Seven years since its release, Kanye West brought his groundbreaking album 808s & Heartbreak back to life during the first of two back-to-back shows at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday, which included surprise guests, dramatic stage props, and fireworks. Backed by a symphony orchestra including a female conductor, string section, and eight-person choir, the music mastermind performed his 2008 LP in its entirety and was joined by some special guests.
Dozens of half-naked black men stood on stage in front of a two-story-high pyramid-like stairwell, and fireworks exploded over the clamshell stage during songs like “Love Lockdown.”
According to CoS, the 12-song set included the first-ever live rendition of “Bad News,” and rarely-performed tracks like “Welcome to Heartbreak,” “Amazing,” “RoboCop,” and “See You in My Nightmares.”
Additionally, Kanye brought out several of the album’s collaborators including Jeezy (“Amazing”), Mr Hudson (“Paranoid”), and Kid Cudi, who joined his former G.O.O.D. Music boss on “Welcome to Heartbreak,” “Heartless,” and “Paranoid.” There was reportedly a mic pack for Lil Wayne backstage, but he did not take the stage.
Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Zoë Kravitz were among the celebrities in attendance.
“That. Shit. Cray. • Thank you #Kanye • that was a beautiful experience,” said Kravitz.
Watch highlights from night one below.
808s & Heartbreak Setlist
“Say You Will”
“Welcome to Heartbreak” (with Kid Cudi) (First time performed since March 20, 2009)
“Amazing” (with Young Jeezy) (First time performed since July 2, 2009)
“Love Lockdown” (First time performed since October 26, 2013)
“Paranoid” (with Mr Hudson) (also with Kid Cudi; First time performed since November 23, 2010)
“RoboCop” (First time performed since July 2, 2009)
“Street Lights” (First time performed since November 17, 2013)
“Bad News” (First time ever performed)
“See You in My Nightmares” (First time performed since July 2, 2009)
“Pinocchio Story” (First time performed since September 16, 2011)