SEATTLE, Washington — The details mean everything to Kanye West. In fact, the G.O.O.D. Music mastermind is so meticulous, he delayed the opening night of his Yeezus Tour a couple hours to ensure that every thread was in its proper place — at least, that’s what a security guard told MTV News while more than 15,000 fans crowded the locked doors of the KeyArena.
Fans had all filed in shortly before 10 p.m. as tour opener Kendrick Lamar tore through several choice cuts from his platinum-selling good kid, m.A.A.d city. Dot began with “Money Trees” and ended with his hometown ode “Compton.” But even after K-Dot’s 40 minutes, it would take stage hands about an hour to tinker with the set to prepare for West, who delivered an exhilarating two-hour experience for fans.
There were flashing lights, flurries of snow, a dozen dancers, a red-eyed demon, a mountain, Jesus Christ and, of course, the incomparable Kanye West.
Before his opening march, Yeezy was preceded by 12 female dancers in flesh-colored tights, leaving nothing to the imagination. With the schizophrenic bleeps of “On Sight” blaring through the speakers, a masked-Yeezy strutted down the stage’s extension about 50 feet into the middle of the arena where he’d perform most of the night.
West fed the feverish crowd hearty helpings of tracks like “New Slaves” and “Mercy” before he would climb the set’s mountain to perform “Cold” from last year’s Cruel Summer compilation album.
There were several costume changes — first, a blue tank top matched with a gold mask; then, a puffy bomber jacket matched with a black mask. The concert’s narrative followed West on his quest to find his higher power. He eventually donned a white mask while his dancers waltzed down the stage, swinging thuribles, filling the KeyArena with Catholic incense. West went on to rap “I Wonder,” an emotional roll of “Hey Mama” and “Stronger” before an actor dressed as Jesus answered the MC’s call.
“White Jesus, is that you?” Kanye asks with childlike glee, finally taking off his mask before letting out a hilarious “Oh, sh–!”
The religious-themed theatrics led to his 2004 single “Jesus Walks,” which would bring the Northwest crowd closer to the show-closing “Bound 2.” At the end of his two-hour sermon, Kanye and his 12 female disciples bowed to Jesus on the mountain top, while the ‘Ye faithful gave all praises, shouting “Yeezus” until the house lights came on.