In light of a new flagship article we are going to start debuting on Fridays, I am beginning by dipping my toes into the proverbial ‘pool’ that is music reviews. I have been an avid listener of music since before I was born (yes, my parents did that classical music to the belly thing), and have been since I was able to turn a radio knob myself. Yes, I know I am dating myself to all you pre-Twitter folks out there, but we are very cultured and educated here at S7S. On that shameless plug, let’s dive into one of the best concerts I’ve been to in the last 10 years.
I’ll start this off by saying that I have been to quite a few concerts, but not that many music festivals. To all you live music heads out there, yes, I know that music festivals are ‘the most pure’ or however else you want to justify sleeping in a tent and spending hundreds of dollars. Me? I prefer sleeping in a comfy bed after standing in a packed arena raging and having my eardrums shattered.
On those notes, let’s dive into the King of making-us-wait-two-years-per-album, the one and only, Travis Scott.
…BUT before that, let’s talk about the features.
Sheck Wes was the first of three features to come on stage for Travis, and let me conclude this by saying these three points: high school kids love him, he likes mosh pits, and he has 2 good songs. He came out roughly on time, and left slightly early, but it made sense to me. I would consider Sheck Wes a one-hit-wonder solely because his best song is one where he barely sings at all. Mo Bamba is pretty much just a ‘hook’ song, where everyone knows the chorus (aka ‘hook’)…and nothing else. It was very evident during the course of his performance, where no one really sang or moshed to any other songs besides Mo Bamba and Live Sheck Wes. Even then, Mo Bamba was the only song that got the venue going. He sang three songs, sang Mo Bamba (which everyone thought was very odd since it is the most popular), sang three more songs, then sang LSW. Kind of good solely because he knew he was a hype man, and lived in that role well. Definitely a hard 7 performance.
Now in a move that surprised me, Trippie Redd performed second. I don’t know why, why friends don’t know why, other people we were sitting by didn’t know why (until they learned who the next person was, and that’s where we had the disagreement). In my opinion, Trippie was the best opener. Why? Well, his walk-out was to an actual song he sang, and not him just walking out to an intro then going into it. The song? It was (to me) his best song Dark Knight Dummo. Now I was upset at the time about that because, in a perfect world, Travis Scott would walk out during it (since he is featured on the song). Now, I loved Trippie’s performance. Once he gets a few more popular songs on the radio, he could do his own show easily. He kept the crowd engaged, has great bangers, and has a couple slow songs for all the ladies out there. I could easily have watched him perform more, but again, not enough songs in his repertoire. He really kept me engaged from the opening acts, and that’s all you can really ask for.
Now, I hated the third opener. Don’t get me wrong, he has good songs, but he’s exactly what I thought he’d be: horrible live. Gunna is an artist that every hip-hop/rap artist has on an album, but you skip through the song. The beat is hard. The main artist will be great. But Gunna himself will ruin the song. He came out on stage (late) to his hit song Space Cadet…which came out last week and was on someone else’s album lol. His songs themselves were kinda bad, but girls loved them. In fact, it seemed everyone 18 or younger seemed to love him. Watched some kids in front of me fight and rage to his songs, but were kinda tame to Travis. Weird right? To top it all off, he just left the stage in the middle of one of his songs…and no one noticed. Not even the DJ. I was just disappointed. I was sitting during most of his performance (in contrast to standing during most of Sheck Wes and all of Trippe Redd).
Now, let me start off by saying that Travis knows how to put on a MF’ing great show. Like top 5 I’ve seen. He has been an artist I consistently listen to since he bagan in his mixtape days, jumping on the proverbial ‘band-wagon’ with his Days Before Rodeo tape. I love a lot of his songs, and always like listening to his old stuff on a weekly basis. That being said, I loved Astroworld. The marketing play is brilliant, and it showed with how he did this album and tour. But enough about this, let’s review his performance.
He started off the show (late as always) with a brilliant (and trippy) video playing as the intro, and led it to him entering on an entirely different stage (yes, he had two) to STARGAZING, which off course led to the mosh and stadium going wild. In the interlude, he switched stages, said a couple words, and immediately launched back into the performance. He probably spent 15-30 seconds actually giving an intro and not singing in the beginning. He probably spent 5-10 minutes talking during the whole show. He sang all his old, great hits, like Mamacita, Butterfly Effect, 90210, Antidote, (my personal favorite) Skyfall, and a few others. I wish he played more, like Pornography, anything from Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, and a bit more from his mixtapes. However, did that detract at all from the experience?
Not in the slightest. I didn’t even notice that until I began composing this. That’s how good the concert was. He focused on the new songs like 5% TINT, HOUSTONFORNICATION (my favorite from the album), and NC-17. He even had a spectacular live versions for CAROUSEL, R.I.P. SCREW, STOP TRYING TO BE GOD, and YOSEMITE.
The atmosphere was amazing, and he had a great pyrotechnics/lights staff operating it. He had fireworks, lazer lights, lights, smoke, fire, inflatables (not just his head from the album cover, but also an astronaut), and a roller coaster. Yes, Travis Scott even “rode” a roller coaster twice in his concert. Once after singing STARGAZING, and another time towards the end when he did it over the mosh pit. The auto-tune did not take a lot away from it at all, and he brought out Gunna on stage…which hyped up the crowd but not tremendously so.
Even though Travis ended the show early (as I expected going in), he ended it with his most famous song: SICKO MODE. I wouldn’t be lying if I told you that Travis and the beat got drowned out by the crowd. No, I’m being serious. Travis Scott, mic’ed up with a beat going and everything, got drowned out as the crowd sang the entire song word for word. It was something to behold, and I do hope Travis appreciated it. I know I did.
All in all, it was a great concert. If I could afford it, I’d do the same again. Easily a top 5 concert. Ranking? Also easy, a nice hard 8 out of 10. Well worth the money to see.