Revisiting Astroworld

Taking a look back on one of the year’s biggest music tours

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Graphic by Skye Salamat/SAC.Media.

“L.A., MAKE SOME MOTHERFUCKIN’ NOISE!”

That’s what Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott shouted at the beginning of his show, nearly exploding out of a trap door on stage with a jet blast of fog and the drop beat to his song, “Stargazing.” The crowd erupted and jumped up in down in unison as Scott began his world-renowned performance. The rumbling of the speakers, carrying the weight of the song’s astral production, shook the entire arena along with the crowd’s movement. As Travis’ signature autotuned melody pierced the low bass and the audience’s screams, I knew the five-hour wait was completely worth it. And this was only two minutes into his two-hour act.

This was a part of the second leg of his 2019 “Astroworld – Wish You Were Here Tour.” His first show at The Forum in Inglewood, California had sold out the prior leg, resulting in Scott booking a second show at the venue. And just like the first time around, the second one sold out within minutes. With general admission having a hefty $125 price tag, dedicated fans such as myself paid up without a second thought. It was completely worth it. I can happily say that “Astroworld” was a show that I will remember for the rest of my life.

One of the many factors that make a Travis Scott show so special are his stage designs, and he did not skip out on this tour. Playing off the theme park concept of his album, “Astroworld,” the arena design encapsulated the feeling of a real amusement park. Aside from the main stage at the front, a smaller stage stood adjacent where Scott kicked off his act.

Atop this secondary stage was a single vertical loop track with a seat and harness attached to it, ready to take Scott or a lucky crowd member for a spin. But that wasn’t the only park attraction implemented into the show; suspended above the general admission section was another roller coaster track, built in a wavy path with a more traditional roller coaster cart. In short, the set design didn’t pull any punches when it came to presentation and immersion.

Travis Scott is truly an artist as well as a performer. His energy throughout the night never wavered, constantly staying at 110%. He started the night running back and forth, singing and spitting his verses and ended the night the exact same way. At points during his performance, he would actually scream. Just hearing him borderline abusing his vocal chords hurt my throat. His body was put through the ring night after night as he toured the country, yet he still brought a unique energy that remains unmatched by any other performer, let alone rapper.

An essential part of Scott’s performance is his use of autotune. He is arguably one of the few to ever master the art of autotune, correctly pitching his normally low, raspy voice to produce robotic melodies that sound like they were engineered and adjusted beforehand. From the smooth singing in songs like “Skeletons” and “Drugs You Should Try It” to the aggressive delivery on “Mamacita” and “Sicko Mode,” Travis’ ability to effortlessly become one with the audio processor program is uniquely his own. While other musicians seemingly wrestle with it, Travis Scott turns autotune into an extension of his voice. Much like the many attractions at a theme park, each song he performed was a different ride that he took the audience on.

The audience, especially the pit where I was at, was the best I have ever witnessed. Every person who attended was a true fan, and all matched the energy that Travis had. “Hype” isn’t even a close enough word to describe the crowd. Every person, no matter what kind of person they were, was there to rage, moshing during almost every song, shouting out every word by heart and living their best lives. Without the crowd, the concert would not have been the same.

The “Astroworld – Wish You Were Here Tour” was an otherworldly experience. Everything about it was surreal: the stage designs, the massive moshpits full of die-hard fans and Travis himself. Even the arena and the atmosphere were something else. Just the sheer anticipation to enter the arena and get to the general admission pit was exhilarating.

Travis Scott is known for putting on some of the best live shows of the decade, and for good reason. He gives his all every night, and all you can do is watch in awe and try to keep up. The tour is called “Wish You Were Here” for a reason; it makes people wish they were there to be a part of it. Because a show like that only comes around once in a lifetime.