By Maryam Azizli
January 25. 2019
A theory: Travis Scott is the distant scion of Willy Wonka, Astroworld is his chocolate factory, Kylie Jenner is his darling Oompa Loompa, and you’d be fucking lucky to snatch a golden ticket.
Astroworld swept across the world with the velocity of the miniskirt in the 60s, or the Black Death in the 1340s. The second leg of the eulogized tour was kicked off at Vancouver’s very own Rogers Arena, as rabid masses swarmed to worship at the sold out altar of La Flame.
Living in the Western Hemisphere, you would have to be deaf and blind to not have caught a whiff of rap superstar Travis Scott; amid his near airwave monopoly, upcoming Superbowl performance, and babymamadrama, sensory deficit seems like the only plausible explanation.
Devastation hit Houston, in 2005 with the demolition of Six Flags AstroWorld. “They tore down AstroWorld to build more apartment space,” come the eternal words from Scott himself (GQ), who was 12 year old Jacques Berman Webster II at the time. Ironically, it was the existence, but more importantly the death of AstroWorld that turned Webster to music, to cope with the day-to-day humdrum previously assuaged by the amusement park. And so began the steady metamorphosis. Little Jacques met Kanye, dropped the “$”, and the rest is history; yet no lackluster mixtape could’ve prepared the world for the genius of Rodeo — the widely recognized rebirth of trap music — and later its (true) successor Astroworld
The opener was none other than Cactus Jack Records signee Sheck Wes, whose sleeper hit Mo Bamba erupted mid-2018 and has been overplayed at house parties ever since. Love it or hate it, when else would you hear 20,000 voices scream “Fuck! Shit! Bitch!” in perfect unison?
The elaborate reconstruction of the stage took at least 30 minutes. The space was in constant motion throughout the night, with the giant Scott-head, trippy graphics, and a functional roller coaster spanning across the arena; your eyes would not know where to look.
Scott held the crowd on an energical plateau despite the ebb and flow of the tempo, with high intensity tracks, like “No Bystanders” and “Butterfly Effect”, rousing as much enthusiasm as slower songs, like “Drugs You Should Try It” and “Love Galore”. Then came “Sicko Mode” and it was over, and just 🙁
When it comes to the spectacle itself, the show is like no other; it pushes and shatters all limits of the performative paradigm, transcends into uncharted territory and teeters at the very precipice of realityRogers Arena, Travis Scott