I honestly don’t know why I decided to cover last night’s Travis Scott show. Maybe it was the allure of an arena show that was sure to come complete with a full production that would be bright and flashy or maybe it was the intrigue behind this man selling out the Target Center. Regardless, I made my way downtown bright-eyed and bush tailed for the sold out Travis Scott show.
I felt like I was there early having arrived about a half an hour after the doors opened and an hour before the show was slated to start but, after breezing through security and taking my seat, I realized that there were already thousands of fans standing on the floor circling the two stages on either side of the arena. There was a sense of excitement that rushed through my body. I may not have had a clue about what I had gotten myself into but the excitement that radiated from the floor and the people that were taking their seats around me was enough to have the hour wait time seem more like just a few minutes.
Last night had two opening acts (it was supposed to be three but Trippie Redd eludes me again– I was supposed to see him at 515 Alive this summer and he bailed, and now he bailed last night– does he even exist?!) and typically at giant shows like this the openers are completely ignored by the young and overly-excited audience. That was not the case last night. First act Sheck Wes blasted onto the stage to a roar of applause and screaming that quickly turned into the audience singing along to every word. At only twenty years old, Sheck Wes was the youngest of the three performers who were all ridiculously young. His energy was a reflection of his youth and I watched in awe as he literally flew across the stage for the whole twenty minutes that he was on stage with a sense of power and fun that my old bones just couldn’t believe. Much like the act to follow, Sheck’s set was short and sweet and definitely packed a punch. The Target Center may have been sold out because of headliner Travis Scott but it was abundantly clear that people were just as excited to see these openers.
Up next was Gunna. A fairly new face to the scene, Gunna seems to have been shot into the spotlight after a collaboration with Lil Baby and he has been standing his own in said spotlight ever since. Much like Sheck, I was instantly impressed with Gunna’s stage presence and energy. Although it was just him on this giant stage with just a DJ shoved behind him in the corner, he owned it. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single spot of that stage that his feet didn’t touch. Engaging with the fans, his set short was made to feel even shorter by the immense amount of energy he had. Like the music or not, there’s no denying that these two openers know exactly what they’re doing and both have bright futures ahead of them.
After a lengthy set changeover (which was completely justified once I saw just how much production was involved), Travis Scott exploded onto the stage to a deafening roar from the crowd. From the first note of what would turn into a 30+ song set, I was absolutely captivated. The energy, the lights, the sounds, the fireworks blasting off, the screens flashing with distorted images of the live show, everything was so perfect, so over the top, and so fun. I’ll be the first to admit that Travis Scott’s music definitely isn’t something I will be listening to in my freetime but I will also be the first to admit that his live show had me questioning that. There was something so organic about the music when mixed with the show. It was almost like everything was clicking for me and I instantly understood the music and this scene that I feel like such a stranger in.
Although there was definitely a production value that seemed a little over the top (including a round contraption that, when strapped in, would take Travis around the loop like it were the loop-de-loop of a rollercoaster- okay, so maybe Tommy Lee did do it better but it’s still cool to see). Although over the top, everything still seemed deliberate. Every fireball that was sent flying into the sky from the stage had a point. A couple of songs in, I noticed that there were fireballs literally flying through the sky in this rafter-like contraption that was set up. Did anyone on the floor really notice those fireballs? Absolutely not but I did and it was one of those things that showed Travis and his team were trying to go the extra mile so everyone in the sold out arena had something to see. All of those effects mixed with the fireworks (I’m not talking flash bang type stuff– I saw multiple “glitter” fireworks go off– you know the ones that make you go “Oh my God– that’s so pretty! I love those” on Fourth of July) left me and the rest of the parents that had somehow found themselves stranded at this show enjoying ourselves and having a hell of a night.
Last night started off as one of those “I don’t know why I’m here.” and “I’m too old for this shit!” nights but ended up being super fun and a show that may be in the running for top twenty of the year. “Holy shit, that was amazing.” is what I muttered to myself when I made it back to my car.