The Glow In The Dark tour will bring hip-hop stars Kanye West, N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco as well as R&B head-turner Rihanna to the Reno Events Center tonight at 8 p.m.
The buzz surrounding the Glow In The Dark Tour has been impressive, if not overwhelming. Reviewers from cities that have already seen the tour express how stunned they were at West’s stage, which resembles the moon, and his ability to utilize lighting and smoke to make the stage look like a distant land.
“Glow in the Dark raises the bar for arena tours as no show has since U2’s 1992 Zoo TV breakthrough,” said Time Corporation Music Critic Anna Powers after the Seattle show. “It’s that innovative and galvanizing.”
Still, this is not shocking. West likes to do it big and has often been criticized for his narcissistic attitude. Yet, as 2008 dealt its cards to West, he cried on stage during a Paris show after the death of his mother last November — a humbling moment that might have some critics believing his “diva” days have calmed down.
West is expected, and has been noted, to perform an array of his hits from his three albums: 2004’s “College Dropout” hosts the hits “Jesus Walks” and “All Falls Down,” which was quickly followed by 2005’s “Late Registration” dropped singles such as “Gold Digger” and “Diamonds,” followed by West’s latest release, 2007’s “Graduation,” reminded fans he is here to stay and has already had three chart-topping singles gain massive radio play, “Stronger,” “Good Life” and “Flashing Lights.”
But forget West. He is in the game to stay. He was a producer before he was a rapper, and a rapper before a performer and perfectionist. Sure, he will be bringing in the crowd tonight, but West will have strong competition for fan favorite because stage mates Rihanna, N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco are chart toppers, as well.
Breaking up the testosterone-driven performance, Rihanna will give audience members something pretty to look at. The tall, slender and stunningly beautiful Barbados-born singer can belt out the high notes with the best of them.
Rihanna hit the charts in 2006 with her club hits “Pon De Replay” and “SOS” off the album “A Girl Like Me.” She quickly followed up with 2007’s sophomore effort, “Good Girl Gone Bad,” which unleashed the wrath of hit summer single “Umbrella.” There was no way to escape that song. It could be heard in every club and on every radio station, and the video seen on every music TV channel around the civilized word.
Rihanna has seen success with well-produced beats and catchy lyrics, in contrast to N.E.R.D., which is comprised of music producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo who added colleague Shae to the list.
In 2001, N.E.R.D. release the catchy and eclectic “In Search Of…” that often confused music critics but gave hip-hop junkies and club-goers something to dance to. “Lapdance” was a raunchy tune that stills sees regular play at summer parties, and no doubt strip clubs, but songs off 2004’s “Fly Or Die” such as “She Wants To Move” and “Backseat Love” restored the group’s image of credible hip-hop artists and performers.
N.E.R.D.’s third album, entitled “Seeing Sounds,” will be released on Tuesday.
The name that elicits the “Who?” on the Glow In The Dark Tour’s bill is Lupe Fiasco, but devoted hip-hop fans have known about him since the single “Kick, Push” was released in 2006. The single eloquently rhymed out an ode to skateboarding and lit up the ears of rock fans as well as hip-hop fans.
Fiasco released his album debut in 2007 with “Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor.” The album did well with the fan based created by “Kick, Push” but his latest release, “Lupe Fiasco’s the Cool,” has seen commercial success with songs like “Superstar.”
The Glow In The Dark tour will light up the night with performances from some of hip-hops biggest players. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or www.silverlegacyreno.com. Tickets are $49.50, $89.50 and $104.50.