The #PurpleReign Tour: Charlotte Edition

Happy Friday everyone. I’m enjoying a lovely rum & coke at the moment and I hope that your evening is going just as swimmingly. To be completely honest, I’m aware that it’s been almost a month since this concert took place. Part of me feels almost guilty for not posting sooner, but a larger part of me doesn’t want to feel obligated to make these posts. Let’s be serious, there probably aren’t but a few dedicated readers anyways – hey Amanda – so from here on out things will be a bit different. I’m going to post reviews after seeing a show for sure, but I’m not going to try to pander to any audience or try to make some kind of clickbait title for views. The days of going to ~20 rap shows a year are behind me. So from here on out, I’m keeping it real. [This would be the ideal time for a Chappelle show clip about when keeping it real goes wrong btw].

Alright, I’m off the soap box, let’s get to the damn thang.

Here we go. 2015 was owned by Future. There’s no doubt about it. The man dropped two critically acclaimed mixtapes in 56 Nights and
Beast Mode, and then followed them up with an unprecedented 3, yes THREE, number 1 albums in DS2, What A Time To Be Alive w/ Drake, and EVOL (not to mention the Purple Reign tape itself). For those counting at home, that is 5 projects in a single calendar year. Some people can’t put out 5 projects in a career – looking at you Dr. Dre.

Needless to say, the hype was really real for the Purple Reign Tour, and rightfully so.

Purple Reign Tour

Purple Reign Tour

A few months back I got a notification from my LiveNation app letting me know that tickets would be going on sale. I was all over it. Yes, I have seen Future perform before, but at that time he was nowhere near as popular as he is today.

Fast forward a few months. April 7, 2015. Showtime is 8pm at The Fillmore, one of my favorite venues. I’m rolling solo, which at this point I’m used to doing. Live music is just worth it in my opinion. Anyways, I showed up about 20 minutes before doors opened and the line was at least 200-250 yards long. Unreal. It didn’t phase me much though, because I had previously purchased a handy dandy “fast pass” from the venue for $10 which essentially provides a separate admission line that gets in before the mile long general admission line. I was tempted to buy a “Meet & Greet” package ticket, but $250 is a little too steep for me, no matter how much I like Future.

So inside the venue we go. The show actually didn’t take long to get started, which was nice. Lil Donald was the first act out. I won’t front at all, I’ve never heard of Lil Donald before that night. I learned he was signed to Freebandz though, so he’s got that going for him. He did a few songs and the crowd was cool with him.

The next performer I was very familiar with, Ty Dolla $ign. Most people got familiar with Ty following the success of his hit single, “Paranoid”. I will humble brag and say that I was a fan a little before that, mainly because of his affiliation with YG, who I love. I think everyone is familiar with the song “Toot It & Boot It” though, which is where Ty really got his start, even if nobody really knew who he was back then.

Ty came out looking super casual and put together the following setlist:

1. Familiar
2. Dead Presidents
3. Violent
4. Irie
5. Only Right w/ TeeCee4800
6. Toot It & Boot It
7. You & Your Friends
8. Play No Games
9. Sitting Pretty
10. Or Nah
11. Paranoid
12. Saved
13. Blasé

Ty held it down, especially for an opener. I would almost venture to call him a co-headliner. I skipped seeing Ty about a year ago at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte, so it really was a treat to see Ty AND Future in the same night.

Dolla $ign!

Dolla $ign!

After Ty’s set, house music filtered back through the speakers at a reasonable level and general conversation filled the venue. After some time, the stage was set for Fewtcha. The lights dimmed, and the backdrop of 3 split screens began to show a steady sea of purple waves. Anticipation was rising, and ultimately, our boy came out to grace the stage. After at least 2 hours since most of us entered the venue, we were ready to turn up. At first, there was a faint sound of music playing. It gradually got louder, and ultimately you heard the beginning of “Thought It Was a Drought” playing. Future ran through a brief introduction to the crowd, but the crowd could have cared less. We went word for word over the intro to the song until the beat dropped at which point all hell broke loose, in a good way of course.

Future put down a set list that was pretty amazing. It consisted of:

1. Thought it was a Drought

2. Move That Dope
3. Same Damn Time
4. Karate Chop
5. Monster
6. My Savages
7. Peacoat
8. Lay Up
9. Where Ya At
10. I Serve the Base
11. Blood on the Money
12. Stick Talk
13. Freak Hoe
14. Blow a Bag
15. Rotation
16. Slave Master

At this point, we had gone through a number of hits, and Future needed a break to get some water/hydrate/hit the gas, etc. Whatever he was doing, we had ourselves a guest MC enter the stage to keep us entertained, DJ Esco, who was donning a fitting #2 Charlotte Hornets Larry Johnson jersey.

DJ Esco

DJ Esco

Esco played a number of current radio hits for 10-15 minutes and ultimately gave the mic back up to Future, who continued to light things up, and he started the 2nd portion of the show with a bang, by bringing Ty back out of stage to perform Blasé, together. It was lit. Ty even leapt from the stage into the welcoming arms of fans, who lost it.

17. Blasé w/ Ty Dolla $ign
18. Real Sisters
19. The Percocet & Stripper Joint
20. Trap N*ggas
21. F*ck Up Some Commas
22. Diamonds Dancing
23. Jersey
24. I’m The Plug
25. Jumpan

26. March Madness
27. All Right
28. Wicked
29. Perkys Calling
30. Purple Reign

Fewtcha!

Fewtcha!

And with that final performance, Future bid us adieu and left the stage. The venue’s lights came back on, and people started filtering out into the brisk night air. What they didn’t know, was that Future wasn’t done. After a few minutes, he came back out on stage and gave an encore performance consisting of:

31. Low Life
32. Honest
33. Chosen One
34. Love Me

It was a solid hour and a half performance, and Future certainly delivered. He put down a great performance and earned every cent that he made that evening. My only criticism would be that he didn’t play my personal favorite, “Gone to the Moon”. I get it though. With his current buzz, most of his fans these days don’t even know that song because it’s so old. Fortunately, I can say I’m lucky enough to have seen it performed before, so there was no real damage done.

All in all, it was a great show, and I’m really glad that I made the effort to go see Future perform. I won’t say I’ve been a day one Future fan, but as a fan of at least 3 years or so, it is really cool to see him rising up in the hip-hop community and know that you were supporting him back when he was relatively unknown. My humble brag is now done. Point is, if you haven’t seen him and he’s coming to a city near you, get some tickets and make it happen. You won’t regret it.

Future shuts down Amos’ Southend, #Honest-ly

Fresh off of his sophomore album release this past April, rapper Future announced that he would be headlining the #HonestTour in various cities across the United States, aptly named for his album of the same title, Honest. Of these tour dates, June 10th, 2014 would be hitting Charlotte, NC at Amos’ Southend. Not only that, but up and coming rapper Que (known for his street anthem “OG Bobby Johnson”) and crossover sensation Rico Love would be his supporting acts.

#HonestTour Poster

#HonestTour Poster

For those who might not know who exactly Future is, he’s an Atlanta, GA native who managed to make a name for himself by flooding the streets with projects throughout 2010-2012 that included the Streetz Calling and Astronaut Status mixtapes, which really grabbed the attention of hip-hop followers nationwide. On top of that, Future’s unique sound which encompasses his ability to rap as well as sing (albeit auto-tuned) have given him a leg up on the competition. Once he started to get the attention that he rightly deserved, he capitalized on it by releasing notable singles including “Tony Montana” and “Same Damn Time” which subsequently made it onto his debut album, Pluto. In addition to that, Future became arguably the best “hook” artist in the hip-hop/rap genre and further promoted himself by hopping on YC’s hit song “Racks“, which turned into a hit almost overnight – it now has 18+ million views. Since that point, things for Future have snowballed into mainstream success and now it’s almost impossible to not hear his voice on the radio.

This evening also marked the third time in the past two years that Future has performed in Charlotte. He co-headlined the Power 98 SummerFest in August of 2012 at the Uptown Amphitheatre with Ace Hood, Chief Keef & Travis Porter. More recently, he opened for Drake alongside Miguel on the Toronto rapper’s Would You Like a Tour? at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Meanwhile at Amos’ Southend, an unforgettable night was about to begin. I met up with my beautiful girlfriend Amanda and my old time friend from back in elementary school (Reedy Creek!), Elizabeth. We put down a solid pregame session and headed in.

The Ladies

The Ladies

After the standard milling around and house music prior to anyone performing, things started to kick off at around 8:15-8:30pm with Rico Love. He was on stage for roughly 20-25 minutes and performed, among other songs, “B*tches Be Like”, Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” (which he wrote), and “What You Saying” before capping things off with his most recent hit, “They Don’t Know“, which essentially turned the entire venue into one big sing-a-long session.

Rico Love

Rico Love

The crowd was really starting to get warmed up at this point and undoubtedly would have gotten out of control had Que come on to perform his trunk-rattling hit “OG Bobby Johnson“. Unfortunately, he was MIA and never made an appearance. Therefore, another session of house music began between acts that lasted for roughly 30 minutes or so before the main attraction hit the stage. But my oh my, was it worth it.

The lights dimmed, smoke covered the stage. It was time. TURN UP TIME.

The Set

The Set

In less than 30 seconds, Future transformed an otherwise mild crowd into a loosely contained riot, which I was at the forefront of.

Me!

Me!

The Astronaut

Astronaut Mode

The first song Future performed was “Chosen One”, off of the FBG: The Movie mixtape. From there, the Atlanta native continued to lay down hit after hit as the audience ascended to Pluto, then Mars, at the same damn time.

The set list he went through went something along these lines:

1. Chosen One
2. Karate Chop
3. Gone To The Moon

4. Racks (hook, YC cover)
5. Tony Montana
6. Drug Money (hook, Yo Gotti cover)
7. T Shirt
8. My Momma
9. Honest
10. I Won
11. Magic
12. Itchin’
13. Tapout (hook, Young Money cover)
14. Bugatti (hook, Ace Hood cover)
15. U.O.E.N.O. (hook, Rocko cover)
16. Covered N Money
17. Love Me (hook, Lil Wayne cover)
18. Move That Dope

19. Ain’t No Way Around It
20. Way Too Gone (hook, Young Jeezy cover)
21. Turn On The Lights
22. Loveeeee Song (hook, Rihanna cover)
23. Same Damn Time

24. Sh!t

Future

Future Hendrix

All things considered, this night proved to be a success and Future yet again reiterated why he was a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop industry. If you somehow managed to miss him last night, you’re not entirely out of luck. Future will be performing tonight at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach if you’re willing to make a drive. It will be well worth your time and he’ll undoubtedly crush the stage, but hey, I’m just being #Honest.