North West steals the show at Kanye’s ‘Vultures’ listening party in Phoenix – The Breakout Star of the Night!

On Sunday, March 10, Ye and Dolla $ign hit downtown Phoenix for the latest in a series of listening parties they’ve been hosting for

their “Vultures” project.

How to Get Tickets to Kanye's 'Donda' Listening Party in Chicago

“Vultures 1,” the first installment in a trilogy of album-length collaborations, hit the streets in February, topping Billboard’s album

charts for two weeks, giving West his 11th consecutive No. 1 appearance on that chart.

“Vultures 2” was supposed to be released on Friday, March 8, but had yet to drop by Sunday evening when the duo hit the stage at

Footprint Center.

𝑲𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒆 𝑾𝒆𝒔𝒕 and Ty Dolla $ign are set to take the stage at Rolling Loud California, a hip-hop festival in Los Angeles, on Thursday, March 14, for a performance being billed as their official live debut as ¥$.

On Sunday, March 10, Ye and Dolla $ign hit downtown Phoenix for the latest in a series of listening parties they’ve been hosting for their “Vultures” project.

North West, 10, Announces Debut Album 'Elementary School Dropout'

“Vultures 1,” the first installment in a trilogy of album-length collaborations, hit the streets in February, topping Billboard’s album charts for two weeks, giving West his 11th consecutive No. 1 appearance on that chart.

“Vultures 2” was supposed to be released on Friday, March 8, but had yet to drop by Sunday evening when the duo hit the stage at Footprint Center.

Kanye was there, bro. And he and Dolla $ign had come prepared to show those fans a far more entertaining time than the thought of a “listening party” might suggest.

How does a 𝑲𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒆 𝑾𝒆𝒔𝒕 listening party compare to a concert?
You could see why they didn’t call it a concert.

But it wasn’t actually all that different than a concert, really, once you get beyond the fact that neither West nor Dolla $ign did any actual rapping or singing.

They were certainly performing, though, whipping the crowd into a frenzy while dancing and miming along to the songs from “Vultures 1” and “Vultures 2” in a circular spotlight on the floor of the arena as billowing smoke at times obscured their movements.

The staging was dark and dramatic with minimal lighting. Both performers dressed in black, masks covering their faces as the circular screen above their heads projected grainy images of the action unfolding below.

West wore a hockey mask over a black balaclava, removing both face coverings, if briefly, as the party was nearing its conclusion.

It was almost like performance art.

Kanye West's Phoenix listening party's breakout star: North West

𝑵𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝑾𝒆𝒔𝒕 announces ‘Elementary School Dropout’ album
𝑵𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝑾𝒆𝒔𝒕, Kanye’s 10-year-old daughter, joined the pair on a few songs. She was the only one to actually address the crowd.

“Hi, it’s Northy,” she said. “And I’ve been working on an album. It’s called ‘Elementary School Dropout.’”

Not calling it “North by 𝑵𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝑾𝒆𝒔𝒕” feels like a missed opportunity, but “Elementary School Dropout” is pretty great.

She also brought two of her younger siblings, Saint and Chicago, out to dance at one point.

Ye and Ty Dolla $ign played ‘Vultures 2’ in Phoenix
After making their way through “Vultures 1” and “Vultures 2,” they reached back for a handful of Kanye’s greatest hits, including “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “Runaway,” “(Expletives) in Paris,” “Black Skinhead” and “Heartbreak.”

Then they brought the listening party to a crowd-pleasing close with an audience shout-along on “Carnival,” a song from “Vultures 1” that they’d already done much earlier in the performance.

By the time they were done, they’d been out there for nearly two hours, Ye occasionally taking the performance to the people in their seats.

Kanye's 'Vultures' listening party in Phoenix: See the photos

West isn’t new to the listening party experience, having tested the waters back in 2021 with the release of “Donda.”

He and Dolla $ign held several listening parties prior to releasing “Vultures 1,” including “Vultures Rave” performances in Miami and Las Vegas in December, and listening parties at United Center in Chicago and UBS Arena in New York City’s Belmont Park in February.

According to an article in Billboard, the listening parties in Chicago and New York each generated approximately $2.4 million in ticket sales.

They’ve also held listening parties in Milan and Paris.

Listening parties are an interesting alternative to concerts
It’s certainly an interesting approach to supporting an album, just letting it play over the speakers as intended in a huge arena while hyping the crowd the way you would if were actually performing live.

It definitely introduced another level of excitement and intensity to the recordings. And the fans responded with enthusiasm, clapping to the beat when Ye and Dolla $ign encouraged them to do so and rapping along at the top of their lungs to the songs from “Vultures 1” and the older songs they’ve known for years.

Being able to experience the songs from “Vultures 2” in that environment before the actual release date only added to the sense that you were seeing something special, not just watching Ye get off on his own music.

Will these listening parties replace live performances for Ye moving forward? One would have to think he’d start to miss the thrill of actually performing live. I guess we’ll see how things go Thursday night at Rolling Loud.

But in the meantime? It was fun.

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Kai

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