Kanye West Opens The iHeartRadio Music Festival With Commanding Performance

by | PopCrush


Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Kanye West came, saw, and conquered his iHeartRadio Music Festival set Friday night (September 18) in Las Vegas. The Yeezus designer, 38, appeared at the MGM Grand Garden as the opening act of the two-day festival. And while many had been hoping that the rap titan would perform his latest single, “Fade,” or perhaps even announce his new album, Kanye instead focused solely on running through his 18-song set like a pro.

Academy Award-winning actor and Thirty Seconds To Mars musician Jared Leto was on hand to introduce the performer, calling West  a “visionary, artist, madman, musician, producer, provocateur, director, husband, father and just maybe the future president of the United States of America” before the rapper’s dramatic silhouette appeared through the gold fog of the smoky stage.

During his 30-minute or so set, a particularly smiley West treated impassioned fans to a celebratory retrospective of his diverse catalog, performing tracks like “Stronger,” “Heartless,” “All Day,” “Black Skinhead,” “Runaway,” “Jesus Walks,” “FourFiveSeconds,” “Gold Digger,” and “All of the Lights” among other countless hits and favorites from his six album-spanning career.

Toward the end, the artist wrapped up his set with “Only One,” an emotional and intimate song about his mother and his daughter, North West. And it was during this touching tribute that West made his first reference (yes, during the entire set) to his alleged forthcoming presidential run, amending one of the lyrics to his song to, “You’ll be the man you always knew you could be—2020,” resulting in an eruption of cheers from the audience.

And you know what? Maybe Kanye would make a great president—after all, he sure does know how to command a large crowd!

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