Go West

Kanye West proved that his personal woes haven’t affected his frightening abilities onstage, with a rousing Yas Island show

By Adam Zacharias (adam@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Sun 14 Nov 2010, 10:45 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:00 PM

RAP’S FAVOURITE ONE-MAN soap opera arrived in Abu Dhabi, as Kanye West gave Grand Prix punters a punchy and passionate performance.

Famous for his deft lyricism and impeccable flow, West has also become known as somewhat of a diva – cemented beyond doubt after his bizarre rant against country music starlet Taylor Swift last year.

Halfway through his set on Friday night, it seemed the ego may have outgrown the stadium once more, as the 33-year-old froze during the opening to Heartless, and glared at the wings before marching offstage.

Thankfully, the setlist mistiming proved a small glitch in proceedings. West raced through a gamut of his greatest hits, beginning just after 9pm when he opened with Run This Town, looking trim in a blue blazer, black trousers and obligatory gold chain.

Early inclusions such as Touch the Sky had the packed Yas Island stadium pumping their fists in unison, as West twirled, bounced and raced around the stage with giddy hyperactivity. The Chicago native did little to downplay his egomaniac reputation however, shielding his backing band from the audience’s view with a white screen to ensure all eyes were on Kanye throughout. After a brief midway break, a red-bedecked West and a ballet dancer emerged for Runaway, the second single from upcoming fifth studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

After a crowd-pleasing trio of Gold Digger, American Boy and Good Life, West returned for a one-song encore with Love Lockdown – ramping the understated tune into a rousing anthem before holding a single finger aloft, and exiting the stage without another word.

Though too often a self-made villain, West proved he can still give a heroic performance when he puts his mind to it.

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