In 2008, Kanye West drew the ire of even the most faithful Bonnaroo Music Festival attendees, following an especially disastrous performance that saw him take the stage several hours late and then eventually lambaste Tennessee festival organizers in a scathing open letter. So, when West was announced as the Friday night headliner, Bonnaroovians were less than pleased. No stranger to a little controversy, though, West nonetheless took the stage (just six minutes late, no less) to deliver a resilient and triumphant performance.
The career-spanning 21-song set touched on Kanye’s entire discography, including his most recent release, Yeezus. The beginning of the set was heavy in material from Cruel Summer, while Yeezy wrapped up the festivities with classic tracks like “Jesus Walks” and “All Falls Down”.
The set also featured Kanye’s usual stream of consciousness. On several occasions, he addressed the 2008 debacle. “Last time before I got here they had ‘f*** Kanye’ on the port-a-potties. This time we’re going to p*** on them,” he proclaimed.
Later, he took aim at the members of the press, insinuating that they were to blame for the blowback he encountered following that performance. He blamed Pearl Jam and festival organizers for causing him to take the stage three hours late, and the press for inaccurately reporting the story.
Elsewhere, Kanye seemed to suggest that the release of new music is imminent. It was hard to understand what exactly he was saying overtop the blaring beat of “New Slaves,” but he appeared to say that a new record is “about to drop”.
It’s also worth nothing that Kanye once again omitted Jay Z’s name during “Cold.”