Kanye West Throws Mic, Walks Off Stage at 2015 Pan Am Games Closing Ceremony

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 27, 2015

Kanye West performs during the closing ceremony of the Pan Am Games Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Kanye West's performance at the closing ceremony for the 2015 Pan American Games on Sunday in Toronto was short-lived, but the rap superstar made it a memorable one.

Kicking off the abbreviated stint on stage was West's hit "Stronger," a title that would be appropriate with regard to his hopes for the microphone he was vocalizing into.

Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post provided an explanation for the mic that cut off during the musician's set:

SeanFitz_Gerald @SeanFitz_Gerald

So it sounds like Kanye had a mic that worked for the television audience, but was dead for everyone here in the stadium. #awkward

Here's a look at the performance:

Without the ability to hear what West was saying, it had to be hard for fans to continue engaging.

Entertainment Tonight's Sangita Patel captured some video footage:

Sangita Patel @sangita_patel

Here he is! @kanyewest - dancing away but it feels like a high school auditorium with the lights on, awkward! http://t.co/mW3o3ceb6E

West didn't feature any backup dancers, a live band to accompany him or any light shows or visual effects to enhance the setting. It was West in a blue shirt with blue denim jeans that had holes in the knees—and, well, not much else other than the musical backing tracks.

West performed other hits, such as "Gold Digger" and more recent numbers, before ending with part of the song "Good Life," tossing the mic in the air and walking off stage.

CJ Fogler of the Cauldron relayed the conclusion of West's ceremonial cap-off move:

The Toronto Star's Sarah-Joyce Battersby described the bizarre scene when West walked off:

Sarah-Joyce Battersby @sjbattersby

Ummm the sound skipped out and then Kanye actually threw the mic very far in the air and now he is gone and we're not sure what to think.

Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star weighed in on the microphone mishap:

Bruce Arthur @bruce_arthur

Kanye's mic going dead at the Pan Am Closing is the new the cauldron doesn't work at the Olympics Opening

It seems likely a technical malfunction caused the mic to cut off. Fireworks closely followed West's abrupt exit from the stadium stage, bringing the ceremony to a swift conclusion after hours of festivities and celebration.

But West is known for not smiling in public and seemed to be hamming it up on stage—even to a crowd that didn't seem overly excited.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The lack of enthusiastic reception could have been the byproduct of so many performers preceding West, who seemed rushed into his set, barely had time before the fireworks went off and did an uneven medley of a select number of songs.

West and the Pan Am Games seemed like a compelling combination on paper. For an athletic competition to bring in such a renowned figure in the world of music was quite an achievement, and West had the opportunity to create new fans to add to the tons he already has.

Based on what unfolded in Toronto, however, the union didn't work out as planned. The Pan Am Games will go on, though, and West will be just fine with the multitude of other gigs on the horizon.