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Kanye West, Drake stumble out of the gate on their solo tours, postpone dates

Singer Kanye West performs during half-time of the NBA All-Star basketball game in Los Angeles, February 20, 2011.


Not in his most beautiful, dark, twisted nightmare could Kanye West have imagined stumbling so epically out of the gate. The hip hop superstar's show on Sunday night at Vancouver's Rogers Arena was postponed hours before it was scheduled to happen, due to "unforeseen circumstances," according to a statement released by the publicists for tour promoter AEG Live. The unfortunate situation was much the same on Saturday at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, where Canadian rapper Drake postponed the second concert of his Would You Like A Tour? jaunt because of an "unexpected technical issue," according to a venue spokesperson. Concertgoers were already in the building when the show was shut down.

Also on Saturday, at Seattle's Key Arena, the first concert of West's first full-on solo tour in nearly five years was late in starting. Though the show was scheduled to begin with an opening set from Kendrick Lamar at 8 p.m., the doors to the arena were locked until 9 p.m. It was reportedly near 11:30 p.m. before the 36-year-old rapper arrived on stage in a sequined mask for the opening song, On Sight. As well, photos posted on the celebrity-news website TMZ revealed an unseemly on-stage wardrobe malfunction involving torn trousers. West, it should be noted, was not wearing leather jogging pants at the time.

According to MTV News, a security guard at Key Arena said the show was delayed due to last-minute preparations. As for the Vancouver postponement – the show has been rescheduled for Oct. 31 – rumours circulated about a stolen equipment truck in Seattle. More reasonable buzz suggested that the show's elaborate production was to blame, and that it was logistically problematic to mount the concert on back to back nights, at least until the kinks were worked out.

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It is has been speculated that a steel circular walkway was the cause of Drake's postponed show in Philadelphia. (The concert has been rescheduled for Dec. 18.) The hip hop star's appearance at Montreal's Bell Centre last night reportedly went off without a hitch, with the walkway, which hovered above the crowd, employed. The tour moves to Ottawa on Wednesday and Toronto on Thursday.

Citing "an intense rehearsal schedule and technical production requirements," Drake had pushed back the start of the tour from Sept. 25. Sixteen dates were affected, including shows in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. A date in Saskatoon was scrapped altogether.

Logistical problems also arose this past weekend in Toronto, where the second and third concerts of a three-night stand by the enigmatic R&B singer The Weeknd were shifted from Massey Hall to the Sony Centre. According to promoter Live Nation, the move was made in an effort to accommodate "additional production elements."

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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