Last night history was made. Kanye West and Kid Cudi had their official debut live performance as Kids See Ghosts at Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw festival in LA and it was everything I could’ve hoped for.
When Kanye returned to Twitter earlier this year to reveal he had multiple new albums on the way including a new collab project with Kid Cudi, many fans couldn't contain their excitement. The fact the project even existed was epic news on it's own its own and the music held up to the high expectations, being one of the best projects Kanye released all year.
When the official debut KSG performance was first announced for the festival I decided I had to go check it out. However, leading up to Camp Flog Gnaw, there were various events that happened making it seem as if the highly anticipated headliner set from Kids See Ghosts might not actually happen.
Kanye was caught up in political controversy and then said he was going to Africa to record an album he planned to release a couple weeks after this KSG debut show. This caused me to believe there was a chance he might not make it. Then, just days before the show, they were filming Kanye’s music video with Tekashi 6ix9ine when there were gunshots fired causing Kanye to flee the scene. This happened while Kanye, Kim and his family were on mandatory evacuation from the Los Angeles wildfire that Kim reported to have reached their property and was in danger of destroying their home. It was one thing after the other and at this point I was worried if Kanye would be able to make it for his performance or if something would interfere.
I was not confident a Kids See Ghosts show was a sure thing at the festival. However, Kanye then posted a picture of the the stage setup for the festival to reassure it was still happening. The entire weekend there were fans waiting in some of the longest lines I've ever seen for hours to get Kids See Ghosts merchandise as it seemed everyone there, including myself, was waiting for the same thing.
Brockhampton played the other stage right before KSG but their set was cut short due to the crowd being too intense pushing forward and starting to crush people up front. Someone from the festival had to repeatedly ask people to move back to relieve pressure on the crowd and they were not able to let Brockhampton continue due to the safety concerns.
The entire Brockhampton crowd proceeded to migrated to the main stage for Kanye and Cudi’s incredibly anticipated new joint live show with the hype at an all time high. Then the same thing happened. Someone got on the microphone asking the crowd to all take 10 steps back and calm down if the show were to continue. They repeated the request for a while as I waited unsure if Kids See Ghost was going to be able to happen. At this point I was worried they were going to call the show off.
After a while, a horizontal clear box came out of nowhere and was hanging in the middle of the stage with Cudi and Kanye inside as they seemingly just appeared to start their set. Kanye has been known to boast some insane stage setups in the past like his massive production alongside Jay Z on their Watch The Throne tour as well as his floating, moving stage on the Saint Pablo tour. This time around the two were suspended in the air in what looked like a clear shipping container with their silhouettes highlighted in front of the massive LED screen showing the Kids See Ghost album artwork.
They kicked off the set with Kanye’s “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” before moving into a spree of of Kids See Ghosts songs including “Fee the Love,” “Fire,” “4th Dimension,” “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2”, “Reborn,” “Kids See Ghosts” and “Cudi Montage.” From there they moved into older songs like Kanye’s “Welcome to Heartbeak” & “Paranoid” off 808s & Heartbreaks as well as Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” before closing the set with their “Ghost Town” collab. Both artists sounded incredible with the two effortlessly playing off each other even harmonizing at times during the performance, showing an undeniable chemistry. The crowd was one of the most hyped I've ever seen and so was Kanye, dancing and jumping wildly around the floating container.
There was surprisingly no Kanye rant with them getting straight to the music and squeezing the most out of their set time for a performance that couldn't have gone any better. After being skeptical they would actually be able to perform, I was able to see the legendary performance firsthand and was mind blown at how great it was.
Kids See Ghosts live was as was epic as I could have imagined as I'm hoping these two are able to do more KSG sets down the road. Check out some fan videos and clips of the stream below. Enjoy!
Photo: @campfloggnaw via Twitter