Bonnaroo: The Sun Exposes Kanye’s Glow In The Dark Show

A month ago the NYTimes’s Jon Pareles reviewed Kanye’s Glow In The Dark tour stop at MSG saying “There is a new yardstick for the size of the universe. It is approximately equal to the size of Kanye West’s ego.” Yeah Kanye’s ego’s big — making thousands of kids wait two hours later than an already incredibly scheduled 2:45AM start time is simply the latest lesson in Umm Duh — but no Jon Pareles, it is not the size of the universe. It isn’t even the size of the sun. You know what’s the size of the sun, guys? The fucking sun. The sun is bigger than even your ego could dream to be, Kanye, and the sun won’t wait to rise so you can make sure the section of the stage where you do your sneaker-slide move is properly waxed. And when the sun rises, stuff no longer glows. And also it is no longer dark. Your show doesn’t make sense in those conditions. So Glow In The Dark should probably be performed in the dark. I think I just successfully interviewed to be your new tour manager. You need one. Hire me.

OK, I feel better now. Thing is, I respect Kanye for trying to do something different with this tour. I get that he’s a perfectionist, and was probably making sure the stage was perfectly constructed or something (that’s the benefit of the doubt I gave him while I watched people collapse in drug seizures trying to stay up — seriously). Maybe the mainstage was backed up ’cause Pearl Jam went a little late, they tend to do that. And all the cool visuals on the background screens, the inventive stage shape and use, the up-spits of flame, the song rearrangements, etc. all probably transform, and kill in, an enclosed space. Instead the only thing that died was the concept, and in broad daylight (although “Good Morning” had a cool if unintended effect as the set opener at 4:40). A straight set of jams would have gone down a whole lot better (ala Lolla).

That’s not to say Ye didn’t try — he was totally invested in each dance move, every lyric, and all the sorta cringy interactions with Jane The Spaceship. Just like seeing a band pour their heart out in the rain well past bedtime, of course I had a touch of that special recognition and who-gives-a-fuck-this-is-will-never-happen-again vibe that comes along with the memory in the making. That’s why I just wish he could have deviated from the script, even for like 20 seconds, just at the end, to acknowledge the moment: “Thanks for staying up with me and watching the sunrise” would have been nice. We didn’t even get a proper wave goodbye. I mean come on Kanye, I know not every word you speak up there is necessarily scripted.

Anyway Ye has a strict no photo policy, so I definitely did not take this with my iPhone at 5:25AM:

And all that said — greeting the sunrise with “Good Life”? At least we got a few minutes of awesome.