After a rescheduling in April that (disappointingly) shed J. Cole from the bill, Big Sean finally hit the Upstate Concert Hall on May 6th.
I arrived during Justine Skyeâ€™s set and immediately wished I had made it in earlier. Skye dutifully filled the opening act role by captivating the crowd with dancers, choreography, jokey stage banter, and even by pulling fans out of the crowd for a dance-off. If youâ€™re unfamiliar with Skye, The FADER did a great feature that gives insight into the singerâ€™s come-up.
Casey Veggies was a ball of energy onstage. Veggies, who is one of the original founders of OFWGKTA, isnâ€™t living in the past or riding on his association with more famous rappers like Tyler, the Creator. Heâ€™s found his own lane musically and itâ€™s working. Much of the crowd was familiar with his tunes and singing along, and the uninitiated remainder were still feeling it and nodding along.
Before Big Sean, the room buzzed with anticipation. The stage setup almost seemed as if it was too big for the UCH, with a full band stationed behind an enormous stage-wide wall of LEDs. Once Big Sean got onstage, I could tell that both the crowd and the rapper were having a lot of fun. Between songs, Sean talked about following his dreams out of Detroit and getting signed to GOOD Music. He enthusiastically encouraged the room to follow their dreams as well. Other crowd interaction included call/response of his famous ad libs (“Oh God”, “Little Bitch”, “Swerve”, etc.) and shouting out the members of his walled-off band. Throughout Seanâ€™s 27-song set, he took the crowd on a journey from his hits, to his new stuff, to features, back to the hits.
If Sean is even remotely on your radar, catch a show. You’ll have a blast.