing in the stagnant line, we grew more and more concerned as 8 p.m. approached and eventually passed. The line was abuzz with rumors of what was happening indoors. Online forums were saying that Kanye decided to rebuild the entire stage. People in line were saying that Kanye was just chilling and waiting backstage. Others were claiming that the rumored opener, Travis Scott, was late. Luckily though, a police officer manning the crowd informed us that “If [we] were lucky, doors would open at 9,” because Kanye had decided to keep running more sound checks. While some in line were upset, complaining that Kanye had been in town since Monday, I was still content knowing I would see one of the most influential people in my life perform in person.

 

The doors opened at 9. Jerry and I made our way to our respective seats as low, ambient, droning tones filled the arena, just like the smoke pouring in from smoke machines placed strategically around Bankers Life. My mind racing with thoughts of what was to come, I found myself anticipating, ready for anything to happen, when the clock then struck 9:30. The lights faded to black, and I proceeded to have the greatest experience of my life.

 

Kanye descended from the sky on a platform that was lit up on the sides. He stood up on the floating stage, and the intro of “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” began to play. Immediately, I lost all semblance of civility and stood at my seat, screaming and rapping at the top of my lungs alongside Kanye West. A moment that I had dreamed of for years was finally here. Standing on a floating stage hanging over a roving fan base, Kanye began his discography. The stage moved, raised, descended, and meandered for two hours as Kanye rapped all of his most popular songs. For the next two hours, I was on an ultralight beam. Interspersed with his glorious works were some vintage Kanye West moments. He told his security members to stop obstructing the path of the fans, letting them run around all over the floor. He stopped his songs in the middle and restarted them if they didn’t feel right. He paused a song to address a singular fan as “sweetheart.” He even apologized to the CEOs of Nike and Adidas for his actions. It was really an experience that could only be described as Kanye. The obscurity, the absurdity, the artistry, all of it, it was all just Kanye West.

 

As the concert drew to a close, the long droning samples from earlier returned, and Kanye disappeared into a shroud of darkness. Jerry and I began to make our way to the exit, where we stumbled upon a merch stand. We tried to vie our way to the front before the shirt I was after sold out. Disappointed I would leave with no merch, we turned toward the exit, where we spotted another stand, complete with the shirts that had just sold out at the last stand. We started in the back of the monstrous crowd and tried to make our way to the front to grab the shirt. Jerry took advantage of his smaller stature and ducked and dodged his way to the front, where we then executed an amazing hand off of my debit card to pay for the transaction. Jerry spent seventy of my hard earned dollars on this shirt, immortalizing my experience. After he’d passed my debit card and shirt back to me, he informed me of a blue paint stain on the back side. He said he assumed I still wanted it, and he guessed right. He also told me it was the last one from that stand, and possibly in the whole concert. The peculiarity and uniqueness of the item, alongside the great story I got from it, was worth every penny.
Pablo Front ShirtPablo Back Shirt

Some quick pictures of my Pablo shirt, paint imperfection and all.

 

All in all, these words aren’t enough to describe how amazing of an experience this was. I laughed, I cried, I rapped, I sang, and had one of the most amazing times of my life. Getting to spend it with my best friend in the world and owning a great shirt to remember the experience by are only icing on top of the cake. As new music keeps coming out, I’ll keep listening to it, but I think one album will last forever in my musical rotation. Thanks Kanye.

 

Until next time,

Noah

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Noah Elmore

Noah Elmore

Robert Morris University 2020.
Noah Elmore

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