Kanye West found a way to elevate the game again on Thursday night during the kick-off of his Saint Pablo tour in Indianapolis. Instead of performing on a standard stage, West blew minds by delivering his set from an illuminated floating platform that hovered above the crowd over a mosh pit of fans on the arena floor. While artists from Rihanna to Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake have walked out above crowds on moving catwalks and stage extensions, West’s show-length sci-fi flight of fancy appears to be the first time an act has spent an entire show suspended above the maddening crowd.
It was also, of course, a stunt destined to blow up social media, with a rush of tweets and Instagram videos going out within the first hour of the set at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Saint Pablo tour has no stage. Hahahah pic.twitter.com/IoglquDmob
— DG (@DGSeason) August 26, 2016
— jourdyn berry (@JourdynBerry) August 26, 2016
West was tethered to the stage, which was pulled across the arena’s length by a pulley system, with the traditional stage occupied by a giant video screen. He was reportedly forced to stop the show for a bit during “Blood on the Leaves” when fans tried to grab the real-life “Ultralight Beam,” which hung around 20 feet above the floor.
The Indianapolis Star noted that Yeezy took a moment during the show to apologize to Nike CEO Mark Parker for his previous digs at the company, with whom he collaborated on a series of shoes from 2007-2012. “I’d like to thank you Mark Parker of Nike,” he reportedly said. “For giving a kid from Chicago a chance. I apologize like a man for anything I ever did to you or your family.” He also couldn’t resist taking a swing at haters, saying, “I know they call me crazy sometimes, I just call them lazy all the time.”
The 32-song set was focused mostly on ‘Ye’s recent The Life of Pablo album, with some detours into classic tracks such as “Black Skinhead,” “Power,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “Flashing Lights” and “Good Life.”
The set list, according to Fact:
“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”
“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2”
“Pop Style (Drake cover)”
“THat Part (ScHoolboy Q cover)”
“I Don’t Like”
“I Love Kanye”
“Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
“Blood on the Leaves”
“Devil in a New Dress”
“All Falls Down”
“All of the Lights”
“Niggas in Paris”