Rap superstar Travis Scott put on a show for the ages at Capital One Arena on Nov. 29, as part of his “Astroworld: Wish You Were Here” tour. Arguably hip-hop’s most dynamic showman, Scott performed on a stage designed to emulate the now-defunct Houston theme park Six Flags Astroworld. The theme, coupled with Scott’s liveliness, created a riveting experience few would forget.

Musically, Travis Scott has had an incredibly successful 2018 with the release of his highly anticipated third album, “Astroworld.” The album’s critical and commercial success secured Scott’s place in the upper echelon of rap superstars. The success of the album was due in part to the merchandise that accompanied its release, which has become some of the most in-demand clothing of the year.

Additionally, his celebrity has also grown in the past few years because of his high-profile relationship with model Kylie Jenner, who gave birth to their daughter Stormi in February. As Scott’s celebrity rose, so too did the anticipation for both “Astroworld” and the tour that would accompany its release, as Scott was already well-known for his inventive shows.

The three openers all did their best to keep an excited crowd entertained until Scott’s arrival. Harlem’s Sheck Wes performed first in front of a mostly empty venue, with his hit track “Mo Bamba” being the only saving grace in a somewhat lackluster set. Ohio’s Trippie Redd followed Wes and cut his performance short after performing only a half-dozen tracks, claiming he was sick. Lastly, Atlanta’s Gunna performed hit tracks like “Drip Too Hard” while bringing out one of Washington, D.C.’s own, rapper Shy Glizzy, in an otherwise unremarkable set.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the circular LED screen behind the main stage came to life and played a spoof promotional video for the Astroworld theme park, setting the tone for the rest of the show. Scott then burst out onto the auxiliary stage performing the track “Stargazing” with unmatched energy and showmanship.

TRAVIS SCOTT | Travis Scott’s “Wish You Were Here” tour transformed Capital One Arena into the psychedelic “Astroworld” on Nov. 29. Scott’s interactive performances and dynamic stage design enthrall audiences and challenge them to match his energy.

Scott was then strapped into an inverted Ferris wheel at the rear of the auxiliary stage while he performed the Frank Ocean-assisted track “Carousel” while riding the wheel once around. After dismounting the Ferris wheel, Scott continued with his set while a few fans were brought onstage to ride the contraption while Scott performed in front of it.

The innovativeness of the stage design extended far beyond just the Ferris wheel. Toward the end of the show Scott rode a slow-moving roller coaster above the stage along with a fan and performed the Don Tolliver-assisted “Can’t Say” and his 2015 breakout hit “Antidote.” Also, at the tail end of the show, Scott replaced the Ferris wheel with the gold inflatable replica of his head that appears on the album art for “Astroworld,” encouraging fans to take pictures with it.

By regularly involving fans in his virtual and theatrical performances, Scott creates a distinctive experience in which concertgoers never know what will happen next. During performances of the tracks “3500” and “Yosemite” with Gunna, Scott pulled fans out of the crowd, briefly singing the main refrain of the track with them before telling them to stage dive and crowd surf, a happy surprise for both the crowd and the person on stage. 

After a brief intermission, Scott performed the Sheck Wes-assisted “No Bystanders,” a moment in which the energy in the building was at an all-time high. As Scott hollered Wes’ refrain of “F–k the club up,” seemingly every concertgoer was standing and jumping along with him. This moment was easily the most exciting of the show as Scott’s spirited performance re-energized the crowd.

After a few more tracks, Scott then de-escalated the energy in the arena to perform some of the slower tracks in his discography, “Drugs You Should Try It” and his feature on SZA’s “Love Galore.” He used this portion of the show to showcase the psychedelic effects on the LED screen behind him, with flaming butterfly wings and oscillating lines further engrossing the viewer in the world Scott had created.

Scott finishes the show with performances of the tracks “Goosebumps” and arguably his biggest single, the Drake-assisted “Sicko Mode,” which Scott encouraged the crowd to stream so it could reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This final burst of energy, where Scott performed on a lifted stage in front of alternating red, blue and yellow displays, aptly capped off an extraordinary experience that defied all expectations.

Travis Scott was lively and boisterous, encouraging the crowd to match his energy. The stage design transported concertgoers into a psychedelic rendition of Astroworld that audiences would never want to leave, while the set list mixed newer hits with older classics, satisfying all of his fans. The “Astroworld” show is among the most energetic concerts one could experience; it is a true catharsis for both Scott and his fans.

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