Lupe Fiasco in Vancouver with Stalley,Terell Safadi and Ghost [Review]
Vancouver, BC – Lupe Fiasco made his way to Vancouver on his Tetsuo and Youth Preview Tour presented by Timbre Concerts. The Vogue Theatre has been a part of the city for over seventy years. The old theatre turned concert venue provides surprising acoustics for the size, and the seating arrangement allows those who don’t wish to stand a good view of the show. Blood red curtains still hang on either side of the stage, and a balcony provides an aerial view to those with a taste for heights.
Local MC Ghost opened the show with BoBeats. Busting out his latest song “Single” for the ladies in the audience, a majority of which were already on the dance floor that curves along the stage. Ghost is representing Vancouver on the upcoming MGK tour and on this night he was wearing a VanCity sweater to remind us who he does it for.
Terell Safadi – another local talent representing on the big stage – burst onto the stage with a song dedicated to Vancouver called “V-A-N.”. Following up with his twist on the infamous Lupe Fiasco skateboarding song, “Kick, Push, Grind” Safadi eventually declared a throwback in honor of Throwback Thursdays playing his “Black, Red, Yellow” – a dedication to the old Vancouver Canucks jerseys. “Number one, number one like Luongo”.
The host of the night, DJ BandCamp returned to the stage to keep the crowd entertained for a brief intermission. Before playing any music, he offered to kick out the one obnoxious fan in the audience – who both previous artists had called out – for being an asshole. The crowd cheered on the host and alienated him in the crowd. “I ain’t afraid to call you out” says DJ BandCamp as he kicked in a track to prove his point, the speakers blared “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.”
Stalley came out to a well warmed up crowd, bringing laid back music with DJ BandCamp. “Petrin Hill Peonies” was a good song to open up with in BC as marijuana is a huge influence. Fans began to spark up but many were ejected out of the theatre for doing so. Stalley was promoting his latest mixtape Honest Cowboy and dropped “Swangin” – a song about substance abuse and driving, though not necessarily connected. At times Stalley had the edge of a young Eminem but with his laid back music and theme of cars, he was also reminiscent of Jay-Z. A very noticeable large ring glimmered on his right hand and Stalley explained his connection to Lupe Fiasco stems from his earliest moment in his hip-hop career – the first beat he ever rapped on was “Kick Push”. “And now I’m here. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t make it”.
What appeared to be a black backdrop prior to the setup for Lupe’s set was soon lit up revealing a large LED screen hanging from truss. As the house lights faded, darkness overcame the cheering crowd and the screen at center stage lit up revealing two ominous eyeballs. The strobes flashed as Lupe strolled to a stop between the eyes. Pixels of light shone through his jersey as he crossed his arms and absorbed the crowd chants. Lupe broke his silence to kick his set off with “ITAL (Roses)” – a show of appreciation to the gentlemen in the audience, but mostly a show of respect to the ladies.
As the show continued, the screen hanging in the center portrayed an assortment of things from optical illusions, to burning blunts, bling, drugs, drinks, and women; the recipe for good hip-hop visuals.
“Are you going to hold that up all night?” Lupe took what looked like a record from a front row fan to perch it against the DJ booth. “Let me take that from you so you can pay attention. I’ll get it back to you by the end of the night.” Lupe transitioned into his new single “Old School Love” as the album cover shone on the screen behind him. Fans got restless again, yelling suggestions to him, “Shut the fuck up, we’ll get to it” he said grabbing what looked like an illuminated Super 55 microphone. Lupe covered some “Touch the Sky” flowing into one of his biggest hits “Kick, Push”. The screen in the center showed a young man skateboarding through the street as the song continued.
“Hip-Hop Saved My Life” finally fulfilled a request from one of the antsy fans but was cut short for “Go Go Gadget Flow”. An intoxicated fan made is way on stage as was eventually dragged out of the theatre by two security guards. The show seemed to end abruptly “Angie, be good!” Lupe said to his gift giving friend as he retreated from the stage. The crowd chanted for him to return but the request was unwarranted. As the house lit and music returned, the crowd dispersed into the night.
Review by Clayton Cyre for HipHopCanada
Photography by Jamie Sands For HipHopCanada