Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Concert Review: Wiz Khalifa Campus Consciousness Tour

About two months ago I caught wind of @RealWizKhalifa's Green Carpet Campus Consciousness Tour announcement and was visibly excited when I saw multiple dates within an hour of where I live. Take it a step further, one of the dates was less than 10 minutes away and free. GTFOH! Yea that's wassup, no more traveling over an hour and paying $30 a ticket, Wiz was comin' to Lehigh University, aka my back yard. Even more, the timing was ideal with his album having dropped about two weeks prior, allowing me to do a few laps around it and build some familiarity prior to seeing the tracks live. As final icing on the cake for a Sunday, April 10th to remember, Wale and Chiddy Bang were going to be putting on a show 10 mins away from Wiz Khalifa's performance AND there would be no overlap between concerts since Wiz/Mac Miller were performing in the afternoon and Wale/Chiddy were playing later at night. Needless to say, the stars were aligned and for a Hip Hop fan in the Lehigh Valley, it was a perfect opportunity to get out and see a few of my favorite acts without having to get on a highway.

Fast forward to the day of the concert, where it was a complete guessing game as to when the sets were going to start. Having searched the interwebs for days leading up to the concert, I found that the Sundaze event started at noon and went til around 5PM with the main act hitting the stage between 4 and 5PM. To be safe, I left at 2PM and ended up making it into the event, which was nothing more than a huge field with a big stage, as @MacMiller was hitting the stage. Perfect timing, because I really wanted to see if Mac would live up to all this hype surrounding his music of late.
From the start he was a non-stop ball of energy, keeping the crowd involved, mixing between sing along hooks and ferocious, Twista-esque, syllable bending, hyper-speed verses. To be honest, he impressed me. I only knew a few of his tracks, but he's got talent and plenty of charisma to spare. He's the type of dude you find yourself rooting for because of his happy-go-lucky personality and the infectious energy he exudes. His set was scripted well, too, as he ended with his most notable track Donald Trump (below)...
Mac Miller - Donald Trump at Lehigh University
As his set finished, I tried in vain to improve my view for the main act, eventually settling on a raised electrical cord protector that gave me about two more inches. My girl also took notice of the ridiculous amount of kush floating and being smoked throughout the audience. I shit you not it was more of a gathering to smoke weed together with friends with music in the background, rather than a concert. She thought Dave Matthews Band had a lot of trees being burned...til she saw the demographic of people at Wiz's show. #StonersHeaven

The one cool thing about Hip Hop concerts (compared to instrument-based concerts) is the wait between sets being considerably less. As such, Wiz came on like 20 minutes after Mac got done rockin' the set. As far as my expectations for the show, they were hiiiiiiggghhh as hell, like everyone in attendance. Not only had I seen Wiz a couple months before at Croc Rock in November, but again, his new album was dope and I was excited to hear the new tracks (check the album review I did last week if you're curious why I liked it).
As the show started, I already kinda knew what to expect, since he generally follows the same formula of performing his older mixtape stuff before getting to the new stuff. With tracks like Phone Number, In the Cut, Still Blazin', The Thrill, Car Service, Never Been, Wiz kept it live and catered to all the die hard Taylors who were familiar with the old stuff. Luckily, this time I was prepared for the onslaught of old stuff, having copped all his older mixtapes after I saw him in Nov.

As he moved on past the old tracks to newer stuff off Kush and Orange Juice like Never Been and Mesmorized, I was happily surprised when he decided to deliver his verse off That Good acapella (below)...
Wiz Khalifa - That Good (Acapella Verse) at Lehigh University
As an aside, Uncle Snoopy D O Double G said High School was supposed to drop today on 04/20, but that was pushed back to June. As he wound down the older tracks with the unreleased track produced by @SmokedOutLuger, Taylor Gang, you could tell he was going to start getting into the new stuff. He started with the lead track to Rolling Papers, When I'm Gone, which acted as a mellow and perfect transition into his new songs. The one minute piano lead in on the track gave him just enough time to thank everyone for their support and shift gears into his more guided, well-put-together album tracks.

He nailed the set list too. The only tracks I really wish he would have performed would have been my favorite track off Rolling Papers, Cameras. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I really dig that track. A close second favorite would be his third Stargate produced track and potential future single, Wake Up. This track might have been my favorite track all day as it provided the necessary chill out that gave contrast to all the upbeat party music he performed. I've had a hard time not including this track in any and every playlist I've made in the past month. Off top, the line, "Ohh, long days, but I know hard work pays, so all the money getting long too" over the trippy zoned-out synths do it for me every time.

As he moved on through the new stuff, it was no surprise to see an all-college crowd go ham when they heard the beginning of his new single No Sleep. Hard to find another track that more closely embodies the mood and lifestyle of kids in college like his new single (below):
Wiz Khalifa - No Sleep at Lehigh University
Toward the end, you could tell he was nearing his "Hip Hop encore," where the artist tells you they are almost done and then play their most well-known songs. Always wondered why Hip Hop was exempt from the "walk off the stage and come back in a minute after everyone is chanting your name" style encore, but it's more to the point, I guess. Was a big fan of the lead in to his second single Roll Up, going back and forth with Chevy Woods between scratches saying "Roll Up!" (below):
Wiz Khalifa - Roll Up at Lehigh University
All in all, a really entertaining concert. It's hard to compare Hip Hop shows to shows with instruments, but if you can cope with a lot of rapping over loud beats instead of hearing live instrumentation, you'll appreciate the show Wiz puts on. He keeps it positive and fun with his characteristically exaggerated stoner laugh, but on the flip side, he brings a lot of energy to his show, which keeps the crowd engaged in his music. The lighting just so happened to be awesome the day of the show, so I got plenty of good shots. Feel free to peruse below...#SlideShowOff
Click Here For All Videos From the Show


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