I wasn't surprised that my request to review Kanye West when he came to town a few months back was turned down. Kanye has a notably rough relationship with journalists and you virtually have to sneak in. No one I know was allowed to cover the performance. I was surprised when he signed on to do Bonaroo this spring, since there were so many journalists in attendance, but not surprised that it turned into a debacle. I was absolutely shocked when I found out he was slotted to perform on SNL. I have watched SNL since season 1 and over the years SNL has had the ability to make or break not only artists but entire genres of music into the main stream based on a single appearance. You gotta be packing a set to play SNL.
It's too bad that Kanye didn't have the stones to pull it off.
In what ranks as possibly the worst performance I have ever seen on SNL, Kanye danced around in front of a video screen, by himself, while he caterwalled a Capella and off tune, missed words, and botched his national TV appearance. Not even burying the vocals with all that vocoder Autotune was able to mask his shaky performance. The whole thing reminded me of a bad home made hip hop video from the 80's shot in the local high school gym and run at 4 in the morning on the local cable access channel. It's no wonder that Kanye needs a huge stage setup for his road shows, the crowd won't notice how bad the vocals are if they are too busy watching a spaceship land. Lip syncing could have only helped his performance, at least right up until he started dancing with himself. Even American Idol would have sent him home. Why is this guy important again?