This past Tuesday I went to a sold out Stage AE to catch the Pittsburgh date of Travis Scott’s heavily anticipated Birds Eye View tour. Hot on the heels of his smash second album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, and his appearance on Drake’s recent “playlist,” More Life, Travis has been on a tear. Having followed him since his Days Before Rodeo mixtape dropped, I was really excited to finally get a chance to witness one of his raucous live shows.
Travis has always been known as an artist with an impressive live presence. The electric energy at this outdoor concert at Stage AE was palpable even on a day that was unseasonably cold and rainy. When Travis hit the stage, it was pure hysteria. I stood in the very back of the lawn at the beginning of his set, and I could still feel the energy as if I was in the pit. His stage setup was extravagant. A large fence ran along the back of the stage, with trees on each side, and large bird cages hanging towards the middle. Travis began his set hanging from the fence about 15 feet in the air, quickly going into Days Before Rodeo standouts “Mamacita” and “Don’t Play.” I haven’t been to a show this large in a very long time, so it blew me away seeing this sold out crowd all go wild in unison.
Travis spent the entire set running from side to side of the stage, keeping the crowd involved. He even invited people on the stage to dance. It is not easy to keep a crowd interested during a hip-hop show, especially when you’re the only one on stage, but Travis is a master – a true showman. He hit all the stops, even at one point covering Kanye West’s “Father Stretch My Hands pt 1.” During his second to last song, the giant fence on stage started shaking and broke in half to reveal a gold, animatronic bird. This bird was huge, and it slowly moved to the front of the stage as Travis performed his final two songs from the bird’s back. The bird’s wings flapped in the distance as pyrotechnics flew through the sky. It’s always a spectacle to watch someone control a crowd with their presence alone. Travis Scott has a special stage presence, and it was absolutely bewitching to get a chance to witness him at what may be the top of his game.