Zach wrote and produced this piece for TBS Digital starring the Sklar Brothers.
A lot of people give me a hard time about how much I love Kanye West. Other than the Yeezus album I consider his masterful body of work to be nearly flawless and I really don’t give a shit if he storms Grammy Awards stages to criticize critics and people who spend their lives worshipping pop stars. Kim Kardashian? Cool, the guy fell in love. Good for him.
Which is why when I heard he was going to perform his genre-bending classic record 808’s and Heartbreak at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, I got excited. Very excited. Like drop some major money for great seats excited.
Kanye West says wants to be in the same conversation as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles etc. Last night he went on at 9:05 p.m. He took a final bow at 10:07. That’s ONE HOUR, people. My band plays longer than that and we charge $7.00 a show. Kanye played the album, had some impressive choreography, musicianship and pyrotechnics – and then called it a wrap. Sure, the 808’s record is terrific – but it is not perfect – and a lot of Kanye fans have no idea that there is even a song called Pinnocchio Story in his repertoire. So, he could have dug a little deeper.
Here’s the bottom line. Kanye better learn that he needs to add on some other songs to any live performance.
Not sure if it has been reported, but the show was full of technical flaws – which I know he can’t help – (dead air, barking “stop the track” mid song…) but when Young Jeezy showed up in the middle of a blank spot during Amazing it just looked amateurish. As if Jeezy had been getting some brain backstage while smoking a blunt and forgot that he had to be performing on the song Kanye was laying down. James Brown would have crippled someone.
To charge $$$ for a 1 hour performance – when the majority of the crowd left disappointed, feeling ripped off – is not professional or legendary. About 3/4 of us sat around asking, “Is that IT?” When he took a bow at the end… And his onstage energy at times was lackluster – resembling that lazy stripper who never really does anything but hang on the pole.
The crowd was full of music heads. Nearly every guy wearing a T-shirt with a scoop neck and a long back that resembled a mini skirt – a style nearly invented by Kanye himself – looked like they were underwhelmed. (To be fair, the best part of the show was the people watching – All the guys looked like they were only there because they had to step away from their busy “beat-making for Akon” schedule and every woman seemed as if they took three hours getting ready to channel their “inner Kendall Jenner.”)
Kanye said he wants to be remembered like the Stones or Bob Dylan. Look buddy. Neil Young might play “Greendale” once in awhile, but he also throws on “Old Man” and “Hey Hey My My” at the end. Springsteen will do the entire “Darkness at the Edge of Town” but he will still suffer through “Glory Days” at the end as well… Kanye West needs to study the master performers a little deeper before he can consider himself one. Hopefully tonight’s show will go a little smoother.
Or you can skip it and see my band at the Hotel Café for $7.00…