Kanye West @ Vector Arena, Auckland. [Review by Darlene Brown]


Seeing Kanye West play in Auckland December 1st was really a last minute decision: 
“Should we buy a 2 for 1 ticket, and can I borrow the money?” 
flatmate says: “yes”. 
“How much was it?” 

Considering I only had four of his songs on Hungry Hungry iPod I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice…

I turned up to Vector on the night, and was really surprised at the amount of young (dare I say it – white) people that were there! Although this year all I’ve seen at Vector is grey haired concert after adult contemporary concert so it’s been a while since I have seen a large gathering of youth. Also surprising was the security measures at the gate. I opened my bag for inspection and the woman picked up my pain killers and demanded to know “what pills are these?” I said nothing as I watched her turn the packet over to display “Signature Range” on the foil. This wasn’t enough: “what PILLS are these??” to which I gingerly responded “aspirin”.

Anyway, I got in to see Nas’ band playing (is that the correct use of an apostrophe here?). To be honest I don’t know ANY of his songs, but he was phenomenal and I would definitely go to see him perform on his own. His guitarist wore a Ramones t shirt. We missed Scribe opening, but I’m sure he was crapping his pants with excitement to be there.

After Nas, the lights went up and we paced the stadium waiting, watching and wishing I wore my $3 Kanye glasses after all…until finally it went dark. The stage was illuminated with bars of neon, flashing lights and blade-runner style costumes (all designed by Daft Punk apparently). Kanye showed up looking very small, but stylish and took us on a retrospective journey through the hits. “Through the Wire” was the second song (my fave of all his tracks) and basically he just went through his singles in order after that. I even thought “wow he could totally release a best of!”. He didn’t play “American Boy” though; and the crowd went crazy over the song “Homecoming” featuring Chris Martin which I found bizarre! “Flashing Lights” and “Good Life” were personal favourites to dance to, along with this track where he pitch shifted his voice to sound like a demon rapping from Hell (“Get ’em High”).

Kanye West – Live at Vector Arena, Auckland, NZ – Dec 08

People I’ve talked to have mentioned Kanye’s ego hindering their enjoyability of the show, but aren’t all rappers a bit up themselves? There was one point after “Touch the Sky” where he kept repeating “I hope you’re having a good night, I hope you’re having a good night…fuck it, I hope you’re having the time of your life!” which was a bit presumptuous… Anyway, it didn’t bother me, and in terms of an overall concert I would say it was average to good. I’m glad I got to see him perform but still not sure about that seventy bucks…

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