Seeing as I’m doing my best to be utterly distracted in my attempts to read anything, I thought it’d be a good time to preserve my memories of last night at The Forum.
- Finding the parking lot was a fairly disorienting affair; I was so pre-occupied by not missing the entrance that I became overly flustered when the white Dodge Challenger behind me would not permit me access to the lane space in front of him, honking multiple times over the course of my fumbling. I sped up much further than I intended to, thinking that I missed the entrance, but I had actually found myself right where I wanted to be. Cue exhale of relief.
- Arriving an hour before the printed 8PM on my e-ticket, I didn’t realize just how anxious I would be going to Inglewood after hearing about its reputation. I also didn’t realize how odd it was for me to go to a concert alone. These things began to collaborate in creating odd, hypothetical scenarios in which I was called upon to stifle a gun-bearer’s attempts to cause a ruckus in the middle of the concert. Thankfully, there was no need for me (and the people in attendance) to witness my would-be failure at detaining an armed individual. This was of very little comfort four hours prior to the end of the concert.
- As I walked from my parking space, I was greeted by the sound of a middle-aged man crying out for us to seek salvation; way ahead of you, sir! It did make me consider how I would be able to bear the testimony of Christ to the people around me as I strode onwards to The Forum. The fear of forgetting where I parked nudged me to make note of my location: Manchester A. No sooner had I observed this than the pleasantly-colored “SAINT PABLO TOUR/KANYE WEST 2016/5 NIGHTS SOLD OUT” triplet appeared in view. One in soft orange, one in maroon, and one in a kind of muted baby blue. I took a picture for the ‘gram.
- After using the restroom, I found myself attempting to hide the fact that I came alone by alternating between using my phone and watching the Cubs game that happened to be on television. Perhaps I could pass as someone who was waiting for people?
- The door popped open for a second and people began to hoot and holler, but it was a false alarm, which led to some expressions of light-hearted disappointment.
- When the doors opened at around 7:25 PM, I went straightaway to find my seat. Section 214, Row 11, Seat 5. When I got to my seat and surveyed the stadium, I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit as I realized how far from Mr. West I’d be. Nevertheless, the fog and the vague ambient music allowed me to get more or less settled into my seat. As I the minutes passed in fives, I began to realize that my hands were staggeringly cold – in fact, the entire inside of The Forum was freezing. I put my hands in my pockets and watched for people trying to get to their seat by way of my convenience.
- It is 8:30, and the concert hasn’t even shown signs of starting. A friend of mine tells me that she thinks it’s going to be starting at 9:00. I absent-mindedly drop eaves near the couple in front of me, who seem to be getting into an argument. The female turns her back to who I presume is her boyfriend, ignoring his attempts to tap her and talk things out. She begins to partake in the chicken tenders and fries that her friends had purchased to stave off pre-concert hunger. The boyfriend scrolls through Instagram. She asks him a question, and he gives a less-than-satisfactory answer, prompting her to roll her eyes and turn away once more. He stares at the back of her head before resuming his perusal of social media.
- The crowd down on the ground floor where Kanye would be levitating above began to get hyped, and phone cameras pointed skyward as they tried to discern whether or not Kanye was on stage. The couple in front of me made up after the boyfriend went to get a beer and a water, which gave me relief – I’m not even involved here! The people in front of me began standing up as the ambient noise swelled, but Kanye remained unseen.
- KANYE SHOWS UP AT AROUND 9:30.
- I can’t remember all of the songs that were playing, but I spend most of my time recording bits and pieces to put on my Instagram story. It’s swiftly becoming evident that alcohol is nearly a pre-requisite for many of the people in attendance, but I was a responsible, solo concert attendee and knew I would have to drive after the show was over. The set was breathtaking, and Kanye floated around over his fans, with the music blasting and everyone captivated by Yeezy.
- At some point during the night, a very clearly intoxicated female begins to bump against me while I’m trying my best to “coldest story ever told, somewhere far along this road, he lost his soul to a woman so heartless,” and I begin to become hyper-alert to what could possibly happen in terms of falling over and losing balance or if things were to escalate violently. Thankfully, nothing of that sort happened. Barring these circumstances, “Heartless” was honestly the highlight of the show for me, alongside all of the other old Kanye songs.
- Kanye takes some time to show his audience clips of his beloved wife Kim as a child growing up while the background of his song, “Only One,” played. During this time, the aforementioned intoxicated female begins to tug and pull at my arm, but I pulled away from her, leading to her ask, “No?” to which I briskly shook my head. Sorry not sorry – I’m here for Yeezy.
- I’m increasingly wary of the group of people next to me, which includes our now infamous intoxicated female, because they are consistently grabbing at me now, as one of her male acquaintances holds onto me for balance despite standing straight up, and the unpleasant smell of his breath was forced upon me when he grabbed me with one arm and asked me how amazing this was. I told him it was amazing, and he was placated.
- Kanye goes out with “Ultralight Beam,” and the show is over. All in all, it was a pretty amazing show! I learned a few things from the experience: 1) Inglewood is nothing to play with, 2) bringing a friend or two along to a concert may improve the experience drastically, 3) drunk people are unpredictable, 4) Yeezy goes OFF at his concerts, 5) merchandise at concerts is legalized robbery, 6) parking lots post-concert events are incredibly inert, and 7) I am so far from being a wavy dude. Shout out to Mr. West for being a pretty consistent musical go-to since the 8th grade; it was awesome finally seeing him in person.