Maybe it’s fitting that Kanye West has taken the opportunity on his Yeezus tour to stump against his various oppressors, given his recent assertions, not that he is God, but that he is a God. Like Jesus cleansing Herod’s temple, Yeezy has railed against the paparazzi, the press and the music industry with equal fervor, preaching not for an embargo on merchandise so much as for his righteous cut of the pie. But even as a minor deity Mr. West exhibits Old Testament humorlessness and spite, most recently in his over-publicized Twitter spat with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, much of which focused on West’s divine foresight into the creation of leather jogging pants. Yeezus is, after all, a demigod of the times, as evidenced in his tour posters which feature a man with his arms outstretched, suspended in a beam of light, suggesting the truth will be revealed upon being beamed up into a passing spacecraft.
This is West’s first solo outing since 2008’s Glow in the Dark tour which yielded several iconic images of Kanye silhouetted against an orgy of smoke and light. Early reports from the Yeezus tour’s first stops describe a more austere affair. For much of the performance Kanye wears Martin Margiela-designed masks that make him look like a mix between the Batman villain Bane and Tina Turner’s bodyguard in Thunderdome. A Greek chorus of 12 masked female dancers vogue and mill about on the stage which features a pyramid-like, white mountain, a circular projection of the sky and beams of light. It’s probably no mistake that Kanye, looking like Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea, delivers his sermon from the top of the mountain. The Catholic iconography is thick in this exhibit with dancers carrying the Virgin Mary, crucifixes and incense. In one final, telling bit of melodrama, Jesus Christ makes a cameo appearance, not so much as a sign of Kanye’s faith but as a prelude to his hit single “Jesus Walks.” Now we have a definitive answer to the eternal question, what would Yeezus do?
Kanye West tickets are on sale now for upcoming Yeezus tour dates.