This past Saturday, Kanye "Mr Superstar Sunglasses" West brought his Touch The Sky Tour to the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles, but before we really start in on it, let's get the list of surprise guests who joined him out of the way: Common swooped in for "Get Em High" and "Go" and (ticka-ta-ticka-ta) "The Light", Adam Levine of Maroon 5 swaggered through for "Heard Em Say", Jamie Foxx added some Hollywood flash to "Gold Digger", and a fur-rocking Patti Labelle went off at the tail end of "Roses". Dang.
Though these boldfaced names added to the excitement of the night, the real star was West, and everyone else who touched a microphone made sure to acknowledge that. West started off strong with "Touch The Sky", "We Don't Care", and a red strobe-lit "Addiction", then kept the energy up for the next hour and a half. "Hey Mama" and "Spaceship" (the latter with assists by GOOD Music employees Consequence and GLC) were highlights, but seriously, West held it down until he closed his main set with a performance of "Jesus Walks" that had the smoke machine going like Spinal Tap was in the building.
The only unfocused part of West's act was the encore. "Bring Me Down" featured dramatics that were a bit too drama class, "We Major" isn't an anthem yet, and while "Diamonds" is, West should have peaced out with the final verse, rather than slowing it down for a few minutes to thank his "November Rain"-style string section, DJ A-Trak and a oversized Cold Stone Creamery umbrella-rocking Farnsworth Bentley.
But still, we were feeling it, as was the lead-singer of Fall Out Boy who was seated behind us and the entire crowd who never sat down or stopped rapping along. Not once.
Coachella organizers, this is your headliner for 2006. Book him now and give the people what they need.