Taylor Swift slithers into Detroit for reputation Tour at Ford Field


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.


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.


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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


(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.

No Favors
Jump Out The Window
My Last
I Know
All Me
Don’t Like
One Man
Bounce Back



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

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.

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
Do U Dirty
The Way
Too Much
Get Like
I Wanna Be
Everything Is Yours
Not Used to It
Piece of Mind
In My Feelings


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


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


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.


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”


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.


Set List:

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

[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.









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


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.

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


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.


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.


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.




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PARTYNEXTDOOR and Jeremih’s Summer’s Over Tour Chicago stop becomes awkward with Jeremih’s performance being cut short


I was really excited to go to the Summer’s Over Chicago tour stop with headliners Jeremih and PARTYNEXTDOOR. I like both of their music a lot, I think they are a great match and I was hoping they would perform some new songs together because Jeremih had mentioned they were working on an album together.

So I went to this concert to see two headliners and only saw one. I didn’t come late. Allegedly Jeremih did. I heard rumblings among the crowd that Jeremih wasn’t even here at about 8:30, and his set time was at 7:50. When PARTY came on at 9 and I heard the show was suppose to end at 10, I assumed Jeremih wasn’t going to come out at all.  A pretty sticky situation for people that have been waiting hours and paid for two acts, but PARTYNEXTDOOR show was amazing.

I didn’t know what to expect from PND’s set. It’s not like he dances or anything, and his music is a bit moody so I wasn’t sure how it was going to transition on stage. What was presented was actually this really intricate laser show that lit up the entire stage. I was impressed, not only because it was visually appealing, but also because although he was surrounded  by these lasers, he had the stage presence to stand out among the theatrics.  Also, the images on the screen in the backdrop (women, dripping moons) it seemed like we were transported in the mind space PARTY wanted us to be in.

The show is going great; PARTY is performing songs from all three albums, including my favorite “Break From Toronto” from the first “PARTYNEXTDOOR.” The concert seems to be coming to an end and then…Jeremih comes out! And its awkward, mostly because its confusing. He comes out saying that it was only right for him to come out, you don’t know what goes on backstage. Only right for you to come out..you are a headliner. Literally it is only right for you to come out because that is what was promised. This is your hometown show. After performing “Planez” they cut out his sound and turn off the lights. He kept talking and then he performed “Don’t Tell ‘Em”  after they turned back on the lights and sound.  In between songs he talked about not letting people control your destiny and how they hate that he his performing right now. After performing “oui” he tried to go into “Body” but then his sound was cut out again. He screams that “they are some haters, fuck y’all” throws his mic and leaves.  So. Awkward. PARTYNEXTDOOR then comes out and performs “Come and See Me” and then that’s the end of the show.

People were angry, obviously. Some were confused. It was weird and not explained at all.

Jeremih then touched on it by on Twitter:

According to tweets, Jeremih didn’t show up for the Detroit show and the South Carolina tour stop was canceled early in November.

Whatever is going on, lets hope everything is resolved for the rest of the tour.

See pictures from PARTYNEXTDOOR’s set below.

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Alessia Cara brings her “Know-It-All” tour back to Chicago


When Alessia Cara announced her “Know-It-All Part II” tour, I was excited but confused. She had previously brought the “Know-It-All” tour to Chicago back in January and had a set at Lollapalooza. Other than being on the remix of Troye Sivan’s “Wild,” Alessia hasn’t released any new music since “Know It All.” I wasn’t sure how this show was going to be any different than what I saw before. However, the “Know-It-All Part II” concert was a completely new, exciting experience.


First off, Alessia is touring with Nathan Sykes and Ruth B this time around. It is a good match because all three of their vocals are incredible. While I was only familiar with Nathan Sykes because he was in the band The Wanted and had dated Ariana Grande. I liked his performance and was intrigued enough that I would check out his album Unfinished Business when it is released on Nov. 4.


I wasn’t familiar with Ruth B at all, but I was impressed with her voice. She just started writing songs a year ago so I’m hoping her songs evolve. Right now it seems like her voice doesn’t match her lyrics.


While he was not on the bill, Sebastian Kole, Alessia’s co-writer whose vocals are featured on “Stone,” performed a few songs in celebration of the release of his album Soup.  Alessia also brought him out for a performance of “Stone” where he ended up crying while performing. It was beautiful to see someone so overwhelmed by the emotions of performing in front a huge crowd.


What made Part II different than the first leg of the tour is the production value. The last tour was at smaller venues and a bit more bare bones, only featuring her name on the drum. This show however included lights and multiple screens that changed according to the songs. For example, “Seventeen,” included home video footage from when Alessia was a child.

What I liked most about the show is how intimate it was. Even though Part II took place in bigger venues, Alessia was still very personal with the audience, talking after each song, and even shouting out a fan whose mom reached out on Twitter saying it was her daughter’s first concert.

While the show was intimate with songs like “Stars” and “River of Tears,” Alessia can simultaneously have her voice fill a big venue with songs like “Wild Things,” where she beat the drums to start up the song.

I think the highlight of the night was her cover of Frank Ocean’s “Swim Good” that she sang while playing the guitar. It reminded me of her YouTube days where she was just singing covers in her bedroom.

Other info:


I like to know tour merchandise information as much as I can before the show, so I took a picture of most of the merchandise. The t-shirts are $30 and the hoodie is $50. The signed posters are $20. What isn’t pictured is a hat with the Alessia Cara symbol (curly headed girl with beanie) on it for $25, a pin of the symbol for $3, a sticker for $2, and silicon bracelets with lyrics for about $3 I believe. I grabbed the shirt with her picture on it and I got tons of  compliments on it when I wore it out.

Check out more pictures from the show below.


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