Best Concert (Touring)
Kanye West at Xcel Energy Center (Oct. 10, 2016)
Kanye West is one of the only artists alive who can captivate an entire arena — even when no one can see him. Throughout his mesmerizing, passionate performance during the Saint Pablo Tour stop in St. Paul (his first Twin Cities visit in eight years), West floated above the crowd on a moving platform accented by blood-red lighting that left him mostly in the shadows. But Kanye’s dynamic material and outsized persona enlivened the wild general admission floor as well as the packed stands, even if we only caught indistinct glimpses of him. The elevated stage played up Kanye’s God complex, bringing him closer to heaven while his adoring crowd worshiped from below. The moving stage redefined the parameters on what an arena show could look like; it transported Kanye to all corners of the X, getting the entire crowd hyped by the spectacle. The slew of cancellations before and after the performance made it that much more special, though any Kanye appearance is going to be memorable.
Readers’ Choice: Adele at Xcel Energy