Several reasons have been cited over the last few days, including lack of organization on the part of the promoter, as well as rumors of death threats from Gangster Disciples, a street gang that originated from the Chicago area.
The MMG tour included Meek Mills, Wale, and more recently Machine Gun Kelly. The tour was originally scheduled for 23 days, but was extended to Dec. 16.
Representatives for the promoter, Live Nation, have not commented.
The cancelations started with two shows in North Carolina, where the death threats were rumored. Soon after that, the remainder of the shows were canceled.
The Gangster Disciples posted their threats on YouTube about a month ago, warning Ross and everyone who was signed with Mayback Music Group that they were coming after them. Since then a number of videos have surfaced on YouTube threatening the singer.
Their beef started back when Ross was better known as Teflon Don, when he released the single “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast), where he mentioned the gang’s imprisoned leader Larry Hoover.
It doesn’t stop there! Gangster Disciples are also upset, or should I say pissed off, that Ross is using a design similar to their gang symbol on his Black Bar Mitzvah mix-tape.
Oh . . . one more thing. There’s also something about the pressure being on until the gang receives “the check”. Apparently the check is for providing protection for Ross in the way of security/body guards.
Do any of these people have anything better to do?
What’s the worst part about the cancelations?
Machine Gun Kelly is not going to be able to build up his fan base! As the opening act for the MMG Tour, he has stolen the show. Look for him headlining his own show next year, minus all the death threats and other crap that seems to follow Ross around wherever he goes.
Before the tour was canceled, Ross brought the MMG tour to the Sacramento area. You can read the review here.
Rick Ross brought his MMG Tour to Sleep Train Arena on Saturday.
This is Rozay’s (Ross’s nickname) first headlining tour as he brought a supporting cast of characters including, Meek Mill (Robert Williams), Wale (Oluboware Victor Akintimehen), Omarion (Omari Ishmael Grandberry), and Machine Gun Kelly (Richard Colson Baker).
Opening the show was MGK storming the stage and daring the fans to have fun as he dove into the crowd on several occasions. Pro-skateboarder Ryan Sheckler was in attendance for MGK’s show and was invited backstage after his performance.
While Rozay and crew put on a great show, MGK is the real story. Bringing his high energy and lightning fast rap, which earned him the nick name Machine Gun Kelly, this kid stole the show. If anyone in attendance didn’t know him before the show, they certainly knew who he was after the show.
Following MGK was Omarion. He was met with a lukewarm reception, which may have been because he was following a blistering performance by MGK. I don’t believe Omarion brought his A-game and luckily only played a brief set.
I thought it was strange as each performer was represented by a cardboard cutout with their name displayed on it, which was being held by a couple of stage-hands. As if the audience needed to be reminded who was onstage. Not sure what that was about.
Wale followed Omarion and was met with cheers and screams. Wale won the crowd over and had fans on their feet. Wale also performed a pretty brief set, saving some time for the big man Rozay.
Meek Mill followed Wale with “Racked Up Shawty” and “Young & Gettin’ It” as the crowd started getting more intense and loud. Was it Wale’s performance, or the wildly good California weed?
When Rozay took the stage it could have been independence day as fireworks were going off all around. The ruler and king of MMG ripped through his hit’s including “Hustlin’ ” and “I’m Not A Star.”
Following Rozay’s lengthy solo set, Wale and Mill joined Rozay onstage to perform a number of songs including “Bag Of Money” and “Tats On My Arm.”
Rozay has put together quite a line-up for his first headlining tour and made a brilliant decision to include Machine Gun Kelly. I’m looking forward to seeing bigger and better things from MGK, including his own headlining act. The kids got talent!
Thunder Valley Casino Resort along with World One Presents, Maita Honda, and local radio station V101.1, brought Naughty by Nature, the Sugar Hill Gang, and Kool Moe Dee to Thunder Valley’s Pano Hall for a hip hopping Halloween Friday night. Emcee for the night was V101′s Big Al.
A number of fans dressed up for what turned out to be an awesome show as Bay Area artists Rory and Reed opened the show with a brief 10 minute set.
The crowd went crazy when Kool Moe Dee took the stage. Moe Dee brought along Special K and L.A. Sunshine as they sang hits like “They Want Money,” “Rise & Shine,” and of course “Wild, Wild, West.”
By the time Sugar Hill Gang took the stage the crowd was in full party mode with most fans gathering around the catwalk and dance floors.
Sugar Hill Gang consisted of original band members Wonder Mike, Master Gee, and Big Bank Hank. Keeping the audience completely engaged with their past hits “Apache,” “Eighth Wonder,” and “Rapper Reprise,” they seemed to just be hitting their stride when they finished their set.
As Naughty by Nature stormed the stage the crowd went wild as they all started bouncing up and down to the beat of the music. Original band members Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ Kay Gee, put on a great performance as they played “Everything’s Gonna be All Right,“ “O.P.P.,” and “Hip Hop Hooray.”
This is the first year with an expanded venue at Sunrise MarketPlace, and my first time visiting. It was spacious with beer, wine, and Margaritas available along with various food choices such as hotdogs. Depending on where you were seated, you could be lazy and have a waiter/waitress get your drinks.
I found the sound lacking on the side bleachers, but still pretty loud. If you’re one of those purists who must have their sound just right, then you may want to get your tickets for the center area.
There really isn’t a bad seat in the house with a great view from pretty much any seat in the amphitheater. There are a few seats around the spotlights that may feel “cramped” if you are sitting right next to the platform, but that area is general admission and you can sit where you want – so don’t sit next to the lights, unless you think that’s Kool.
Many amphitheaters have monitors, or big projector screens for the cheap seats, but with such a small footprint fans didn’t have a problem seeing the action onstage.
Ok enough about the venue and on to the action, and there was plenty of action, with the exception of an overly long set-change.
Just prior to the concert someone came up to me and said he almost didn’t come out to the concert after he found out that Lionel Richie was no longer with The Commodores. Seriously!? Where have you been for the last 30 years!? Richie is gone people, get over it.
The Commodores stormed the stage playing “Too Hot Ta Trot,” followed by “Easy” with most fans on their feet and singing along. As for the great seating, that all goes down the proverbial crapper when everyone in front of you stands up to boogie down.
The three front men for The Commodores put on a high energy show and were in constant motion their entire set. They were founding members Walter Orange, William King, and longtime member J.D. Nicholas.
They headed into their encore with “Brick House,” but deviated in the middle with a bit of audience participation as they were simply jamming and yelling out to the audience with phrases such as “Say Yo Yo,” leading back into, and finishing off the set with, “Brick House.”
Walter Orange was kicking himself after their set. He told me he just wasn’t “feeling it” during his performance. Orange said it doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it really bothers him because he believes he can bring it up to a whole other level.
The set-change went way too long. According to my calculations, it took over 45 minutes, which is not a good thing for the fans, as some headed towards the door.
Making a very Kool entrance Kool & the Gang, all dressed in white, came out singing “Fresh,” followed by “Tonight.” The crowd was pretty enthusiastic, but appeared to have more energy during The Commodores set. I attribute that to the lengthy intermission.
As they slowed it down with “Joanna” and “Too Hot,” most of the fans were singing the chorus along with the band. However, during the slower moments you could see a number of fans heading towards the door.
Kool & the Gang didn’t really hit their stride until late into their set. The vocals were lacking in the beginning songs, but seemed to smooth out as the night went on.
They really shined with “Get Down on It” leading into their finale with “Celebration,” which had the remaining crowd on their feet dancing and singing.
It was a great concert, but whenever you have 30 minutes, or longer, for a set-change you’re going to lose some people. In this case Kool & the Gang wasn’t able to reenergize a number of their fans. I believe that impacted their performance, since bands and fans alike feed off each other’s energy.
As for the Sunrise at Night Concert Series – What can I say? It’s a nice little venue with an intimate feel and free parking, but more importantly they serve food and have a limited selection of alcohol, just be careful driving home!
Don’t miss Blondie and Devo as they bring their Whip it to Shreds tour to the Sunrise MarketPlace on Friday September 14th.
That’s what fans did at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday evening, when it turned into one funkalicious night as old school favorites Morris Day and the Time, S.O.S., Kurtis Blow, and Midnight Star tore it up for over three hours playing to an overflowing and extremely energetic crowd.
As Midnight Star took the stage and started playing “Electricity,” the crowd jumped to their feet and started dancing. There were very few occasions during the three hour show when the audience wasn’t standing.
Last time I saw Midnight Star I felt they were a little flat, but not tonight. They definitely brought their A-game as they continued with “Wet My Whistle” and “Midas Touch.”
Band members consisted of Belinda Lipscomb (vocals), Melvin Gentry (guitar/vocals), Bo Watson (keyboard/vocals) and Bill Simmons (keyboards), Kenneth Gant (bass), and Bobby Lovelace (drums).
As they infuse pure energy into the crowd after ending their set with “No Parking (On the Dance Floor),” many in the crowd headed to the amphitheater bars, or remained standing and dancing to the music in between sets.
Kurtis Blow, The first rapper to ever be signed by a major label, came out blasting “If I Ruled the World” as he fully engaged the audience by saying ‘Say Yo!’ and then pointing the mic to the audience as they all screamed in unison ‘Yo’.
Blow (ha! I said blow.) just wouldn’t shut up as he kept shouting out to the audience as only a true rapper can. In between songs he would continue rapping about being in Sacramento and giving a shout out to the audience. Some of the audience members started mingling more than paying attention to Blow, as a number of people headed to the bar, or bathroom, probably both.
Sounds Of Success (better known as S.O.S.) got everyone’s attention as they started up “Just the Way You Like It” and continued with “The Finest,” as fans were back on their feet dancing and singing. The crowd was on their feet bouncing to the music for the remainder of their set.
Founding member and lead singer Mary Davis was on fire as she blasted through their hits and finished with a flourish with the song that catapulted SOS to stardom back in 1980, “Take Your Time (Do It Right).” Fellow members included original member Abdul Ra’oof (vocals/trumpet), with Celia Georgie (background vocals), Sultan Muhammad (saxophone), Reginald Ward (guitar), Ben Smith (keyboards), Allen Smith (keyboards), and Crystal Martin (drums).
After a brief set change, Prince Classmate and protégé, Morris Day made his way on stage with his personal assistant in tow. As only Day can do, he was continually checking himself in the mirror as he strutted around the stage.
Starting off with “Get It Up” Day had the crowd singing through most of his songs as he worked the crowd with his signature moves, classic sound and his stylish attire.
Decked out in a yellow paisley patterned suit the 53 year old Day continued with “Cool” as his assistant followed him around mimicking his moves as he spelled out the chorus C.O.O.L.
For the fans that still had their butts glued to their seats, band members would shout out for everyone to get on their feet and wave their hands in the air. The band member names I did catch were Ricky “Freeze” Smith (bass), Torrell “Tori” Ruffin (lead guitar), and Jellybean Johnson (drums).
Part way through his set Day explained that he was still cool regardless of sweating. He said it was condensation which cooled him down, meaning that he was still cool. It was at this point he headed off stage to cool down. When Day came back out he flawlessly sang “Gigalos Get Lonely Too,” which had many in the crowd dancing with their significant other.
Towards the end of his performance Day had a large number of fans up onstage to strut their stuff. You could see the excitement in many of their faces as they attempted to groove with the likes of Day.
While a few people left the show early, the amphitheater was still packed as Day completed the night with “Jungle Love,” leaving people dancing in the aisles and wanting more.
This was one of the more high-energy shows at Thunder Valley Casino Resorts Summer Concert Series.
Okay, maybe not Slaughtered.
While Bret Michaels was billed as the headliner, I do believe Night Ranger ruled the night with their intense, but fun loving, stage presence ““ more on that in a minute.
It was great to have the likes of Bret Michaels of Poison and Night Ranger’s guitarist Joel Hoekstra at Thunder Valley Casino the day after the new movie Rock of Ages premiered at theaters across the country. Music from Poison is featured in the movie and Hoekstra makes a cameo appearance. Hoekstra also stars in the Broadway hit Rock of Ages.
As over 4,000 fans filed into Thunder Valley Casino’s outdoor amphitheater, Slaughter took the stage kicking off this 4 hour extravaganza of hair flipping and high energy entertainment, with their hit song “Wildlife.”
As only true diehard fans can do in close to 100 degree weather, they rose up from the clutches of their nicely cushioned seats (ok, the bleachers ““ not so cushioned) to rock with the likes of Mark Slaughter (lead singer/guitar), Dana Strum (bass ““ makes sense with a name like Strum), Zoltan Chaney (drums), and Jeff “‘Blando’ Bland (lead guitar).
Within minutes into their set, the Slaughter crew were drenched in sweat and appeared to be totally into nothing but rocking and entertaining the crowd. Blando was the most energetic of the foursome, whipping his hair like it was 1999 and acting like he was still twenty-something.
The most violent award goes to drummer Chaney, who thrashed his drums to the point of having to pull out a wrench to fix one of his cymbals. The man was an animal!
While the entire crowd wasn’t on their feet during Slaughters performance, you could see them nodding their heads, pumping their fists, and just plain rocking out.
In between sets actor, stuntman, producer, director, and all around nice guy, Branscombe Richmond came out to joke around with the crowd and throw t-shirts at unsuspecting audience members.
As Night Ranger stormed the stage it was complete bedlam on stage and off, with Hoekstra immediately flipping his blonde locs of hair while ripping away at his guitar, while off stage the entire audience jumped to their feet.
Starting their set with “Lay it on Me,” founding members Jack Blades (bass) and Brad Gillis (guitar), along with Hoekstra were going back and forth playing off of each other. Hoekstra and Gillis were the most animated of the three, as they were making faces at each other and constantly engaging the audience.
Drummer and founding member Kelly Keagy joined in the fun too, as Hoekstra, Gillis, and Blades all would work their way to Keagy.
As they played through hits like “Sing Me Away,” “Touch of Madness,” “Hearts Away,” and of course “Sister Christian,” they continued to interact with the crowd and each other. Hoekstra had a grin on his face almost the entire set, as did Blades and Gillis.
Blades announced to the crowd that Gillis was celebrating his 55th birthday as he ribbed Gillis most of the night.
Night Ranger sounds just like they did years ago and they’ve maintained their high level of energy throughout the years. The addition of Hoekstra has added another, more theatrical, dynamic to their performances.
Prior to Michaels making his way on stage Richmond reminded everyone about Michaels ongoing battle with diabetes and how important it was to take care of yourself and get checkups on a regular basis.
It was a strange start as someone from Michael’s team came out and made some announcements regarding merchandise (nothing new here), but then after he yelled;
“The Party Starts Now!”
The audience ended up waiting for another 10 minutes before Michaels made it out on stage.
Sounding a bit off with Poison’s hit “Talk Dirty With Me,” Michaels had the crowd eating out of his hand. Wearing his signature bandana and long hair (come on! It’s gotta be a wig.) Michaels worked the audience like a true entertainer.
Thanking the audience for making the VH1 reality show “Rock of Love” the number 1 show on VH1 3 years running, Michaels started in with the theme song for the show, “Go That Far.”
Sounding much better after a few songs Michaels continued with a number of cover songs including Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mamma Don’t Dance,” and Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” just to name a few.
He peppered in some Poison songs such as “Something to Believe in,” “Unskinny Bop,” and “Look What the Cat Dragged in”
While Michaels wasn’t Slaughtered by Night Ranger, I place him at a close second due to the number Poison hits he left on the shelf. Talking to a number of people after the show, they all agreed that Night Ranger won the night. However, all were in complete agreement that Michaels put on a high energy and entertaining show – so no, he wasn’t Slaughtered.
LMFAO brought their Sorry for Party Rocking Tour to Power Balance Pavilion on Wednesday, playing to 7,000 adoring fans, most dressed in neon green and yellow, with some donning an afro wig (shoot – can I say afro?).
Before LMFAO came out to party rock, there were several starters on tap. Leading off the charge was Matthew Koma, who didn’t do it for me. Let’s just say by the time he was done, I was in a coma (that’s a joke. I really wasn’t in a coma). Apparently he’s an American Idol fan, as he add some Phil Phillip type mannerisms during parts of his performance.
Up to bat next was the very sexy Eva Simons who kicked some major butt. The Rhianna look-alike was energetic, sounded great, and looked even better! She sang several songs including her hit “Take Over Control” and her latest release “I Don’t Like You.” Expect to see bigger and better thing for Simons.
DJ Sidney Sampson brought his mixing skills as he weaved some great dance beats together, bringing much of the audience to their feet.
If anyone’s seen Far East Movement (aka FM) before, you’ll understand what I mean when I say, they jumped up on stage. This crew has some wicked high energy and some real catchy tunes such as “Like a G6″ and “Round Round.”
With DJ Virman providing much of the tunes and Kev Nish providing lead vocals, FM energized the crowd in preparation for LMFAO as they bounce, hopped, skipped, and jumped on every inch of the stage. This included J-Splif and Prohgress who provided backup vocals and some entertaining moves.
In preparation for LMFAO’s appearance, several young ladies came out and threw flashing styrofoam glow-sticks to the audience. As I sat back and watched the audience you could see a sea of lime green as fans prepared themselves to party rock.
Prior to LMFAO making their appearance, a man dressed in the wildest glowing outfit sang ”Rocking the Beat” as the Quest dance crew did their thing. Berry Gordy’s son RedFoo and grandson SkyBlu (RedFoo is SkyBlu’s uncle) arrived on stage during “Rock the Beat” at the top of a two tiered stage, making for quite an entrance.
Dressed in their signature attire they started with “Sorry For Party Rocking” right out of the chute, causing the crowd to go absolutely crazy. As they were flying around the stage several members of their crew started throwing out beach balls, inflatable zebra’s, and palm trees.
There were several costume changes throughout the show, most notable was during “Put That A$$ to Work,” when several members of the crew came out in the most outrageous workout clothes imaginable. And yes, they were neon, bright, and way too revealing.
If you don’t like their music, don’t let that stop you from going to see a live performance. These two know how-to keep an audience totally engaged and completely entertained. It’s nothing but pure fun with a whole lotta neon – let’s not forget about the inflatable toys.
A late start didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm as Grammy Award-winning A Taste of Honey, featuring original band member Janice Marie Johnson, stormed the stage. Johnson was decked out in a pink sequin dress and high heels and sporting her bass guitar.
As soon as the band kicked into gear, the audience was on their feet, as the band played all their hits like “I’m Talking About You” and “Disco Dancin’.”
After a quick wardrobe change into an orange kimono, Johnson sang her hit song “Sukiyaki” as the audience settled back in their seats.
The audience catapulted out of their seats as Johnson finished the set with their biggest hit, “Boogie Oogie Oogie.”
Prior to the show, Johnson was backstage meeting some of her fans. I’ve attended a number of meet-and-greets, and Johnson was one of the most down to earth artists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She asked everyone their name, repeating it back to ensure she got it right. She would give them a hug and then start asking them questions while they were getting their picture taken. Class act all the way!
(Updated: I’d like to thank the anonymous caller who was kind enough to take time out to inform me that I was incorrect when I stated Kenneth Gant was a longstanding member. The fact is he was an original member of Midnight star).
After a longer than expected break to change out equipment, the audience was back up on their feet as original Midnight Star members Belinda
Lipscomb (vocals), Melvin Gentry (guitar/vocals), Bo Watson (keyboard/vocals), Bill Simmons (keyboards), and Kenneth Gant (bass) took the stage with longtime bandmate Bobby Lovelace (drums).
Pumping out their signature R&B electro-funk sound, they had the crowd singing and cheering to “Electricity,” leading into a brief version of “Headlines,” “Wet My Whistle” and “Midas Touch.”
I thoroughly enjoy bands like Midnight Star that take the time to choreograph their moves for each song. It adds a completely different dynamic to the performance, and it just plain looks good. Obviously the crowd agreed, because as soon as the band started moving in sync with each other, the audience responded with a round of applause.
After ending their set with “Freak-A-Zoid” and “No Parking (On the Dance Floor),” it was obvious the crowd was quite satisfied with the night’s performances by both bands.
Final analysis: The headliner of the show should have been A Taste of Honey because of their recognizable hits and extraordinary energy onstage. I don’t mean to take anything away from Midnight Star and their wonderful sound and choreography ““ they were superb and worked the crowd, but at the end of the day I would have liked to have heard more from A Taste of Honey.
Singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Harry Wayne “K.C.” Casey brought disco back, for at least one night, as KC and the Sunshine Band took over Thunder Valley Casino and Resort Sunday night. Creating a theatrical display of dance moves that he created back in the 70′s along with four stunning young ladies, KC had the audience putting on their boogie shoes – all under one huge disco ball ““ did I mention the stunning young ladies?
But first, starting off the evening was the venerable Con Funk Shun, an R&B group made up of five frontmen and four band members. The band got their start out of Vallejo, Calif. back in the 70′s, churning out hits through the 80′s. They are responsible for a number of hits including “Chase Me,” ”Got To Be Enough” and “Electric Lady.”
The frontmen, comprised of Michael Cooper, Karl Fuller, Felton Pilate, Ron Mouton and Danny “Sweet Man” Thomas, came out
dressed in blue blazers and white pants. Immediately they jumped into a well-choreographed routine that had some audience members cheering. They looked classy performing in lockstep while holding their instruments.
That might not have come out right, but you get the idea.
It was obvious many of the audience members had not heard of Con Funk Shun, but they quickly became fans after the first couple of songs. With their six-part vocal harmonies, horns and more, they blasted out a whole lot of funk, some dance party grooves and a dash of romantic ballads, all to a very receptive audience.
Their set appeared to run long when the announcer jumped in.
“Let’s give it up one more time for Con Funk Shun.”
The band ignored the announcer and jumped into another song and played one more after that! It was obvious they were up there having a good time and didn’t want it to stop.
During intermission I had a chance to talk to three individuals who I will affectionately refer to as the three stooges. Sporting afros, fake moustaches, headbands and other accoutrements, these guys had a following of their own.
They would only give me their stage names of Stefan, Jethro and Samson. I asked Samson what gives with the outfits.
“We’re f**king fans, baby. It’s disco and that’s why we go man.”
Women were having their picture taken with them almost the entire concert. They were very entertaining. Now I know what I’m wearing to my next concert.
An instrumental introduction began and the crowd started cheering as, one at a time, each band member slowly took the stage, walked to the front, stopped for a beat or two, and then took their place on stage. This made for a very dramatic entrance. You could feel the tension build in the crowd as they anxiously waited for KC to make his way on stage.
Will he enter on the right, or the left?
People were looking back and forth trying to figure out where he would pop out.
Prior to KC arriving, the Sunshine Girls grooved to the beginning of “Shake Your Booty.” KC finally emerged (from the right) and went straight to the keyboard and started pounding away and doing what he does best ““ entertain.
A couple of verses into his first song, KC blasted from the keyboard, dancing with the ladies from one side of the stage to the other. As he started into his second song, “Boogie Shoes,” he sounded somewhat out of breath and was breaking out in quite a sweat.
At the end of his second song, KC acknowledge his weight gain and how much older he was. The catch phrase for the night was “What the hell happened?” in reference to how much time had elapsed since he started over 39 years ago.
He also tried to educate all the younger people in the audience as to who he was.
“For you young people, you’re probably wondering who I am. I was your mother’s *NSYNC.”
Going on, he warned them that this is what Justin Timberlake will look like in thirty years.
“I should change the name to KFC and The Sunshine Band,” said KC, referring to his weight.
He said he wanted to play a few slow songs next, but promised that the remainder of the show would remain upbeat. He went on to play a number of slow songs including, “Yes, I’m Ready,” “Let’s Just Kiss & Say Goodbye” and “Please Don’t Go,” before picking up the tempo with “I’m Your Boogie Man.”
At 60 years old, KC has been in the entertainment industry a long time and knows how to put on a great show. While his vocals are nowhere near what they used to be, he makes up for it by sheer energy, musicianship and by surrounding himself with some of the best talent in the industry ““ the lights aren’t bad either. Oh did I mention the stunning young ladies?
|KC and The Sunshine Band Set-list:Shake Your Booty
Yes, I’m Ready
Let’s Just Kiss & Say Goodbye
Please Don’t Go
I Hear a Symphony
I’m Your Boogie Man
Keep it Comin’ Love
Same Old Song
Give it Up
Medley of Hits
Give it To Me
That’s the Way I Like it
Get Down Tonight
What a night out at Sleep Train Amphitheater!
Singer, songwriter, producer, and ex-con, Lil Wayne played at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Marysville on Friday.
Lil Wayne has a new album that was just released after the MTV VMA awards Tha Carter IV.
Less than three weeks ago Jax-Z and Kayne West released their collaboration Watch the Throne. Their album broke iTunes single-week sales record. However, Tha Carter IV trounced the record selling over 300,000 downloads via iTunes in only its first four days, outpacing the 290,000 that Throne sold in an entire week.
So the timing for Sleep Train Amphitheater couldn’t have been better!
The evening started with R&B artist Loyd. His first album was released in 2004 and this budding giant hasn’t looked back. His wonderful ability to croon with the best of them and still hit the high notes has earned him the nickname Young Goldie.
Dressed in an NEFF T-shirt, camouflaged shorts, and knee high socks, Loyd hit the stage with the crowd cheering. Much of the audience members were still making their way to their seats or milling around waiting for the concert to begin. By the end of his set there were more people in their seats, but still pretty sparse.
Next up was Far East Movement also known as FM. This quartet blends elements of hip-hop, pop, electro and dance to create an original sound and lifestyle they call “‘Free Wired’.
Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif, and DJ Virman, jumped up on stage donning stylish shades, and skinny ties. They were nothing but high energy bouncing from one side of the stage to the other. They played a number of their hits including “Like a G6″
Keri Hilson entered center stage with her dance crew all dressed in pink overalls. By this time the amphitheater looked pretty full, but you could tell it wasn’t a sold out crowd.
Hilson gave a great high energy performance and the crowd loved it. It was great to see her bring on some younger members of the audience to sing along with her. You could tell these kids were thrilled at the chance to be onstage with one of their heroes.
What I really liked about Hilson was her guns! Seriously her microphone was shaped like a gun. Quite cool! What did you think I meant?
At this point in the evening everyone was fully engaged, so I thought ““ When Rick Ross popped out on stage everyone went nuts. There wasn’t a single person sitting and everyone was clapping and cheering him on.
His set started with pyrotechnics that could rival a fourth of July celebration. This guys performance was not for the faint of heart, with booming fireworks and F’ing this and F’ing that throughout.
It took Lil Wayne about twenty minutes to take the stage due to the major set change that had to occur. Weezy, as his fans refer to him, has quite the set with lots of lights, smoke, and pyrotechnics.
When Wayne came out on stage wearing a maroon hoody, sweat pants, and his signature shades, the audience erupted in thunderous applause. He came out twirling around a skateboard and eventually tossed it to the side. A couple of weeks ago Wayne ended up in the hospital getting 9 stitches over his left eye due to a skateboarding accident. If there was any residual damage it was hard to tell due to the large number of tattoos covering his face.
The audience was treated to a special guest appearance by Mack Maine singing along with Wayne to the tune “Got Money”. A little later in the show Birdman also made an appearance, singing along with Wayne to “Fire Flame”.
The hoody finally became too much in the heat. The ladies in the audience really made some noise when they saw him baring his chest for all to see. Completely covering his entire upper body are tattoos, front and back.
The crowd was happy to hear Wayne perform hits like “Lollipop”, “Prom Queen”, “Drop the World”, and “Mrs. Officer”, as well as his most recent hit, “6 Foot 7 Foot”. It was really nice to hear Wayne tone it down with “How to Love”.
All in all it was a good concert. I’m not a huge rapper fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed the opening acts, more so than Rick Ross or Lil Wayne. Their music is just a tad hardcore for me, but the two left the audience wanting more.
Let’s hope for his fans sake that Wayne can stay out of trouble long enough to produce another chart topping album.