KANYE WEST, RIHANNA, N.E.R.D. and LUPE FIASCO, E Center, Monday

Kanye West's "Glow in the Dark" tour would have been more enjoyable had it started on time.

The show was suppose to start at 7 p.m., but the doors of the E Center didn't open until 8 p.m. Opening act Lupe Fiasco went on around 8:30 p.m. And N.E.R.D. took the stage around 9:45 p.m.

There wasn't any lack of energy during the two sets. And the bass was cranked up so much that the jumbo video screens hanging on either side of the stage shook and distorted the close-up images.

And there was a problem with a muddy mix from the get-go.

By the time the pixie-haired Rihanna appeared, it was already 10:35 p.m. Still, the audience hung on every word and note the sassy singer sang. "Pon de Replay," "Break It Off," "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)" and "Umbrella" were a few highlights of her kinetic and crowd-pleasing set.

At 11:45 p.m., Kanye West's set began. But it was like no other of the evening. West's show was an intergalactic journey that crash-landed on an unknown planet.

Projected scenery, including a well-lit cockpit dashboard and a textured stage, helped West bring his "hip-hopera" to life. As West tried to find a way back home, he peppered the story line with his songs.

The set opened with a sunrise backdrop and West waking and singing "Good Morning" from his multiplatinum CD "Graduation." As he pondered his existence in the universe, he launched into "I Wonder" while a volcano erupted on the backdrop video screen.

West's band performed in a makeshift orchestra pit at the foot of the stage, leaving West alone and the center of focus.

"Diamonds From Sierra Leone," which samples Dame Shirley Bassey's James Bond theme "Diamonds Are Forever," was another fan favorite, but it was West's hits — "Gold Digger" and "Good Life" that brought the house down.

Eventually West and his computer companion Jane figured out that the universe needed a new shining star, and West became the chosen one and used his song "Stronger" to prove his point.

The concert ended after 1 a.m., and while there were still some energetic fans in the audience, some were showing signs of fatigue.


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