After months of anticipation, Kanye West’s “Saint Pablo Tour” is set to kick off on Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. In all, Yeezy is set to put on 39 performances throughout the United States and Canada through early November. If this Kanye tour stays true to his past outings, fans are in for a treat of impressive, over-the-top visuals.
While details surrounding the the “Saint Pablo Tour” remain scarce, let’s take a look back at the visuals, effects, and costumes that were present at Kanye West’s previous headlining tours.
“The College Dropout Tour” – 2004
In support of his debut album, The College Dropout, Kanye West embarked on “The College Dropout Tour” in early 2004. Though the trek stopped at colleges and small venues such as Virginia Tech and the House of Blues in Chicago, Kanye went as big as possible, which include appearances from Dropout Bear, as well as a multi-part LED screen, which displayed visuals that followed the album’s collegiate theme.
“Touch the Sky Tour” – 2005
Two weeks prior to the start of Kanye’s tour in support of his sophomore effort, Late Registration, Kanye scraped the stage design because he wasn’t a fan of the lighting. He was introduced to stage designer Es Devlin and the rest was history. Devlin helped Ye with the tour’s visuals, and has been working with Kanye ever since. Though the tour featured a barrage of lights and visuals, it was nothing compared to his next outing.
“Glow in the Dark Tour” – 2008
With the help of Es Devlin, Kanye West led the design for his third headlining tour in support of 808s & Heartbreak. The “Glow in the Dark Tour” was critically acclaimed, and the set featured Kanye descending to Earth on a spaceship, props and visuals such as planets, stars, a giant monster, and a robot, as well as plenty of neon lights to evoke the sense that everything on the stage was indeed glowing in the dark. Openers for the tour included Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D, and Rihanna.
“Watch the Throne Tour” – 2012
The “Watch the Throne Tour” was Kanye’s first in four years, and he made sure it didn’t disappoint. In support of his joint album with Jay-Z, the duo performed on giant LED-lit cubes suspended hundreds of feet above the crowd. Visuals displayed on the cubes included the American flag, dogs, crows, and tigers, among other animals. Breathtaking laser and pyrotechnic displays put the icing on the cake.
“The Yeezus Tour” – 2013
As with his past three tours, Es Devlin signed on to do stage design for “The Yeezus Tour”. Throughout much of his performance, Kanye was illuminated by a beam of white light, which gave him a godlike appearance, and during “Jesus Walks,” an actor appeared on stage as the reincarnation of Jesus. Oh, and for much of his performance, Kanye wore a custom mask covered in jewels.
The stage design included a giant 50-foot tall mountain, which changed its appearance into a volcano at various points of the performance. Above the mountain, which was dubbed Mount Yeezus, a 60-foot wide circular LED screen displayed stunning visuals throughout the show. And of course, plenty of smoke and flames were incorporated into the performance.