This weekend, many of my friends and I will be decamping to either Las Vegas or Los Angeles to see Kanye West perform on his Yeezus tour. It’s the rapper’s solo tour in five years and comes on the heels of possibly his best and certainly darkest album, Yeezus, so understandably the announcement of the tour was met with fevered anticipation. Most everyone I know bought tickets for the closest shows as soon as possible, disappointed at the lack of an Arizona concert but more concerned with the goal of seeing Kanye some way, somehow. We’ve been waiting for this week for a while, but something funny happened that we suspected wouldn’t.
Mr. West booked a show with opener Kendrick Lamar at the US Airways Center in the heart of downtown Phoenix.
Although apparently some insiders knew well in advance that an Arizona show was planned, it is sad for us, the lowlife commoners who wanted so badly to bask in Yeezus’s glory from the comfort and convenience of our own state. Without a tip-off, we’re now stuck to our commuting commitments and transportation costs—after investing somewhere between $50 and $200 each on a ticket, we’re sticking to our Plan A.
I joked to a friend that Arizona “finished last,” but he reminded me to remember that, all the same, Arizona “does tend to finish!” I’m glad Mr. West will be making an appearance in the Grand Canyon state, so that my friends who didn’t buy first-round tickets will still have a chance to see him—not to mention get to chide us with some healthy I-told-you-so-ism.
But I also ask: Why is Arizona the forgotten, red-headed step-child state for some major performers? Perhaps some damage lingers from Zach de la Rocha’s anti-SB 1070 Sound Strike in 2010, a coalition of musicians who refused to perform in Arizona that included Mr. West in its numbers.
While it’s too late for those of us shipping off to Vegas tomorrow, the rest of you can enter to win tickets through Phoenix New Times, Zia Records, and KISS FM (and maybe some others I didn’t find). Or you can, you know, buy tickets.