Kanye West at Bowery Ballroom [11/23/10]

Posted on: November 24th, 2010 at 9:21 am by

The tweet that launched a thousand blog posts appeared at 5:57 pm Monday night.  It was an announcement by vocalist Teyana Taylor that Kanye West was to play Bowery Ballroom the next evening.  Of course, the news spread like wildfire across the internets, and the show quickly became the hottest ticket in town.  Earlier in the day, tickets were reportedly selling for upwards of $1,000 on Craigslist.

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The not-so-secret show last night was timed to coincide with the release of Mr. West’s latest record, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which earned a perfect 10.0 mark on Pitchfork’s coveted rating scale. Lines began to form outside Bowery Ballroom at 9 pm, but bouncers didn’t start letting fans in until hours later.  At one point, the queue snaked around Bowery and approached Rivington.  Meanwhile, VIP chauffers were triple-parked out front on Delancey with cops chatting away, not issuing any tickets.

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The show began just before 1 am, and we were crushed back by the ground-level bar. Kanye performed the new record in its entirety, and enlisted some of the guest artists who appeared on the effort to join him for their respective tracks onstage. John Legend made his way down the Bowery from 52E4 to perform, as did Rick Ross, Bon Iver, and Nicki Minaj. Earplugs and, yes, sunglasses were quite necessary, thanks in large part to bone-rattling bass and a retina-burning light setup. Extra power was needed, and actually wired in from a generator rig outside.

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His encore featured a haphazard medley of other stuff, including “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “Paranoid.” But of course, the night truly wouldn’t be complete without a patented, self-serving speech by the diva. He tried to elicit sympathy by defending those remarks about President Bush being racist or how Taylor Swift never defends him in interviews. Yada yada. That was how the show ended.

Full setlist details below, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan:

Dark Fantasy (with Nicki Minaj)
Gorgeous
Power
All of the Lights (interlude)
All of the Lights (with Bon Iver)
Monster (with Rick Ross, Nicki Minaji, Bon Iver)
So Appalled (with Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz)
Devil in a New Dress (with Rick Ross)
Runaway (with Pusha T)
Hell of a Life (with Bon Iver)
Blame Game (with John Legend)
Lost in the World (with Bon Iver)
Who Will Survive in America

Encore:
Christian Dior Denim Flow
Can’t Tell Me Nothing
Paranoid
The Good Life

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