Kanye West has just announced his much-anticipated upcoming tour in support of his latest album, The Life of Pablo, called “The Saint Pablo Tour.” This is West’s first expansive North American tour since 2013’s acclaimed “Yeezus” tour, which was lauded as an innovative, pioneering take on the concert tour experience, combining visual and musical elements in a larger-than-life, resplendent spectacle of rap-opera and theater. Concertgoers who attended the “Yeezus” shows will unquestionably be expecting the self-proclaimed “greatest artist of all time” to step it up even further, making “Saint Pablo” one of the hottest, most coveted tour tickets of the year.
West, apart from being renowned for his avant-garde, ingenious takes on music and art, is also famed for his outspoken, controversial personality, making headlines over and over earlier this year for Twitter fights (most famously with ex-girlfriend Amber Rose), social media diatribes, continual jabs at Taylor Swift (he “made that bitch famous”) and even a highly-publicized, nearly seven-minute long rant about entrepreneurship and Michael Jackson on the daytime talk show Ellen last month.
Far from turning fans off with his unsavory behavior, however, it seems that the rapper’s high-profile outbursts have merely made him even more of an object of fascination, with West engrossing listeners as an entertaining, unpredictable public figure as well as a musician. Even those who aren’t enraptured by his music are undoubtedly at least intrigued by West as a person and a performer, increasing the demand for Kanye tickets even further.
It’ll be interesting to see how “The Saint Pablo Tour” coalesces, especially since, unlike with many of his prior albums, the promotion and release of The Life of Pablo was convoluted and messy, to put it kindly. West very publicly went through a series of name-changes (“So Help Me God”, “Swish” and “WAVES” numbering amongst them) before finally deciding on T.L.O.P., and news of the album’s tracklist was revealed on social media scrawled on a piece of notebook paper. The album, much like its promotion, lacks the polished, perfectionist precision that usually marks the prolific rapper’s output, sounding alternately exultant and importunate, introspective and wildly egotistical, belligerent and heartfelt, drawing from elements as varied as gospel choirs, humming synth and spare, rhythmic bass. Nonetheless, however disparate the album sounds, West certainly has both the resources and talent to translate anything from “Ultralight Beam” to “I Love Kanye” to theaters and arenas with his trademark flair.
Live Nation, the tour’s exclusive promoter, said of West’s upcoming shows: “With Kanye’s history-making live performances continuing to innovate the concert experience and set new standards for the visual medium, THE SAINT PABLO TOUR is the most anticipated concert event of the year.” If “Yeezus” set the precedent, labeled alternately as “awe-inspiring” and “truly electrifying” by Rolling Stone and “brilliant” and “unmissable” by the New York Post, this surely isn’t an exaggeration. West is scheduled to hit locations in both the U.S. and Canada over the course of the tour, which runs from August to October, bringing songs from his seventh consecutive no. 1 album to stages all over the country.
Tickets go on sale on Saturday, June 18, exclusively on Live Nation. However, American Express cardholders can access a special presale starting today at 10 a.m. EST and running until 10 p.m. on Friday, June 17. Tidal subscribers also can claim early tickets, starting 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 16, with more information on buying tickets available upon login.
If you love Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye, check out West’s full list of tour dates below.
Kanye West Tour Dates:
25 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
27 – Buffalo, N.Y. @ First Niagara Center
30 – Toronto, Ontario @ Air Canada Centre
2 – Montreal, Quebec @ Bell Centre
3 – Boston, Mass. @ TD Garden
5 – New York, N.Y. @ Madison Square Garden
6 – New York, N.Y. @ Madison Square Garden
8 – Washington, D.C. @ Verizon Center
12 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Philips Arena
14 – Tampa, Fla. @ Amalie Arena
16 – Miami, Fla. @ American Airlines Arena
20 – Houston, Texas @ Toyota Center
21 – Austin, Texas @ Frank Erwin Center
22 – Dallas, Texas @ American Airlines Center
24 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Bridgestone Arena
25 – Columbus, Ohio @ Schottenstein Center
28 – Detroit, Mich. @ Joe Louis Arena
30 – University Park, Pa. @ Bryce Jordan Center
1 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Quicken Loans Arena
4 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Wells Fargo Center
6 – Detroit, Mich. @ Palace of Auburn Hills
7 – Chicago, Ill. @ United Center
8 – Chicago, Ill. @ Allstate Arena
10 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Xcel Energy Center
12 – Winnipeg, Manitoba @ MTS Centre
15 – Edmonton, Alberta @ Rogers Place
17 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rogers Arena
19 – Seattle, Wash. @ Key Arena
22 – Oakland, Calif. @ Oracle Arena
25 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Forum
26 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Forum
29 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ T-Mobile Arena