10 Things You Should Know About Kanye West’s Show At Governors Ball

Check out amazing, highly aggressive new songs that will probably turn up on Yeezus when it comes out next week.

1. He opened and closed the show with “Black Skinhead,” and both times, the song was accompanied by unnerving video images of white women in black Ku Klux Klan regalia.

2. He also played a fierce version of “New Slaves.” He was backed by the same electronic live band setup as when he was on SNL recently, and that crew made even a lot of the more mellow oldies seem a bit more aggressive and jarring.

3. Kanye also debuted three other new songs, all presumably from Yeezus. This one, maybe called “On Site,” was the most abrasive. It sounds kinda like a very furious broken video game.

4. Here’s another one that might be called “I Am A God.” If you think this one is a bit arrogant, consider that it was deliberately sequenced right after “Power” and segued into “Jesus Walks.”

5. And no one’s sure of what this one is called, but it is built around a really queasy-sounding synth line.

6. Kanye isn’t concerned about his confrontational music flopping on radio. In his one address to the audience, he said “When I listen to radio, that ain’t where I want to be no more…I don’t give a fuck about outside opinions.”

7. Some of the show’s most lighthearted songs, like “Flashing Lights,” “All of the Lights,” and “Good Life,” were accompanied by video images of bomber planes and military jet pilots, suggesting a very different context for those numbers.

8. “Runaway,” the penultimate song of the night, had a new ending in which Kanye sang “If you love somebody tonight, hold on so tight” a few times over before repeating “assholes deserve to be lonely.” It was very intense and moving.

Taylor Hill / WireImage / Getty Images

9. He had no guests of any kind. It was just Kanye with his band in the shadows, with the emphasis placed entirely on his voice and beats. He spent most of the show on a platform that extended out into the middle of the crowd.

Taylor Hill / WireImage / Getty Images

10. When he wasn’t using airplane imagery or the art made for “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves,” his stage show was mostly focused on digitally scrambled images of live footage from the stage. Like the new songs, it was abrasive and disorienting.

Big thanks to NormalMag for filming such great footage of the new songs.

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