Kanye West’s ‘Saint Pablo’ stops by Excel Center

Kanye recounted ‘The Life of Pablo’ on Monday.

Kanye West performs atop a stage floating above the general admission crowd for his St. Paul stop of The Saint Pablo Tour at the Xcel Energy Center on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.

Alex Tuthill-Preus

Kanye West performs atop a stage floating above the general admission crowd for his St. Paul stop of The Saint Pablo Tour at the Xcel Energy Center on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.

Gunthar Reising

Below the dark platform stage hanging over the crowd, orange lights shone on a single square of audience. The chest-rattling bass of “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” hit, and a single gold light illumed Kanye West.

Saint Pablo had arrived in St. Paul.

Audience members included Kylie Jenner look-alikes, middle-aged men in sweaters, fanboys in Yeezy sneakers, mothers, brothers and grandmothers. They all loved him — though not necessarily in that order.

The concert, which was held at Xcel Energy Center on Monday, felt just like “The Life of Pablo” — minimalist, with the bizarre feeling of attending a church service while simultaneously being at a strip club. West’s lonely stage seemed to serve as a metaphor for his lonely genius.

The orange light from above was a nod to stained glass at a church. However, instead of lighting a congregation, the light illuminated a mosh pit of drunken youth. But in a way, West’s musical oeuvre is a kind of religion, so perhaps it was fitting.

West wasn’t afraid to preach to his congregation, either.

“Moments like this show you … you don’t have to be politically correct or change lyrics to make people happy,” West said, letting the crowd scream the controversial lyrics to “Famous.”

In fact, West shared most of his singing time with the audience — fans were able to sing most of the words, and West sat back and let them.

Despite his notorious sulkiness, West seemed to be having fun. On multiple occasions, an elusive smile spread across his face.

In the middle of the show, the music was put on hold momentarily for a simple light show of orange lights — the effect was reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” an otherworldly cue.

Three-quarters of the way through the show, West got into his sulkier songs. Even the somber “Runaway” garnered enthusiasm from the audience as they sang, “Let’s have a toast for the douchebags,” at the top of their lungs.

After the angsty portion of the concert, West stopped “All of the Lights” to tell the audience to get out their cell phones.

“Let’s make this look like a spaceship,” he said.

The audience swayed, lighting up the venue.

West’s critics would have had plenty to say about the concert — that it was pompous and chauvinistic, and the whole construction of West’s appearance was sacrilegious. But the haters stayed home. They missed West’s genius.