Kanye West is having a rough week. First he's accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during a radio interview in New York, and then he storms off stage in Tampa, Fla., stopping the show after just three songs and reportedly screaming at his crew because of sound and lighting troubles.
Then on Tuesday, he played to an arena that was less than a quarter full. According to the Kansas City Star, fewer than 4,500 people showed up to the stop on his Yeezus tour at the 19,000-seat Kansas City Sprint Center. This is somewhat shocking for the man who proclaims himself to be the "number one living and breathing rock star."
Could it be that West's Yeezus shtick, replete with bejeweled face masks, mountain stages, and Jesus-inspired poses is too much for this part of the country known as the Bible Belt? Perhaps people have been feeling overwhelmed by all of the primping and posing he's been doing with his infamous lady love Kim Kardashian. Or could it simply be that West's star is waning?
"For whatever reason, historically major rap and hip-hop artists do not generate the same level of live business as do pop, rock and country artists," said Gary Bongiovanni, CEO of Pollstar.
That said, others believe that West would have been able to sell out the arena a few years ago. "West almost certainly could have filled the Sprint Center five years ago," reports the Kansas City Star. "Tuesday's poor attendance indicates how his scandalous love life, frequent impolite pronouncements and his gradual shift away from conventional hip-hop have alienated many of his fans."
Apparently the meager Kansas City crowd humbled West, and he made some contrite remarks to the audience. "I don't always say the right things at the right time," he said. "I'm better at saying the wrong things at the wrong time."
West reportedly fared a little better on Sunday night, nearly selling out Philips Arena in Atlanta, which also happens to be his birthplace. He definitely let it go to his head, reminding the crowd, "I can do whatever I want to," according to Access Atlanta.
West has a show scheduled in New Orleans on Thursday night and three dates lined up in Texas before his Yeezus tour hits California and Chicago later in December. As of press time, it appears that plenty of tickets are still available for all of his remaining shows.
- Arts & Entertainment