The most shocking aspect of Kanye West's spectacular concert Tuesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City wasn't another suspect remark from the brash rapper. The meager attendance of less than 4,500 seemed inconceivably small for one of the most vital artists in popular music.
West almost certainly could have filled the Sprint Center five years ago. Tuesday's poor attendance indicates how his scandalous love life, frequent impolite pronouncements and his gradual shift away from conventional hip-hop have alienated many of his fans.
The thin turnout didn't deter West from fully investing himself in a visually extravagant and musical rewarding production. A ramped mountain dominated the set. Occasionally peopled by a red-eyed monster and a dozen enigmatic dancers, the imposing structure evoked H.P. Lovecraft's horrific "At the Mountains of Madness" more than the Space Mountain attraction at Disneyland.
West seemed repentant during an engaging eight-minute monologue.
"I don't always say the right things at the right time," West said. "I'm better at saying the wrong things at the wrong time."
A transcendent moment occurred at the conclusion of West's "Jesus Walks." At the appearance of a costumed person West referred to as "white Jesus," West kneeled as he removed one of the masks he'd worn thoughout the concert. In a performance filled with bombast, the simple gesture seemed profoundly humble.
This Brandy in South Africa / ARTPOP second week sales realness right now