“Utopia is everywhere you are,” Travis Scott writes on his Instagram profile. “Utopia”, August 7 – yes, wherever you are, but first of all it is in Rome, at the Circus Maximus. The world premiere of Travis Scott’s fourth album is here, in the cradle of history and magic in the Eternal City. And sixty thousand people coming from all over the world. Jacques Bermond Webster II knows this well, very well indeed. And the fact that the concert at the Pyramids of Giza was canceled in order to transfer the expectation of the release of the new album on July 28 directly to the Roman arena is perhaps not a minus. A concert announced as a surprise, but never so eagerly anticipated. And I didn’t wait, I didn’t wait at all. So much so that his show starts at 21:30, with a live broadcast around the world, followed by thousands of people, and with a perfect reception: in the wonderful world of Utopia.
“Welcome to Utopia. You are the first to experience Utopia live.”
A background voice, which is heard a few moments after the start of the show, reminds those present of the uniqueness of the moment: you are the first to “live” Utopia live. Warning: don’t just listen. But just touch the experience, the world of Travis Scott, which is not just about listening to the album. The rapper who, with this fourth creation, has brought together some of the most interesting voices and producers (many collaborations also include The Weeknd, Drake, 21 Savage, James Blake and SZA, to name but a few, are – in my opinion – more interesting) strikes again records: in the first week of release Utopia sold 500,000 physical copies and created 650 million streams worldwide. According to Spotify, it was the most streamed album of 2023 on its first day of release, with 128 million streams and 79 million on its second day. Incredible numbers, as, indeed, and his show.
Start from HYENA
Travis Scott arrives in white, glasses and pure energy: the scenography is minimal, but we are on the planet Utopia, which has no clear geographical connotation. Utopia is everywhere, Travis Scott takes us everywhere. Live broadcast starts from HYENAand then continue with GOD BLESS, MODERN JAM, Yes AND SIREN. From time to time Scott stops to thank those in attendance, and several times (climaxing at the end of the show) he recalls that this live was a small bet, given that it was organized in just a few days. “No one believed that we could do this, but instead we are here: sixty thousand people for Utopia,” says Scott, creating even more excitement around the continuation of the concert. Which continues with one of the most epic moments of the evening (and the history of this performance): Kanye/Ye West stage appearance (with applause and delight of the entire Circus Maximus)
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Arrival of Kanye West
There are those who are almost certain of The Weeknd’s presence, those who hoped for Ye’s arrival because he was on holiday in Florence for a few days, even if there is peace between hope and reality. But on the planet Utopia, even the impossible becomes real: and Kanye West materializes on the stage. Public reaction? A mixture of joy, exaltation, disbelief, energy. But there is no time to realize what is happening in all the details: you have to appreciate every moment. Kanye and Travis are a dream couple, an unexpected but long-awaited duet, an almost hidden desire that came true. And yes: that’s right. Sick Luke, Rondodasos, Sangiovanni, Pyrex and Dookie, who literally went crazy when Sir Ye appeared on the stage in Utopia, also understand this very well. Artists who become fans, and that’s something beautiful.
West and Scott together for two songs: God bless AND Can’t tell me anything, a 2007 work by E himself. And you really can’t tell them anything.
“Without Kanye West, there is no utopia. There is no world without Kanye West. No Travis Scott without Kanye West.”
“Without Kanye West, there is no utopia. There is no world without Kanye West. There is no Travis Scott without Kanye West. Applause for inspiration, Ye!” Travis Scott yells before hugging Kanye/Ye who arrives with his face covered. The look is the same as always, courage – that’s what always distinguished him. But it’s Kanye the one and only. And the show, with its magical touch, shows.
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World premiere, arrival of Kanye West, Circus Maximus: there are some elements that define the historicity of this concert in terms of its scale, and how. Travis Scott knows this and does his best not to reduce the energy and adrenaline present in this magical place. Despite the shortness of breath (sometimes) caused by his constant jumping on stage (never stops, unbelievable), as well as the unexpected appearance of a fan on stage. “If you are looking for a casino, you are in the wrong place. There are sixty thousand people here, they came to the concert. Go away,” Travis Scott says before continuing. Meltdownto then see how the boy rushes into the crowd.
“If you know this song, sing it with me, let’s make a mess!” are the words that the 1991-born record-breaking rapper (and eight-time Grammy nominee) tells his fans before starting SICK MODE which, albeit with absurd adrenaline, slowly leads to the end of the show. Goosebumps is one of the last tracks of this concert, and it best captures the spirit of what Travis Scott managed to create: chills. Energy and adrenaline (which is always enough at his concerts, vitality, which he feeds himself), but also emotions. The ones with Kanye. But above all those that were created with the participation of sixty thousand people who, despite the short time frame, did not want to miss this first special offer. The closing of the concert, which lasted ninety minutes, was entrusted TELEKINStrace from Utopia in collaboration with Future and the great SZA. And if you think about it, then telekinesis is nothing more than a paranormal phenomenon, through which a living being could influence its environment by manipulating inanimate objects. Travis Scott brought the Circus Maximus to life with his utopia. Except that Travis Scott isn’t paranormal: it’s all true.
Travis Scott recreated the Beatles filmed on Abbey Road
Thank God – with Kanye West
Can’t Tell Me Nothing – with Kanye West
THE HIGHEST IN THE ROOM
I KNOW ?
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