Wiz Khalifa w/ Yelawolf
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Good: Local openers were actually impressive with a crowd, pumped up to see the headliner, willing to rock with guys they'd never heard of and even when the local artists were doing things that killed the 'star' factor making them feel local (i.e. "3, 2, 1 my nigga! 3, 2, 1 my nigga!") the crowd went with it.
Dow Jones, a Detroit native gracing Charlotte stages for a while now, has swiftly become Charlotte's go-to hip hop opening act (along with indie label mate, Life). His set went a long way towards proving why he opens so often for so many big acts, not just because he's the easiest booking but because in between the tracks that get lost on people are cuts with hit potential. He clearly benefited from not being that awkward first act on stage which he has been in the past. New fans may have been thrown for a loop by the rest of the set which sounds a little like the single, "Dr. Feelgood," getting radio play. There was no question he had the best DJ last night either, DJ Complete is worth searching out for booking or a party.
Yelawolf's set flew by like a 'best of' of the artist. He wasted no time getting into the tracks people knew him best for and getting chicks on stage to rock with him (whether they could dance or not was another story). The recent Interscope Records signee from Alabama paced the stage with a furry before every track and when he spit, there was no denying he meant that shit, even if his stature didn't induce the fear his lyrics suggested.
Wiz Khalifa was what you'd expect. Floating on stage with black Chucks, camo shorts, backpack and vintage Hornets hat, the Pittsburgh native did tracks from mixtapes Burn After Rolling and Kush & Orange Juice and his album, Deal Or No Deal. After songs that had the crowd jumping like "The Thrill (Walking On A Dream)", Khalifa turned the lights down and got into the blunted portion of his set. The vibe was there and the crowd, who'd rapped along almost word for word up until this point, followed suit like he waved a weed wand over everybody to mellow out. Admitting he was high as hell more multiple times was funny and wishing "good weed" on everybody in the crowd for all their support at the end of the night was awful nice of him as well.
Close quarters and sheer heat caused lots of confusion. Thankfully, the squabbles that broke out in the crowd (mostly between women) never got violent but it had the potential to explode more than a few times for sure.
The Bad: Yelawolf's set felt abbreviated, after eight songs, the artist was done and left the stage with songs he hadn't performed playing, took a while for the crowd to really vibe with him either because of the extended break between the openers and him, the awkward entrance or the crowd's readiness to just see Khalifa and get out of there.
Khalifa did every second of some of his blunt anthems, which is cool if you're high, but elongated a set that really could've squeezed in more tracks from his hit album or songs for longtime fans like, "All In My Blood (Pittsburgh Sound)." His hype man got a little too comfy on the mic too.
If you're local, you have to say your name. I've seen Life perform with Dow Jones at least five times. Lots of times people confuse them for a duo but he's never once mentioned his own name. After buzzworthy performances, you hear the crowd asking each other, "who was that guy again?" and nobody has the answer.
The phenomenon of local acts having huge entourages has to stop. There's no reason for you to roll 10 or 12 deep side stage/backstage when those well wishers and longtime supporters would be better served sprinkled in the crowd. Trust me, it'd help spark total crowd participation having people who actually know your music hyping it up in the audience. Use the ringers to your advantage.
Don't know if a fuse blew or what but the fan on stage died out early on making the sweatbox of the stage lights and constant movement unbelievably exhausting for the artists. Lots of sweat drenched wife beaters last night, gotta get that fixed Amos'.
The Verdict: Solid show, nothing legendary. Khalifa proved a loyal fan base built primarily online will come out and support an artist they really care for, who knew stoners could be so loud. Yelawolf was just beginning beginning to control the crowd when his set ended, hopefully that won't stop people from looking him up. Local openers got a chance to perform for an audience, chomping at the bit and will hopefully have their confidence grow in the aftermath.
Good To Go
Box Chevy, Pt. 3
Mixin' Up The Medicine
Pop The Trunk
Wiz Khalifa setlist:
B.A.R. (Burn After Rolling)
Hello Kiity (Fuckin' on a Pill)
The Thrill (Walking On A Dream)
The Kid Frankie
In Tha Cut
Still Blazin/Heart & Soul (Weed Song)
Pedal To The Medal
Ink My Whole Body