Go Behind the Design of Kanye West's 'Saint Pablo Tour'
“There are few artists, if any, who do as much for the sake of art as Kanye West. “
Kanye West and his team sure know how to put on a show. Any audience member at one of the Saint Pablo Tour live performances could see it was unlike anything Mr. West has ever done before. Staying true to his creative vision, the Saint Pablo Tour saw an interactive experience with a Main Stage and a Secondary Stage featuring an elaborate pulley and track system, resulting in the crowd becoming part of the show. Also by combining film, architecture and fashion into his work, West has created concerts that feel like theatrical experiences. ArchDaily and architecture journal INTERIORS examine the inspiration behind the complex set designs of the tour, uncovering every inspiration. Read the full version here. Also be sure to check out INTERIORS look at Yeezus tour as well here.
The design of the tour is broken down into two stage components, its Main Stage and Secondary Stage (or “Spaceship” Stage as it has been named by many). These stages feature an elaborate pulley and track system. The open web steel joists compose the elaborate framing system that attaches to the structure of each arena. The result is that people actually become part of the experience, taking the concept of a concert to another level. In this sense, audience members are singing, dancing and engaging with Kanye West. It is the first concert in recent memory that actively uses the crowd as part of the experience of the show.
The Saint Pablo Tour is divided into three sections with two transitions. The first section of the show consists of Kanye West entering on the main stage during “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”—at first, only the spotlights on the edges of the platform are on for the first group of songs, with lighting cues that represent Kanye West’s arrival, gradually building energy and momentum for the show. The second section includes additional lighting cues with Kanye West traveling closer to the opposite end of the arena. The third section sees parts of the stage transforming with more lighting cues and effects from the Secondary Stage and ultimately concluding with Kanye West traveling back to a bright spotlight in the center of the stage during “Ultralight Beam.”
There are few artists, if any, who do as much for the sake of art as Kanye West. This is an artist who has continuously combined Film, Architecture, and Fashion into his work, creating concerts that feel like theatrical experiences—even going so far as to redefine our understanding of tour merchandise, making tour shirts feel like their own in-demand clothing line. Kanye West has transformed Stage Design and Performance Architecture, with each live performance now redefining the way we envision and experience the medium, much in the same way his idols, Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, transformed their respective fields.