This past summer, I saw the G-Eazy & Logic with Yo Gotti & YG Endless summer tour concert in Nashville. First, here is some background.
I was first introduced to YG in high school when he came out with the smash hit “My N*gga,” which was played at a lot of parties and dances I went to at the time. And, yes I went to a predominantly white private school, and yes it was weird. After getting into hip hop more, I learned that his debut album My Krazy Life was very critically acclaimed but I never really got around to checking it out. When YG released his single “FDT” which stands, of course, for “F*ck Donald Trump.” I was pretty intrigued and decided to give the track a listen. I really like it. His new album Still Brazy got even better reviews than its predecessor, so I decided that I would check it out a few days before the concert. I thought it was pretty solid. My favorite tracks off the project are probably “Who Shot Me?”, “Bool, Balm and Bollective,” and of course “FDT”. The only track that I really flat out did not like from the project was the incredibly misogynistic “She Wish She Was”. Despite being from Memphis, I’ve never really listened to Yo Gotti’s music. I think I may have heard the single “Women Lie, Men Lie” when it first came out, but that is it. I listened to Logic’s mixtape Young Sinatra in high school and thought it was pretty good but maybe just a touch too pop-y for my taste. I listened to his sophomore album and latest commercial release The Incredible True Story when it came out this past year and thought it was very good and even made my top ten hip hop albums of 2015 list. I went back and listened to “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” and listened to his latest mixtape “Bobby Tarantino” in preparation for the concert. I thought “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” was pretty good as a collection of songs but not very cohesive and “Bobby Tarantino” really just fell a little flat for me on first listen. I was introduced to his music by a close friend of mine in high school at a point when I would only listen to a few songs from a particular artist as opposed to full albums. I really liked “Mad”, “Marilyn”, and “Run Around Sue” but not much else. Those songs were some of the first rap songs I downloaded onto my iTunes before I really got into rap music as a whole. I haven’t really listened to his music in years until I realized the concert was coming up in like two days so I downloaded a few of his mixtapes and listened to a few songs from his newer albums on Spotify. I noticed that I really liked his production (and he produced most of the songs I liked himself) and he had some really clever lines despite mainly circling around the topics of weed and having sexual intercourse with someone else’s girlfriend or as it is known in rap “F*cking yo b*tch.” I found his vocal delivery to be nasally and unpleasant for the most part but still confident. This is fine as I listen to plenty of rappers that have a similar timbre and it is an easy thing to get past.
The concert was held at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. This was my first arena show and as soon as I arrived at the venue I knew that this would most likely create a very different vibe than I was used to at concerts. First of all, assigned seating instead of standing room meant that the communal experience of standing around extremely close to other members of the crowd was completely gone. This was only enhanced by being situated in the “nose-bleed” seats which seemed to provide distance between fans and the artists. The only big positives I really saw in having the show in an arena was the visual effects and stage displays that were able to get a big upgrade, and more fans were able to come see the show.
As my buddy and I were getting our seats a rapper that went by Neff the Pharaoh was opening. The lights were still on and people were talking so I couldn’t really read too much into his performance.
After the Neff left the stage there was a little down time before YG came on the stage accompanied by his DJ. He opened with “BPT” off of My Krazy Life, which was a pretty good intro that got me out of my seat and grooving to the neo G-funk sounds of DJ Mustard’s production. As one would expect the visual displays were mostly red with white designs as reference to YG’s history with the Bompton Pyru street gang. He performed some more cuts from My Krazy Life and Still Brazy, most notably “FDT” in which the Trump supporter next to me became immediately sullen and sat down, while I extended the middle digit on my right and left hand, danced wildly, and sang along with the chorus as loudly as possible. He closed out with Kendrick Lamar’s song “m.A.A.d. city,” which I found to be an odd choice despite finding the track quite fun and danceable as a closer.
The next act on the stage was Yo Gotti accompanied by a DJ and drummer. His performance was decent and the big hits like “Down in the DM” and “The Law” got a really great crowd reaction and I couldn’t help but find my catching the vibe from the majority of the rest of the crowd and bobbing along. The visual effects were nice as well with money and police sirens on the display.
Finally, the artist I came to see was ready to take the stage. He came out to the intro from The Incredible True Story with visuals that matched the sci-fi theme that added more thematic weight to the performance. He was accompanied by his DJ, DJ Rhetoric. This type of immersive visual experience paired with the live musical performance was what I hope to get from a Logic concert. He followed this up with “Fade Away.” Sadly, he didn’t stick to playing a majority of songs from T.I.T.S. His set was a mix of those songs with songs from his commercial debut, “Under Pressure” which I have not listened to, and songs from Bobby Tarantino. The Bobby Tarantino tracks were much better as live tracks but I still would have preferred more tracks from T.I.T.S. In addition to the songs, there were many asides in Logic’s performance including a birthday shout-out to a fan, and pictures of his dog on the screen with a joke that “He literally gets the bitches.” One particularly interesting deviation was a live demonstration of how Logic makes a beat. Using a drum machine and a computer he constructed a beat from scratch in real time while making jokes after he made the beat he rapped part of his song “City of Stars” over it. Some other songs that he performed that are worth mentioning are “Young Jesus,” and “Supper Mario World” from Bobby Tarantino, which was accompanied by some pretty cool old school Mario Bros visuals. “Young Jesus” is usually performed with fellow Rattpack member Big Lenbo on tour, but due to Lenbo’s absence, the track was performed with Rhetoric and accompanied with footage from the wacky and outrageous music video. I don’t know the name of the song he closed with but he had the whole audience take out their phone flashlights and wave them for a really cool communal effect.
After Logic’s set we waited a bit for G-Eazy and I was curious to see what he had to offer. Soon enough the arena blacked out and a countdown clock appeared on the monitor. When the clock ended a cinematic trailer appeared on the screen and G-Eazy’s intro music started. After the very intense visual display, G came out to “Random” with a striking monochromatic red back drop of his eyes and accompaniment from Blizzy LC on the drums, Curtis on the Keys, and DJ Quiz. The image of G’s eyes on the screen are known at my college as “Sex eyes” but I don’t really think I personally was seduced in any way, though I can’t say the same for several female members of the audience. G went through several more songs with more cool visuals, that were broken up by the arena going dark except for one teal light and eventually brought Yo Gotti back out to do “Down in the DM.” G did about three more of his own songs before he brought YG back out to do the “FDT” remix. The remix included a really great verse from G that had me really floored. He mentioned the Muslim population of the world and compared Trump’s campaign to Hitler’s rise to power in Berlin in a decently creative way with great flow and delivery. The performance of the remix actually topped the original in my opinion by adding more substance to the track and more defiant energy. He then preformed a few more solo tracks including one of my favorites “I’m here B’tch” before going backstage for an intermission while his DJ played some club hits to keep the energy going. When G returned to the stage it was with a white bandana around his forehead, which he explained was to cover up a minor injury he sustained backstage on the equipment during the intermission. He then proceeded to do some songs for the ladies with some psychedelic warm colored imagery on the displays and take his shirt off to revel a tank top. He then did “I Mean It” with “THESE THINGS HAPPEN” behind him in a CNN parody font. The bass and catchy hook on the song really seemed to get the crowd on their feet. He closed the show with “Me, Myself, and I,” the song most casual pop and hip hop radio listeners will know him for, with a stunning orange cinematic on the on the display.
I was a little confused about why Logic and G got equal billing when G took way more stage time, performed last, and had a much more intensive stage show.
3 out of five flame emojis