Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott is known for countless hits like “goosebumps,” “Antidote” and the legendary “SICKO MODE.” After releasing his fourth studio album “UTOPIA” last year, Scott announced his 39-date “Circus Maximus Tour,” which stopped in Miami at the sold-out Kaseya Center on Jan. 28.
This was my first time seeing Scott perform post-COVID and years since the “Astroworld” era, where he became the household name he is now. Although I never doubted that he’d give a standout performance, I was nervous to see if he could top the rollercoaster ride of his past shows.
It was with this show that I realized that Travis Scott is going to be a timeless artist.
The arena was filled to the brim with energetic “ragers” — the name of Scott’s fans — eager to see “La Flame” turn up in the 305.
The stage covered most of the general admission floor, transforming it into a rock monument from an ancient civilization. Faces cut into stone adorned the sides of the stage and a giant LED screen wrapped around above the platform.
As the lights went out at 9:50 p.m., pandemonium ensued.
The opening track from Utopia, “HYAENA” came on and the crowd went wild as Scott came out dressed as a dystopian leader with futuristic sunglasses and brown football shoulder pads.
The energy of the crowd kept up with Scott’s pace, bouncing up and down for songs like “THANK GOD,” “MODERN JAM,” “Aye” and “BACKR00MS,” which feature the energy-filled spectacles that Scott is known for.
The LED screen also showcased strong visuals making use of filters, camera angles and colors to provide the audience with a glimpse of the utopia that Scott wanted to create.
Scott slowed it down to play fan-favorite tracks such as “sdp interlude” and “3500.” During this break, Travis selected someone from the crowd to ride on the “parasail,” a floating stage designed to look like a boulder.
Miami had the welcome surprise of having Swae Lee from hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd come out as the night’s special guest. The duo played “Nightcrawler” and “No Type.”
Once Lee left the stage, Travis went into a medley that went deep into his catalog, going into tracks such as “Butterfly Effect,” “Mamacita,” “Upper Echelon” and the Kanye West-assisted, “Praise God.”
At the midpoint of the show, Scott performed “CIRCUS MAXIMUS,” a cause for sensory overload with the colosseum visuals, makeshift mountain and guys dressed as gorillas covering the stage.
Tracks like “Maria, I’m Drunk,” “90210” and “R.I.P. Screw” brought Swae Lee back out to the stage. This culminated in Scott doing a tour version of “I KNOW?” that introduced acapella to the arena.
For the final portion of the show, Scott went full “rager mode”, blasting “TOPIA TWINS” and “MELTDOWN” and driving the energy back into the crowd.
He then played “FE!N” ten times straight, each time finding a new way to start off the song. It’s become a highlight of the tour as fans have come to expect it.
When I knew this was going to happen, I thought it was going to get stale quickly, but Scott is a better performer than some people let on.
After the fifth rendition, he pointed at a fan in the crowd.
“He look like he’s feigning for some more!” Scott yelled, before playing the song another time.
At this point, you could physically feel the ground shaking under the weight of the crowd jumping and moshing.
“Antidote” and “goosebumps” closed the show, before Scott made his dramatic exit into the locker room while performing “TELEKINESIS.”
Scott has come a long way, and his journey hasn’t been easy. For the past decade, he has introduced a mosh pit culture that rock and hip hop have held onto.
When Scott first burst into the mainstream, acts like Fetty Wap, Mackelmore and Wiz Khalifa topped the charts. It was during this era that Scott was mostly known in the underground music scene as the newest Kanye protege.
His Rodeo tour with Young Thug and Metro Boomin in 2015 was known for its off-the-wall approach to rap shows, masquerading itself as something more akin to punk culture.
Scott was the first rapper to truly add crowd surfing and mosh pits to his live show. Something that artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Ken Carson, and more have all picked up and added to their on stage antics.
He’s maintained this “rage” culture from the beginning of his career and kept it consistently in his shows as the stages and arenas have grown in size.
As a long-time Travis Scott fan, it was exciting to hear songs from his newest projects as well as tracks like “Nightcrawler” which the fans have wanted back on the setlist for years.
His shows are just as enjoyable as they were five years ago. I hope that he never stops performing, because he is one of the best rap performers of the modern age when it comes to stage design, visual effects and crowd energy.
Nearly one-of-a-kind in his genre, Scott constantly pushes the envelope and delivers products and performances that cater to his fan base. He has continually evolved, but has maintained his stage presence at a time when rap artists are often criticized for just hopping on stage and autotuning themselves while their song plays.
Five years ago, a Travis Scott show would blow your mind. Today, Scott is still that same artist that astonishes you with his shows. I wouldn’t be surprised if Scott is selling out stadiums five years down the line.