Travis Scott was already an hour late to his set when the fans in attendance started walking away from the “Scene de la Riviere” stage on the Ile Notre-Dame, an island hosting this year’s edition of the Osheaga festival in Montreal. As Travis was held at the Canadian border, fans were growing exasperated.
“Guys, he’s not coming,” yelled a fan, as he tried to wiggle through the crowd of onlookers who were either standing or sitting on the faux-grass tarp. Spectators couldn’t help but look down into their phones, anticipating for the eventual tweet or update that the Houston rapper would bail on the thousands in attendance. Some might’ve even predicted this eventual fate would happen.
But he didn’t. All was forgiven as the giant screen flashed that Travis was on the island.
An old, grainy, and pixelated advertisement for the now-defunct amusement park in Houston, Astroworld, started to play on the screen moments before Travis stepped onto the stage. The album name and concept drew inspiration from the former Six Flags theme park which closed down in 2005, and had been two years in the making—and waiting.
The rapper made his arrival just after 11 PM Eastern Standard Time, yelling out the lyrics to the album’s opener, “Stargazing,” and fans were already in full voice. They maintained it when Travis tore through “Carousel” and “Sicko Mode,” a standout cut on an album filled with surprises, twists, and turns.
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Those same fans, who seemingly already had choruses to Astroworld songs buzzing in their heads, only needed less than 24 hours to consume and enjoy Travis Scott’s latest effort. Astroworld is projected to surpass Drake’s latest album, Scorpion, on the Billboard 200 list.
None of them also seemed bothered by the Amanda Lepore controversy that swirled in the days leading up to the album release. Lepore, a transgender artist, was originally on an alternate version of the Astroworld album cover before being removed. The initial response was that Lepore upstaged the other models. Eventually, Travis responded via Twitter, as did Lepore.
Astroworld is also receiving attention for its long feature list: Frank Ocean signs the hook on “Carousel,” while Drake delivers on the layered “Sicko Mode.” James Blake, whose Osheaga set went on while fans continued to wait out Travis’s delay, can also be found. As can Pharrell, Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee, The Weeknd, Kid Cudi, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and even Stevie Wonder playing the harmonica.
Discovering the hidden features throughout the album is about as fun as going through the corkscrews on a roller coaster. Listening to the album harkens back to when Travis’s sensei, Kanye West, thrilled audiences with the features on The Life of Pablo in 2016 (Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Young Thug, Rihanna, and even Kirk Franklin).
Even if fans in Montreal only got to experience Travis for 30 minutes, he did his best to deliver for the mostly white, frat bro crowd. Travis tore through songs from Days Before Rodeo, and even the wild ride that was Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, including his closer “Goosebumps.” Of course, pyrotechnics and smoke machines were a part of his set.
His set will likely go down as one of the highlights of Osheaga weekend for some, brushing off the delay. An artist’s tardiness for a festival set has been normalized for fans and music lovers alike. Travis’s one hour delay pales in comparison to the number of times Lauryn Hill has kept her fans waiting. They likely won’t think of any controversy, which will fade away following Travis’ apology—and lack of a real explanation. Travis’s fans just wanted their ticket to Astroworld, and they finally got theirs.
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