GITD Merch Originally uploaded by AccessWinnipeg

Access Winnipeg was all over the city last night to cover the Glow in the Dark Tour as well as the Superstar After Party at Blush. Being a huge Kanye West fan I’ll try to make this review as non-biased as I can. But to sum up the night… I got my $100 ticket price worth the first 30 minutes being there. AMAZING show, AMAZING performers, AMAZING experience.

Hit the jump to read my detailed review of the night.

We arrived to the MTS Centre just before 6:30PM (30 minutes before the Lupe set) Parking wasn’t bad at all, we parked at that Tavern United lot and there were plenty of spots available. The lot did come at a price, $10 flat rate event parking.

The merchandise available was as expected. A lot of red, blue, white with bright colored shirts. Shirts came to $35 each and hoodies/sweaters for $65. Looked like all shirts were male t-shirts as well with no female based t-shirts available. Shutter-shades were also being sold on the street by a third party vendor for $20 each – they definitely outdid the cheap paper ones that they were selling at the official merchandise stands.

Lupe started right on time. I was actually in the merchandise lineup and missed his first song. He came out and performed some of his old skool and new skool tracks. Hardcore fans and newly discovered ‘Superstar’ fans would have enjoyed the set. He started the concert off nice and smooth and then brang out Matt Santos for the last 3 songs for a big ‘superstar’ finish. All in all it was a great warm up for the crowd to start getting into the glow in the dark feel. His stage was a basic stage with a big black curtain behind him hiding Kanye’s stage.

NERD tore the HOUSE DOWN!!!!! Only a short 15 minutes after Lupe performed, NERD was out and ready to RIP IT UP! Again, I was actually in line for a drink when NERD started. I was VERY impressed on how all the artists have been staying on schedule so far!! I have been accustomed to concerts that start 1-2 hours late that I wasn’t prepared to get hit with one amazing performer after the other! NERD, just like Lupe, took the slow start with some new tracks, went old skool with rockstar and lapdance… then TORE IT UP with their performance of SPAZ, a song from their upcoming album. Before performing SPAZ, Pharrell stopped to address the crowed and got EVERYONE to get on their feet. Pharrell did NOT continue until the whole MTS Centre was on their feet. They then started to perform the for-sure future club hit SPAZ. About 1 minute into the song, an unknown dancer took the centre of the stage and started doing some crazy spazminc dance moves to the ‘spaz’ track… all of the sudden, this dancer does a back flip – his hat falls off… and his face is revealed. In unison, every female in the MTS Centre screamed at the top of their lungs… CHRIS BROWN!! Yes ladies and gentlemen, Chris Brown was also in Winnipeg last night!!!! Amazing! N.E.R.D. took time after their set to shake the hands of a few people in the floor front row as well as the side front row. Kudos to N.E.R.D. for that!

So its no secret that the reason why Chris Brown was in the house was this lady right here. I was really looking forward to the Rihanna set, but I have to admit, perhaps out of all 3 starters, Rhianna was the weakest link. It was still a great performance regardless, she was just out her league on this one. Rihanna had to do a few cover songs since it didn’t seem that she had enough singles to fill her 20 minute set. Regardless, I have a lot of respect for Rhianna and what she has accomplished. She was looking amazing as usual, and also slowed it down a bit to give everyone a rest before the main event.

Learing my lesson from the last intermission, I immediately got up for the bathroom after Rihanna’s set and returned to my seat in anticipation for the title fight, the thrilla in manila, the main event. The main stage was fully covered with a black curtain after Rihanna’s performace to setup Kanyes stage. Again, staying on a strict schedule, approximately 15 minutes after Rhiannas, the lights got dim, the black curtain dropped and the Glow in the Dark story begun! The stage was amazing. It was set to look like the planet Mars with rolling hills and fog/mist hovering the hills. There was a huge lcd screen behind the stage to give back drop effects through out the night. 3 flame throwers around the stage burst red and blue flames during the performances. The bursts were so hot that I could feel the heat from the flames from where we were sitting (Row 8 floor) Kanye performed hits from all three of his albums. The best part was that he tied all into a story line. It wasn’t just a concert… it was an actual performance. He had a story line and each song tied to the story line of crashing landing on a planet and trying to get home. The show was a non-stop, rhythm-pounding thrill ride. Kanye only slowed down to perform his tribute to his late mother with the song ‘Hey Mama’ and a cover of Journeys ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. The show came to a complete halt after his performance of STRONGER, this would be the only time the show his set would come to a complete stop of silence. It was such a surprise that it was mistaken that the show was over and the crowed yelled ENCORE ENCORE ENCORE! Kanye then returned for 2 more songs to finish off his show, ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Touch the Sky’ to symbolize that the show was over and he left the planet. He also changed his cloths for the first time in the show as well to symbolize that he is stepping out of his role as the lost in space character. As for the Access Winnipeg editors waiting for Lupe at the Superstar After Party, they would have to wait a bit longer since Lupe Fiasco would return to the stage to spit his verse on Touch The Sky. Kanye and Lupe, two of the greatest rappers in the game right now, stood back to back centre stage yelling TOUCH THE SKY! The show was then slowed down after the big ending for Kanye to introduce his band and give an inspirational message that if you believe, you two can accomplish what he has.

– Everything was ON TIME!! No long waits!
– Chris Brown coming out with N.E.R.D.
– Lupe coming out with Kanye for Touch The Sky
– Security was great!!! Hence, no photos from me :)
– Free Kanye West Book at the end of the night
– Rihannas outfit… could have been hotter!!
– Long merchandise line ups
– Everything, including water, had to be in cups.. no bottles (understandable)
– For a show called the ‘Glow in the Dark Tour’… nothing glowed except Rihannas 4 glow sticks and Kanyes shoes
– Numerous (like 10!!) night life flyers on my car after the show