Possibly the best year of his entire career, rap artist and Grammy nominee Travis Scott rounded out 2018 with the first leg of his “Wish You Were Here” tour in Portland, OR — which I was thankful enough to experience firsthand. This tour truly sets itself apart from others — the sheer time and investment Scott put into the visuals and attractions prove that he is not just a rapper, but a curator, performer and visual artist. Now, Scott is bringing his legendary tour to the Tacoma Dome Jan. 29.
A night in “Astroworld” begins with star-studded openers such as Trippie Redd, Gunna, Virgil Abloh and the man of legendary adlibs, Sheck Wes — who is famed for producing the viral hit “Mo Bamba.” Once the crowd is eager and rowdy, Scott graces the audience with his presence and the journey through “Astroworld” commences.
The ambiance and energy of the crowd match that of the album. As an enormous inflatable astronaut rises from the floor towering over Scott and the intro to “STARGAZING” plays, the crowd revels at the moon man himself. “Astroworld” itself has a lot of different sounds, samples and features that evoke strong feelings of emotion and exuberance from the listener. It is within these instrumentals that Scott wins the crowd’s heart and is able to provide such a mind-blowing experience for fans. “Astroworld” is a perfect example of how lyric density and message is not always the driving force for creating a strong connection with listeners.
Much like the album art and conceptual design of “Astroworld,” the “Wish You Were Here” tour sets itself around a mind-bending carnival — a dream-like place where hit tracks such as “SICKO MODE” and “NO BYSTANDERS” live and play. The visuals are trippy, and when the near-translucent screen drops down about halfway through the set, they almost resemble a funhouse mirror. The “Astroworld” experience is complete with two stages — a coaster in which Scott travels from one stage to the other, multiples lasers and special effects, a ring-shaped upside down ride and a few giant inflatables. It is clear that Scott holds no bars when putting forth a thoughtful performance and overall event for his fans.
Resembling Santa’s sleigh, the aforementioned coaster is situated on its track suspended some 30 feet above the crowd as it stretches from one stage to the other. The track lowers itself just enough for Scott to jump in and begin his ride — just in time for him to perfectly hit every bar of his track “5% Tint.” From the lower level to the balcony, the Moda Center erupts in endless cheers while those on the floor crank their neck in an effort to follow Scott as he flies above them.
The “Wish You Were Here” tour is not only a ‘must see,’ but rather a ‘must experience’ this January. This tour reaches for the stars, as Scott executes his craft in a way that fully emulates his album. “Astroworld” brings all the intensity you’d expect — it will be sure to leave you wanting just one more song.
Tip: If you are on the main floor, keep in mind that Travis moves from stage to stage. If you are in the back facing one stage, be on the lookout for when he moves to the stage behind you.