Kanye West says floating stage was inspired by Bono, Rolling Stones
Kanye West’s Saint Pablo tour kicked off in Indianapolis Thursday night, boasting one of the rapper’s historically epic show designs: a floating stage that swung across the crowd as he performed.
In a new interview with E!, West says the idea was inspired by his early days opening for high-profile acts like Bono and the Rolling Stones, as well as his time spent watching material from Radiohead, Trent Reznor, Daft Punk, Broadway multi-hyphenate Bob Fosse, and filmmaker Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner).
“I wanted people to get into it and have a fun time, make it not be just about watching the artist, but people watching their friends and singing along to the lyrics and being able to see themselves, their outfits,” he said. “It’s not just about what you’re seeing on the screen, or what you’re seeing me do on the stage, but what you and your friends are doing.”
When asked how long the concept was in the works, he joked it was somewhere around 10 years, but realistically took at least eight months of planning.
“I feel like this take on the future and the way it connects with music, that’s the vibe,” he explained. “I can stretch my hands — like the song says — I can stretch out in this arena, and give the crowd something they haven’t seen before.”
The Saint Pablo tour continues Saturday in Buffalo, New York. The two month North American jaunt, which supports his February album The Life of Pablo, includes stops in Boston, Los Angeles, and West’s hometown of Chicago. It wraps Oct. 29 in Las Vegas.
See West’s interview with E! and images of the floating stage below.