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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Inside Travis Scott’s Astroworld

Travis Scott creates a world worth seeing

Travis Scott released his album “Astroworld” to high praise on Aug. 3, 2018. The album accumulated a score of 85 on the review aggregating website Metacritic.

Scott Glaysher, a writer for XXL Magazine laid out his thoughts on the album in a review for the magazine.

“While Astroworld has some slight flaws, the project is Travis’ best, most-progressive and most-well-rounded album to date,” Glaysher wrote. “Hip-hop’s token rager is becoming a truly unstoppable force.”

The album was named after Six Flags Astroworld, which originally existed in Houston, Tex., but is no longer open. Scott has consistently presented his newest album and tour as being a theme park of its own and the album’s cover conveys the presence of this element.

Scott began his “Astroworld: Wish You Were Here” tour on Nov. 8, 2018, which recently arrived at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento for an inimitable experience.

Sheck Wes was the first of the night to take the stage. He performed a few songs including his incredibly popular hit song “Mo Bamba”, which certainly elevated the energy level and set the ball rolling for the following performances. Gunna was the second and last opener before Scott performed. Gunna kept the energy high and delivered trippy rhymes conjoined with wavy, heavy-hitting beats.  

A few minutes after Gunna’s performance, the lights went dim. A video erupted on the center screens assuring everybody that Astroworld was beginning. Almost instantaneously, Scott shot out from underneath the stage and began performing “Stargazing,” which is also the opening song on the album. Scott painted the stadium with energy and his musical performance was accompanied by what seemed like an unlimited supply of lighting equipment, pyrotechnics, huge digital screens and roller coasters.

Most of the show was comprised of fulfilling and bombastic moments that satisfied any prior expectations as to what Astroworld would be. At one moment, Scott entered a circle shaped roller coaster, strapped in, made a complete 360 degree loop, all while continuing to both talk and rap. Scott also embarked on a much larger and truly impressive roller coaster track, which was suspended in the air. He performed while slowly moving to both ends of the track above the audience.

During the performance of “R.I.P. Screw,” a giant veil released from the ceiling and colorful images were projected onto this draping veil for the entire stadium to see. Some of these images were “Astroworld,” “Wish You Were Here,” smiley faces, carnival tents and others that were thematically relevant. The show was full of alternating set pieces that resulted in a constantly changing atmosphere for a show that never ran out of surprises. Videos were shown intermittently throughout the performance and these videos were both mysterious and cryptic, but appeared to reveal tidbits of Scott’s life and the paths he has traversed. Scott performed most of the tracks found on “Astroworld,” but he also paid fans service by playing a few of his more popular tracks from the past.

The performance was one of a kind and provided plenty spectacular moments, but it was not perfect. Most of Scott’s vocals were easily heard and sounded on point, but the sound was inconsistent. Scott’s auto-tune style is by no means a detriment; he uses an electric sounding voice to provide a unique take on rap, but when performing live, the sound was not at the same level as his studio recordings. Something about the effect applied to his voice sounded a bit off when inside the enormous Golden 1 Arena. The volume was also incredibly loud and made it even more difficult to discern the presented layers of sound. The vocals were still quite enjoyable, but certainly not perfectly mirroring the quality found on his albums.

Scott tweeted after the performance to display his pleasure with the performance.

“Sac town kicks the west coast off something serious. Oh my geeze” Scott said on Twitter.

Each song Scott performed was accompanied by perfect choreography and effects executed with incomprehensible precision. Scott performed his sharp and swift rhymes with ease and a layer of immense intensity, his psychedelic tones were on full display with music so loud, it could be felt throughout the entire body and he provided a visual spectacle so grand that it can best be described as remarkable and unrepeatable. Experiencing “Astroworld” was a one of a kind experience. It solidified my appreciation for Scott as an artist and performer and I look forward to seeing more of what he has to present in the future.

Written by: Ethan Pearson — arts@theaggie.org


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