Reality exists in planes, and sometimes for an ephemeral moment we are transported to one unfamiliar beyond our everyday lives, wholly apart from our typical experience. It was this surreal universe to which Kid Cudi fans were transported during his Sept. 20 performance at the UIC Pavilion.
The Pavilion (525 S. Racine Ave.) was buzzing with excitement from the predominantly college-aged crowd. After openers Logic and Tyler the Creator finished playing, the Pavilion shook and roared from the crowd jumping up and down in anticipation, screaming its guts out. Cudi appeared from an elaborately constructed moon cave at the center of the space-themed stage.
Distinct from other hip-hop artists’ performances, Cudi successfully created his own unique atmosphere with visuals playing on a large screen with shiny stars and colorful lights in the background, all of which complemented the music perfectly. Cudi wore an Iron Man-like costume with his chest plate glowing as he sang many songs from his new album, Indicud, transmitting an otherworldly energy to the crowd and captivating the audience throughout the entire performance.
Mid-performance, the atmosphere shifted dramatically to one of intense positive emotion as Cudi’s daughter, Vada Wamwene Mescud, came out on stage. Cudi’s eyes were brimming with tears despite his attempts not to cry. The crowd was awed by the father-daughter love as Cudi kissed his daughter’s cheeks and forehead several times. The atmosphere transited from the surreal wonderland-like to that of closeness after the audience witnessed the emotional moment of Cudi and his child being together onstage. To commemorate the moment, Cudi performed a song about love.
The emotion then shifted drastically when Cudi began playing his dancier hits. It started out with “Memories,” a high-tempo song that the whole crowd could pump its fists and groove its bodies to. The Pavilion became uncontrollable when Cudi’s biggest hit song, “Pursuit of Happiness,” was played. The loud bass of the song shook every member of the audience to the core. There was a sense of unity amongst each audience member as they moved their bodies to the song, singing loudly along with Cudi.
“I love you, Chicago!” Cudi shouted before he left the stage. Though the wonderland-like concert was over, Cudi’s performance left the crowd feeling as though they were still in a dream even after the show ended.