Astroworld

By Daria Gitiforooz

Ever since I heard “Impossible” by Travis Scott playing at a thrift store four years ago, I have been a huge fan, following his music very closely. Although he does not release albums frequently, it is common to find him featured on other artists’ works. When I see “Ft. Travis Scott”, I think that the song is almost guaranteed to be a banger, Travis’s iconic auto-tuned voice having the power to bring any song to the top charts.

Travis Scott’s newest album, Astroworld, came out in August after over a year of him teasing its release. Almost immediately, he announced his tour dates, and on December 4, he came to Cleveland for the Astroworld World Tour. The last time he visited Cleveland was in May of 2017, performing Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight at Jacob’s Pavilion. This time around, I was seeing him at The Q: a testament to how much he has grown over the past year.

A friend and I bought tickets the day of the concert, hoping to avoid the high prices that we saw when the tickets first came out. We succeeded: for only $40 a piece, we were able to get tickets in the nosebleeds while others paid hundreds of dollars for the same tickets when they first were released.

The openers that were scheduled to welcome Travis in Cleveland were Trippie Redd, Gunna, and Sheck Wes, all artists I only vaguely knew. We ended up only arriving at the venue in time to hear Trippie Redd, an artist from Ohio who is most famous for his song with Travis Scott, Dark Knight Dummo. While Redd’s performance was passionate, the crowd seemed impatient, only a couple real fans singing along to his lesser known songs. I don’t blame them, though- I’m sure that having to sit through three openers is bound to have some people annoyed.

From my experience with large venues like The Q, security is laxer regarding getting people to their correct seats. So, my friend and I spent the remainder of Trippie Redd’s opening act sneaking through the crowds, hoping to snag better seats that were left vacant closer to the floor. At the end of Redd’s set, we were finally successful; we were able to sneak onto the lowest levels of seats, only feet from the GA floor. Not bad for $40 tickets.

After finally having a chance to observe the stage(s!), I immediately knew that this would be the best concert I would ever attend- not only because of the music, but also because of the production quality. Fans of Scott know that when he has an artistic vision, he will stop at the nothing to achieve it, which was evident with the amount props and extra mechanical additions to the concert floor. In addition to the large stage that was on one end of the venue floor, the other side of the arena house another, smaller stage. The album Astroworld was inspired by Six Flags AstroWorld in Houston, where Scott is from. Although Travis’s favorite amusement park filed for bankruptcy more than a decade ago, the Astroworld Tour set makes it seem like the park never closed. The small stage housed a huge circular amusement park ride, with attached seats that were meant to take the rider all the way around the loop. In the area between the two stages, an even larger rollercoaster was attached to the ceiling. Inflatable Travis Scott faces were scattered throughout the venue, imitating the entrance to the original park.

Although I wish I could attach more videos of when Travis Scott finally came on the stage, my cheering makes it hard to decipher what was going on. I’ll let you imagine this, though: a video plays on the big stage to signal Scott’s arrival, and when his voice finally rings out throughout the arena, he is nowhere to be found. It is only seconds later until everyone realizes that he shot out of the smaller stage. Stargazing, the song he opened with, was perfect, and immediately got the crowd more hype.

As the concert goes on, even more aspects of the production design became evident. Fire, which came shooting out during bass drops, looked amazing among the lights that created the optical illusion of a 3D prism. A rocket and other carnival props rose out of the large stage, and at one point, a projector screen came down and projected Astroworld symbols, the night sky, and fire. Scott ended up riding both roller coasters, which was incredible to see.

Travis Scott’s performance itself was one of the best I have ever experienced. I think that if people came to the concert only knowing Astroworld songs, they must have been disappointed, but as a longtime fan, I was overjoyed at the fact that he performed many of his old songs. Not only did he perform over half of the songs from Astroworld, but he also did not stray from including songs from Birds in the Trap, Rodeo, and even his old mixtape, Days Before Rodeo. Scott also rapped some songs he was only featured on, such as Zeze, and some of his old singles, like Don’t Play. Overall, the setlist was the perfect mix of old and new.

The concert ended too soon. I enjoyed every second of it, from the song choices to the production design. Scott not only made us feel like we were actually in an amusement park, but also blessed us by performing many of his oldest songs.

If you are ever given the chance to see Travis Scott live in concert, I recommend that you take up the opportunity. Even if you aren’t a huge fan, and even if you only know a couple songs, Scott’s performance will blow you away no matter what. Wish you were there.