Travis Scott, one of the most famous names in music right now, began his widely anticipated Astroworld tour last Thursday, Nov. 8 at Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena. Students on campus, and most likely every campus in Baltimore, have been buzzing since the tour was announced this summer.
Scott’s professional musical career began in 2013, with help from major players like T.I., Kanye West, and Pusha T. He’s collaborated with numerous talented MCs, with his first studio album Rodeo (2015) featuring names like Pharrell Williams, The Weeknd and Justin Bieber. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard one of his many hits, like “Antidote” or “Lose.”
The combination of Travis Scott’s latest studio album, Astroworld, and his highly publicized relationship with Kylie Jenner put him not only on the public’s radar but in the center of it. Scott transformed quickly from an artist whose name most people would see and think,“Oh, I like some of his songs,” to a name that even Baby Boomers would recognize. The critically successful Astroworld allowed Scott both to retain the dedicated fan base he had already accumulated and to add many more.
So, needless to say, there was much excitement surrounding the first concert of the Astroworld tour. I stood in the GA line in the 40-degree weather, surrounded by fans anxious to enter the venue and earn a worthy spot in the pit.
There were three openers for the show: Sheck Wes, well known for “Mo Bamba”; Trippie Redd, who featured Scott on his song “Dark Knight Dummo”; and Gunna, who shows up on Astroworld in “YOSEMITE.” Sheck Wes led the charge, inevitably closing out with “Mo Bamba.” He hadn’t performed the song live many times before, and the crowd was eager to hear the legendary track. It surpassed expectations, with the entire audience screaming the lyrics and jumping up and down. While Trippie Redd and Gunna didn’t have songs quite as popular, they put on great shows, and their own dedicated fans sang along in the audience. Usually having more than one opener is a bad move, leaving fans antsy and angry, but it worked out in this case.
Travis Scott’s performance began a little after 9:30 PM, two hours after the doors opened. After a montage of trippy videos mixed with some hints at the intro of “STARGAZING,” Scott magically appeared at a second stage opposite the main one. The crowd ran in a stampede towards it, ditching the spots they had so patiently waited for. He performed “Mamacita,” a song from his 2014 album Days Before Rodeo. It was the first of many songs Scott would sing that weren’t from Astroworld, giving his earliest fans a chance to prove their loyalty.
The level of production for Scott’s tour was immense and impressive. He had two different roller coasters, paying homage to the real Six Flags AstroWorld, a theme park Scott frequented throughout his childhood. In the first, he was strapped into a chair and rode upside down in a giant circular coaster while rapping. In the second, a giant coaster dropped down from the ceiling and Scott brought a fan on stage to ride it with him.
While on the roller coaster, he sang personal favorites from Astroworld like “NO BYSTANDERS,” “5% TINT” and “CAN’T SAY.” At one point during the concert, a gargantuan blow-up astronaut appeared at the top of the stage (it actually took me an embarrassing amount of time to notice because of how compelling Scott’s performance was). Scott shouted out Kylie and his daughter Stormi, who apparently were in the crowd watching his first show.
Travis Scott gave his all performing a set designed for the fans, and I left the arena absolutely overjoyed. The GA pit was the place to be during Astroworld; I was surrounded by the most dedicated fans who were screaming as many lyrics as they could muster.
He gave us a taste of as many of his features as possible, singing his verse on SZA’s “Love Galore” and rapping the beginning of “ZEZE.” Of course, he closed out the concert with “SICKO MODE,” his most successful single that doesn’t get old, no matter how many frats play it. Scott met the audience’s enthusiasm in every performance he gave, and it was really special to be able to see the first stop of his legendary tour. He seemed just as excited as the fans that packed the arena, and he probably was.
Being let down by a concert that you’re looking forward to for months is one of the worst feelings in the world. Before Astroworld, I was nervous this would happen because I’d been so excited for it for so long. But Travis Scott’s concert was one of the best, if not the absolute best, performances I’ve ever been to. I had more fun than I thought possible, quite literally the entire way through, and started looking for other tour dates to go to the day after the concert.