Last night’s performance at the Washington Avenue Armory hit like today’s heatwave. At times it was the good kind of hot where you didn’t notice how sweaty you had gotten and at times it was hazy and uncertain.
Any show that has more than one or two openers is setting itself up for a challenge of captivating the audience, with some simply succeeding easier than others. Shows at the Armory in the newly-arrived summer can be a lot to take in with 2,500+ people, beverages that magically remain cold for about five seconds upon being served and the carefully calculated decision to dive into the crowd or watch a bit removed in the bleachers.
The opening acts accompanying Kendrick Lamar on his good kid, M.A.D.D. city tour included SchoolBoyQ, Ab Soul and Jay Rock. My friends who joined me for the concert, like me, had tunnel vision to Kendrick’s performance, which made it difficult to concentrate on the openers. One was barely DJing and had the sea of people in front of the stage at a standstill. The rapper who came on right before Kendrick did a good job waking people up out of their daze and started to get things moving.
Once Kendrick came on stage, in all his 5’6″ foot glory, the mood of the night instantly switched into that of a party, coming alive as the sound system blared out beats both unknown and familiar.
Kendrick dipped slightly into his catalog, performing some tracks from his archive prior his 2012 release, good kid, M.A.D.D. city which was the album that catapulted him into the spotlight. If he played extensively obscure songs, I’d have been slightly disappointed. I wanted to hear my favorite songs and am thankful he rocked through them. good kid, M.A.D.D. city was my admitted introduction to the wordsmith and performing artist and hearing those songs through a large system made the show for me. At times the audience straight up took over vocals and being one of the participants, that was just fine by me.
It’s been quite interesting watching Kendrick’s rise to fame the past year and I, for one, am guilty of listening to his album on repeat. The audience absolutely ate up his lead singles “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Poetic Justice”, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “P&P (Pussy & Patron)”. Overall, Kendrick Lamar landed himself into one of the best acts I’ve seen so far to date this year, even if it was more lighthearted than groundbreaking.
Special thanks to Michael Corts for having us at the Armory! And click the image above to view the photo gallery!