|Photo courtesy of the artist|
with Fat Boy, Money Mouse, and DJ Advance
Sunday, March 3, 2013
As great as Pluto and a number of Future's other works are, it was tough to put a lot of stock into his live show. During far too many big-name rap shows the artist turns in a nothing performance and banks on the fact that people simply want to be in the same room as them. Coming into the show bumping and singing along to so much of Future's music, is was hard not to want to see it louder and larger.
DJ Advance held down turntable duties for quite a while before the show really started. He has a good knowledge of what songs will turn people up at what times, and was able to keep people ready for the main event for what wound up being a decent amount of time. He was one of the hardest working people on stage that night. Whereas when local opener Fat Boy stepped forward for his warm-up set, he looked tired immediately. Before even playing a track, Fat Boy proceeded to throw dollar bills into the audience. This definitely excited the crowd each time he threw a stack (a total of maybe 5 or 6 throughout his set) in a way that his music couldn't. If someone had the heart to tell him that holding the microphone to the bottom of your chin doesn't really amplify the sound of your voice terribly well, the set might have come off better, but it wasn't like he was actually doing much rapping anyway. The backtracks did most of the legwork, and making it rain distracted people enough to not really notice. When Money Mouse came out to perform his one and only track, it was at least a step-up to rapping alongside the backing vocals, but sadly he was finished almost as quickly as he started. It wasn't exactly a great indicator for the rest of the show, but the tightly packed crowd remained excited and anticipatory.
Afterwards DJ Advance returned for another long section of tracks, carefully selected to be bigger hits than the first go around. Slowly but surely he built towards Future's set, which began with his DJ Xrated spinning a few joints and hyping the crowd. I've probably said something to the effect of "a wave of energy moved through the crowd" or some trite shit like that before in my reviews, but damn if it didn't honestly feel like a tidal wave hit when Future stepped on stage. The capacity crowd shoved everyone around them, little circles of fights and hard dancing broke out, blunts lit up every which way, people fell to the ground, hands raised, twerks occurred, all in one massive singular motion at the moment the Atlanta rapper appeared. The energy didn't really dip at any point either, and the audience quickly became one of the most intense I've ever been in.
Future worked his way through the fan favorites quickly and sparsely, performing a lot of snippets and leaving a lot of the vocal work to the crowd that was rapping along the whole time. His stage skills leave something to be desired, but he's good with a crowd and entertaining to watch. Atmosphere-wise, though, he commands an insane presence over an eager crowd, and can creating a pretty stunning show out of very little. Certain tracks like "Neva End'" were literally sung solely by the audience, without even the DJ spinning the beat. This is definitely not the only time I've ever seen the people do the majority of the vocal work, but I've rarely seen such a consistent, powerful, and attentive display of devotion to an artist and their work by such a huge crowd.
At the point Future is at now, he didn't really need to turn in the kind of passionate and emotional performance that tracks like "Turn Off the Lights" seemingly require to make work, but he still wound up putting on a massive and impressive show. The problem with this lackluster approach, however, is even when it works it feels too short. I definitely spent more time in the hellish coat check line than Future did on stage. The same energy that the crowd used to dance and scream during the show transferred into hurtling insults and high heels at the others in the poorly planned exit line. It got ugly in there, with more than a few fights breaking out in the midst of a claustrophobe's nightmare. All in all a good night, but I never like the feeling that I am putting forward more effort in simply trying to leave the club than the headlining act did in playing.
The Crowd: Completely packed, mostly women, very excited. I was one of a handful of white dudes there.
Random Notebook Dump: Hey, awkward looking white kid with the X'd hands, that Brazzers T-shirt is not really doing you any favors.
Overheard in the Crowd: I could probably fill an entire article just with these. The highlight was probably my obligatory exchange with some audience member regarding my brandishing a notebook while in the middle of the crowd: "Are you serious right now with that? Fuck that, get drunk and fuck hoes!"
Keep On Shinin
I'm Gone To The Moon
Anything You Want
My Ho 2
Ain't No Way Around It
Bitches & Bottles (Let's Get It Started)
No Matter What
Bitches Love Me
Way Too Gone
Truth Gonna Hurt You
Same Damn Time
Turn On The Lights