Travis Scott brings Astroworld to the United Center

Travis Scott brings Astroworld to the United Center

It is hard to categorize Travis Scott’s performance as a concert. As a member of the audience there are times you feel like you are at an amusement park. 

The Houston rapper’s “Astroworld: Wish You Were Here Tour” made its stop in Chicago at the United Center Dec. 6. Scott’s tour is an opportunity for fans to see him perform hit songs from his most recent album Astroworld.

Before the show there were performers  on stilts, and a man juggled four bowling pins near the entrance. Fans searched for their seats carrying balloon animals, and the concession stands sold traditional amusement park food including funnel cake, popcorn, cotton candy and hot dogs.

Scott commanded two stages, one about half the size of the main stage. There were amusement park rides affixed to the roof of the arena as well as a ride that went in a loop on the smaller stage. After much anticipation and short performances by rappers Sheck Wes and Gunna, it was Scott’s turn to hit the stage.

The first song Scott performed was “Stargazing,” the lead track on Astroworld. Like many of the songs from his latest album, “Stargazing” begins very mellow, but picks up later in the song. Scott used the first half of the song to warm up the crowd and get strapped into an amusement park ride that carried him in a loop. When the ride was over, the beat changed and the fireworks started. 

Toward the middle of Scott’s set, he slowed the tempo of the show, singing some of his slower songs like “Stop Trying to Be God,” while the graphics and laser show lulled the audience into a trance. 

The show was visually electrifying. At different points in the show, fire and air cannons shot off in sync with the drop of the beat. Scott also brought fans on stage to ride the rollercoasters while he performed.

Scott’s ability to control a crowd has always been something that amazed me.

I saw him perform in December 2015 in Orlando, Florida, for his “Rodeo Tour.” The crowd was a fraction of the size as the one Thursday night, yet both seemed to obey his every word.

Scott told the standing-room-only crowd to create a space and make a mosh pit. The crowd responded  by making a perfect circle in the middle of the pit, only for it to collapse when people rushed the center as a heavy bassline dropped and an air cannon exploded. 

 My jaw often dropped in amazement. I would look to my left or right and see similar reactions. The only people at the show who seemed to be having a bad time were the security guards. They appeared to be large enough to handle the task, but it was a constant fight to keep crazed fans off the stage.