[Photos] Smile, You’re Literally On Camera At Vince Staples’ Tour

DSC_0714

All photos by Ariana LaBarrie/fresh pair of iis

Vince Staples is on a touring spree as of late. He was on tour last year with Tyler The Creator to support his Big Fish Theory album, and was on The Life Aquatic tour in 2017 for the Prima Donna EP.  This year, he is on the Smile, You’re On Camera tour, making a stop at Royal Oak Music Theatre.

DSC_0735

The title of the tour wasn’t just a tongue-in-cheek nod to the phrase on security cameras; the set design included live steams of the crowd “caught on camera.” Vince Staples always has amazing set designs for his shows. During The Life Aquatic tour, his screen was a big fish tank (you can see photos from that tour here), so it was not surprise his following album was named Big Fish Theory.  I wouldn’t be surprised if his next album title was a nod to surveillance.

DSC_0765

Vince Staples has this get up and go energy for each show.  He starts off strong and has the same momentum throughout the entire show. It is the type of spirit that makes his albums come alive.

DSC_0732DSC_0748

Check out the set list below for the show. Tour dates are here.

  1. Feels Like Summer
  2. Don’t Get Chipped
  3. Lift Me Up
  4. Street Punks
  5. Relay
  6. War Ready
  7. 745
  8. Rain Come Down
  9. Tweakin’
  10. Big Fish
  11. Outside!
  12. Run the Bands
  13. Get the Fuck Off My Dick
  14. Señorita
  15. No Bleedin
  16. FUN!
  17. BagBak
  18. Party People
  19. Blue Suede
  20. Norf Norf
  21. Yeah Right
  22. Mac Miller NPR Tiny Desk Concert Video
Advertisements

Nao Brought Detroit Fans Into Her Orbit With Her Saturn Tour

dsc_0893

Photos by Ariana LaBarrie/fresh pair of iis

Nao’s energy is magnetic and you feel like you are being pulled into her orbit. That is the best way to describe the captivating performance that Nao put on at the Majestic Theatre. She even started the show in the center of the audience, opening with “Another Lifetime.”

dsc_0912

Nao had as much fun at the show as her fans did. She danced around to every song, smiling and giddy the entire time. She had a free spirit and attitude that you can only gain from coming out the storm.

dsc_0918

Nao explained the meaning behind the title of her album, Saturn. Saturn’s orbital period is about 29 years, so once it goes back to the same position it did once you were born, many changes happen. You tend to reevaluate your relationships or make major decisions, so the album is about that period in her life.

dsc_0944

Nao isn’t one of those divas that forgets where she came from. She remembered people in the crowd from previous shows.  She also shouted out her band that she has been with for five years, even before she could pay them. My favorite touch of the show is when she passed out balloons resembling the ones from her Saturn album cover.

dsc_0894

Saturn is about letting go and moving on, but we shouldn’t move on from Nao anytime soon.

Merchandise Situation:

Her merchandise included a t-shirt, backpack, hoodie, poster, hat, CD and vinyl.  The most expensive item was the hoodie for $40. The vinyl ($25) and CD were both signed and I thought those were pretty cute. Most of the merchandise seemed to be only available on the tour and not online.

Setlist:

(this is the Portland show on Jan 14, and despite minor shakeups in the order, the setlist for the Detorit show was about the same)

  1. Another Lifetime
  2. If You Ever
  3. Make It Out Alive
  4. Fool to Love
  5. Adore You
  6. Gabriel
  7. Orbit
  8. Inhale Exhale
  9. Complicated
  10. Get to Know Ya
  11. A Life Like This
  12. Saturn
  13. Girlfriend
  14. Yellow of the Sun
  15. Firefly
    (Mura Masa cover)
  16. Drive and Disconnect
  17. Bad Blood

 

Taylor Swift slithers into Detroit for reputation Tour at Ford Field

DSC_0814

All photos by Ariana LaBarrie/fresh pair of iis

Taylor Swift brought her reputation Stadium Tour to Ford Field on Tuesday. Despite this being her first official, all stadium shows tour, this was her fourth time headlining Ford Field, bringing her tour here since the Speak Now tour.

DSC_0648DSC_0679DSC_0671

Charli XCX kicked off this girl power tour with “Boom Clap,” commanding attention even though people were still trying to find their seats. Her brand of party music set a great vibe for the show and her energy was contagious.

DSC_0703DSC_0708DSC_0711

Camila Cabello came out next repping the home team by wearing a Detroit Lions’ Jersey with her last name on it. Her vocals and performance showed why she deserved Artist of The Year at this year’s VMAs.

DSC_0794 (2)

I’ve never been to a Taylor Swift show before, but I obviously seen clips on YouTube, so I thought I knew what to expect. I. Was. Totally. Wrong. It exceeded all expectations I had. As a person who loves concerts, but also has a lot of knowledge of the music industry, I thought the production value was amazing. The two B stages are bigger than the 1989 stage, which I already thought was massive. The main stage is huge, and when it plays images, they look 3D, as if snakes are hissing off the screen. How she smoothly got to one stage from another (sometimes via snake, sometimes a lit up ball) was seamless, and even the confetti being little Taylor Swift newspapers was so cute. The attention to detail was amazing.

If you are a fan of the reputation album, you will be pleased that she performs all songs off the album except “So It Goes…” She also performs some of her classics like “Blank Space,” “Love Story” and “Blood,” the latter two being medley or mashups with other songs.

DSC_0763DSC_0785

As what has become a tradition during this tour, she played a surprise acoustic song on the B-Stage. You can see all the songs so far, (I’ve been keeping track) here. This time around it was “Jump Then Fall,” a bonus on song the Fearless: Platinum Edition album. As someone that became a Taylor fan during the Fearless era, I remember listening to this song on repeat on my iPod so it was great to see it performed acoustic for the first time.

DSC_0826

While reputation is about revenge and trying to outrun preconceived notions about you, the show’s penultimate performance ended on a sweet note with “Call It What You Want,” showing that your reputation doesn’t matter with the right people.

DSC_0849

While Taylor is a huge star, she expressed gratitude to everyone who made this tour possible. She also said kind words about Aretha Franklin and held a moment of silence for her in Aretha’s hometown.

DSC_0763

While Taylor has been in the business for over a decade, I’m still very much excited for what’s to come next.

Big Sean Announces “Unfriendly Reminder” Tour Where Fans Can Choose The Setlist

unfriendly-reminder-tour

Big Sean announced his new Spring tour called “Unfriendly Reminder.”  The name is fitting since Big Sean is celebrating about a decade in music and throughout his career he is often underrated.  Also, sometimes some of his songs don’t get their due while on tour. This time around, fans get to submit their own setlist for the tour and the songs that get the most votes will be played.  Each city has its own voting system, so because of this, each city could have an entirely different show.

I think this is an incredible idea and I’m surprised that this isn’t more popular for other tours.  Usually during a tour, artists only perform their singles, or just songs of their most recent albums and a lot of B-sides fall by the wayside.  In the voting system, Big Sean included all his albums, mix tapes, and most songs that he is featured on.  You can also write in songs for your vote.

I’ve seen Big Sean live a couple times and know some of his go-to songs to perform live, and some are my favorites, so I included them in my setlist, but I also did include songs from the Detroit mixtape and my favorite songs for The Social Experiment album, Surf, “Wanna Be Cool.”  Also, one of my guests verse “Paper Scissors Rock” from Chris Brown’s album F.A.M.E. was also included. I love the line “we connected, then need space. I swear all love was written in cursive.”

Check out Big Sean’s tour announcement and my setlist below. You can also check out pictures and the setlist from his last Chicago show here.

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 6.41.26 PM

Big Sean Performs A Surprise Pop-Up show for Metro PCS’ Sounds of Chicago Powered by Pandora

DSC_0515

(Photos by Ariana LaBarrie/fresh pair of iis)

Pandora is one of the first music streaming services I remember using because it was a great way to listen to radio without always feeling the need to change the station to find a song that I like. Pandora is a custom radio station for you. So when Metro PCS and Pandora announced a surprised pop-up show with Big Sean, I knew it would be a bunch of hits. His set list was amazing, including classics like “Blessings” and new songs like “Moves” and “Jump Out The Window.” What surprised me most was how long the show was. With pop-up shows you are expecting just a few songs, but he performed over an hour set. His transition with the clapping sounds of “I Know,” a slower paced song, to the fast “A$$” was also genius.

Check out the setlist and more pictures below.

Moves
Paradise
No Favors
Mercy
Clique
Jump Out The Window
My Last
Beware
I Know
A$$
Skateboard
All Me
Don’t Like
One Man
IDFWU
Bounce Back

DSC_0523DSC_0505DSC_0501DSC_0495DSC_0492DSC_0469

 

With Sweet Sexy Savage to Honey, Kehlani is having her best year so far

DSC_0154
After having two mix tapes, Cloud 19 and You Should Be Here, Kehlani put out her debut album Sweet Sexy Savage at the top of this year. I loved the album so much, and her tour was amazing.

I saw her show twice at Concord Music Hall in Chicago, and yes, it was totally worth seeing two times.

Her opening act Ella Mai was a great complement to the tour. With tatts and her R&B music, she definitely has similar vibes to Kehalni, but has her own brand and sound.
DSC_0070DSC_0029

What makes Kehlani great live is that she seems like she is having so much fun. Sometimes when you see someone live, it feels like they are phoning it in or going through the motions.  Kehlani’s a performer: she sings live and does full out choreography.  She also isn’t afraid to get personal-she tells stories of hard times and relationship she went through to inspire others. I also loved that she performed the entire album.

Setlist from tour:
Keep On
Distraction
Do U Dirty
The Way
Too Much
Get Like
Gangsta
I Wanna Be
Everything Is Yours
Not Used to It
Advice
Piece of Mind
Escape
Undercover
In My Feelings
Personal
CRZY

DSC_0123DSC_0139DSC_0106

With her latest release, Honey, she really set herself up to have a great 2018. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was nominated for another Grammy.

SZA, Smino and Ravyn Lenae are in complete CTRL during tour

DSC_0290

When I heard about SZA was going on tour to support her debut album CTRL, I was super excited about the opening acts too. Sometimes opening acts can seem like an after fact that the label just puts on the tour and many people skip them, but I always enjoy seeing the opening acts because it is a great way to be introduced to new music. For SZA’s tour I liked how to picked Smino and Ravyn Lenae as her supporting acts because I felt like their music and artistry were a good match for her. I’ve also seen the both live before and listen to their music, so I knew it would be a good show.

Photos by Ariana LaBarrie/fresh pair of iis

DSC_0207DSC_0211DSC_0214

First up was Ravyn Lenae.  She sang songs off her projects Midnight Moonlight and Moon Shoes.  I’ve seen her before opening for Teyana Taylor last year, so I was excited to see her again.  Even though she performs for such large crowds, she also is so personable and warm– it is nice to see that type of stage presence.

DSC_0249DSC_0259DSC_0262DSC_0263

Next up was Smino. His album blkswn is one of my favorite album this year and I’ve seen him twice before, so I was hype to see him live again.   The St. Louis native wore an old school Pistons jersey, but he definitely repped his hometown-during an break between performing songs off “blkswn,” he performed a medley of St. Louis hits, including “Air Force Ones,” and “E.I.”  My only wish was that Ravyn and Smino performed “Glass Flows”

DSC_0285DSC_0290

I always say the best way to experience an album is by hearing it played by a live band.  While obviously that can’t always happen, I was happy that I was able to listen to CTRL performed live.  It definitely gives a different feeling to the album.  SZA voice is amazing live, and while her she is this huge rising star, her style of wearing khakis and Chucks showed that fame hasn’t changed her.

DSC_0317DSC_0321DSC_0337

Set List:

Supermodel
Anything
Broken Clocks
Go Gina
Drew Barrymore
HiiiJack
Child’s Play
Normal Girl
Prom
Garden (Say It Like Dat)
Doves in the Wind
Love Galore
The Weekend
Wavy (Interlude)
Babylon

[Pictures] Ruth B brings her “Safe Haven: Part 1” to Evanston

Ruth B brought her “Safe Haven” tour to Evanston, which supports her debut LP of the same name. Describing this as a “mini tour,” and only going to a few cities, it wouldn’t be surprising to be touring more cities and going to bigger venues soon. Check out pictures from the intimate show below.

34740506205_753358dcd5_z

34355981110_157ffff6a7_z

34740412965_c196ce5db3_z

34740527655_59d5f5c4d1_z

34700290676_8b6279ed93_z

34355906500_2e4ed46ebc_z

34608942931_92b3e47512_z

34608915301_25265afffe_z

THEY. shuts down Chicago with their first headlining show in the city

DSC_0508

After coming to Chicago as an opening act for Bryson Tiller’s TRAPSOUL tour and Jeremih and PARTYNEXTDOOR’S Summer’s Over tour, THEY. were finally headlining their own.

THEY. introduced themselves as stars in their own right by coming out in hooded capes by emerging from the crowd in hooded capes to “Africa.” Wordless, THEY. stood facing each other, letting the track play out. However, when the opening bars to “Deep End,” the first THEY. song I fell in love with, they threw off their capes and were completely turned up.

What I find most interesting about concerts is that you can see the motivating force behind an artist. You can see if they are doing all this for the money, to party all the time, for their ego…I’ve seen any number of reasons. The best reasons I’ve seen which I see in THEY. is that they do this because they feel as if they aren’t meant to do this and can’t do anything else. This is how they express themselves. Drew shared a story about how he didn’t fit in growing up and when he was younger on his birthday some TP’d his house. He said the Nu religion movement and The Wolf Pac was the space where everyone can be themselves. Dante then initiated the crowd into the Wolf Pac with these words:

THEY.’s motivation is to be able to exist in a place where they can be themselves and express themselves. They want the same for everyone else.

While performing all their songs off Nu Religion: Hyena, it was a sonic journey to say the least. A lot of times with music, the lyrics or the beat are great, and the other is an afterthought. With THEY. considering the marriage of both these aspects, the songs are stronger, taking you to the mindset that they want you to be in.

Highlights from the show also included performing Motley Crew, with the whole audience doing the whip motion for “riding around Sunset Boulevard.” And while a lot of the time the show was very hype with songs like “U-Rite,” they did slow it down for “Silence” and a cover of The Weeknd’s “High for This.”

I’m very excited for what is next for THEY. I got to meet them after the show and they were very sweet. With how they interact with fans in person and online and the amount of attention and care they put into their music, I think THEY. will go far.

Check out more pictures from the show, their tour diary and the album below.

Version 2

DSC_0493

DSC_0491

DSC_0490

DSC_0489DSC_0466

[Pictures] Vince Staples brings his Life Aquatic tour to Chicago

DSC_0446

Vince Staples brought his Life Aquatic Tour to the Metro on Saturday and Sunday. I caught the Saturday show and I was more than impressed.

The Metro isn’t the biggest venue, so I was surprised by how his large set was. He had three large TV screens that had images appear like fish and skeletons that made you feel like you were underwater near a sunken ship. The blue strobe lights also added the feeling that you were on an underwater excursion.

DSC_0427

Despite the nautical theme of the set, Vince was in his usual uniform of a hoodie, jeans and Converse high tops. He was extremely energetic throughout his entire set, which included songs from his debut full length album “Summer ’06” and his EPs “Primma Donna” and “Hell Can Wait.”  In the middle of the show, he also performed his singles that he is featured on. For instance, one of the highlight was his performance of “Smoke & Retribution,” his song with Flume.

DSC_0431

The highlight of the night was during the encore, when he performed “Norf Norf.”  It was crazy to hear people shout out Northside, Long Beach in Chicago, and I’m sure it was a surreal moment for him.

Vince Staples will be back in Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival in July.

DSC_0442

DSC_0448

DSC_0415

Version 2