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West works up a sweat

Lynda Moyo catches the most energetic man in hip hop at Manchester International Festival

Written by . Published on July 4th 2007.

West works up a sweat

Now I aint sayin’ he’s a gold digger, but at £32.50 a ticket, it was slightly disappointing that Kanye West was 40 minutes late on stage.

There’s no disputing that the Apollo is the best venue for shows of this sort and there’s a certain ‘too cool for school’ attitude that comes with hip hop shows, that just cant be felt at ‘stiff’ places such as the MEN arena.

However, it was the Apollo which let the artist down this time. On several occasions the sound failed, leaving poor old Kanye to try and cover up the Apollo’s mess. Half expecting him to throw a strop and take off into the night in his Mercedes carriage, he carried on rapping accapella as if nothing had happened. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure the loopy Kanye even noticed. It’s clear that he is as passionate about his music as the lyrics to his songs have us believe.

Kanye, despite being late, sweated his grey shirt black to make up for it. He twizzed, twirled, skidded and slid across the stage like a panting child at an auntie’s wedding disco - it was only short of him pretending to be an aeroplane and making engine noises. That may have been more entertaining than him playing random songs just because he liked them. Kanye, if I want to hear Sweet Dreams instrumental, I’ll go and see the actual Eurythmics on their erm, instrumental tour.

It’s hard to some up what my verdict of this show is. I can forgive Kanye for the late start, I can possibly forgive the Apollo for lazy technical hitches but I still can’t (unfortunately) say it was anymore than just good. The songs, although smash-hits, were old, the string section accompaniment, although initially impressive, were boring and Kanye himself was just sweaty.

Nevertheless, it was nice to have him here for Manchester International Festival. It isn’t his own tour, just a one-off appearance and I guess (and hope) that is why the show wasn’t completely polished. Kanye West is what we should all hope for hip hop. His songs are as positive, honest and as out-there as his posing. Just don’t let those ridiculous glasses make you lose your way Kanye.

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