Travis Scott Concert Review

Travis Scott
May 15th, 2017
Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO


Houston rapper Travis Scott became visible in the hip-hop world back in 2013 with his single "Upper Echelon." The song's airhorn-laden hook surely fueled its fair share of out-of-control party moments, but Scott didn't truly become a household name until his debut album "Rodeo" was released in 2015. In-between those two years, he made his first trip to Kansas City opening for The Neighbourhood at the Power & Light District. He brought a pack of eager fans out to that show, but what went down at the Uptown on Monday night was in a league of its own.

Scott had been arrested Saturday night at his last show in Arkansas and charged with "inciting a riot" after fans crashed through a barricade. He was quickly bailed out of jail and made his way to Kansas City. Fans awaiting Scott's arrival on stage Monday sure seemed to be on the brink of a riot as well. Nearly an hour passed in-between the end of Khalid's opening set and Scott's. The crowd was almost constantly churning and occasionally spitting dehydrated or aggressive fans up over the barricade into the hands of security.

Just past 9:45, Scott gripped a mic backstage and began the first song before finally emerging, smoke rolling at his ankles. He stood several feet off the ground on a platform connected to leaf-covered, cage backdrop. That cage housed an enormous animatronic eagle with light-up eyes, a wingspan of roughly 20 feet, and guts hanging from its beak. Any attendee lamenting a $50 ticket price was quickly silenced by the tour's massive stage production.

Scott's DJ Chase B would occasionally pause songs to let Scott continue a cappella into his signature auto-tune-filtered mic. Those moments were some of the only ones where the crowd wasn't subject to the show's bone-rattling bass and drums. Ballads like "90210" benefitted from this treatment.

Before performing his 2014 single "Mamacita," Scott gave his recent arrest situation a nod by explaining, "This is not considered a riot. This is considered a good-ass show." The show didn't spawn more than a couple true mosh pits, but fans did get considerably buck to tracks like "Pick Up The Phone," "Antidote," and "Goosebumps." Scott's recipe of smashing together syrupy, emotional hooks and brash, party-ready verses about sex and drugs (or vice versa) is second to none.

Many rappers that share Scott's level of fame wouldn't even think of inviting fans on stage, but at least two managed to stand beside him and dance before stage diving away (one being Kansas City rapper Dettsa).

Several songs into the set, Scott stopped to place a call on his cell phone. It was unclear if he was play acting as a part of the show, but quickly gave a brief apology and got things rolling again. It wasn't until later on that he explained that he was on the phone trying to get three new songs released online. It turns out he was successful in this task and announced that he would close out the show by DJing them. While it was a thrill to be with Scott as he released new music, ending the show in a mellow, listening party mode was a bit anti-climatic.

Even though it ended peacefully, Scott confirmed that he puts on one of the most energetic and entertaining shows in hip-hop -- even when he's in flyover country. Watching him scream out his hits from atop an enormous animatronic eagle is easily one of the best things one can pay money to witness in 2017.

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