[Photos] Vic Mensa at Chicago’s Vic Theatre

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Vic Mensa returned to his hometown after his headlining show at Lollapalooza last month with his #VicattheVic show at Chicago’s Vic Theatre. But instead of the show being shadowed by the prospect of Kanye being a surprised gust like the Lolla show was, the focus was all on Vic.

Vic started the show with “Dynasty,” the opening track of his EP “There Is A Lot Going On.” He then followed with “16 Shots,” a song detailing the death of Laquan McDonald. During the performance, Vic is apprehended by actors dressed like cops and acts out the death of Laquan McDonald. After being shot, Vic body lies still as he continues to be shot. Narration details what happened the night of McDonald’s shooting.

The video shows Laquan walking southbound down the middle of Pulaksi. There are squad cars visible in front of him and also squad cars behind him. The shooter’s squad car is visible as it drives past Laquan. Two officers then exit that vehicle with their guns drawn. At that point, Laquan begins to look away from the officers at a southwest angle toward the sidewalk. When Laquan is about 12 to 15 feet away from the officers, the width of an entire lane of the southbound traffic, one officer begins shooting. Laquan immediately spins to the ground and the video clearly shows that the officer continues to shoot Laquan, multiple times, as he lays in the street. 16 seconds pass from the time Laquan hits the ground until the last visible puff of smoke rises from his torso area. An officer then approaches Laquan, stands over him and appears to shout something as he kicks the knife out of his hand

The concert also included other political statements. His song “Free Love” was about accepting all love and “Shades of Blue” was about the Flint water crisis.

The show also included a guest appearance from Joey Purp and they performed “773 Freestyle.”

He ended the night with the title track of “There’s A lot Going On,” a song about the highs and lows of the past few years. Vic climbed the top of the platform on the stage, overlooking the crowd. For a city with a lot going on, Vic Mensa might be the beacon of hope it needs.

Check out pics from the show below.

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[Photos] Bastille’s Lollapalooza After Show at The Vic Theatre

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Bastille performed a Lollapalooza after party show in Chicago at The Vic Theatre. Getting the crowd ready their Lollapalooza performance, Bastille played songs off their old album “Bad Blood” and their upcoming album “Wild World.” Check out pictures of the performance below and click here to see previous pictures of Bastille performing in Chicago.

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WGCI kicks off the season right with Summer Jam

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WGCI’s had it annual Summer Jam concert Friday night. But unlike other major summer concerts that have had been canceled due to weather this season, luckily this Summer Jam was inside the United Center.  Clad in summer gear, fans poured in to the stadium to rock out with the numerous acts that were on the roster, including 2 Chainz, T.I., Young Jeezy and Lil Durk.

Up-and-coming acts opened up the show playing their hits. For instance, Chicago’s own Famous Dex got the crowd going with his track “Hoes Mad” from his mixtape “Dexter’s Laboratory.” While he had a short set, his energy was high, dancing around on stage with the excitement on his face that showed making it on this stage in his hometown meant the world to him. Desiigner, also from Chicago, played his Billboard Hot 100 number 1 song “Panda.”

While this was Chicago’s Summer Jam, Atlanta was represented well with a slew of artists from there including Migos, 2 Chainz, T.I., and Young Jeezy. Migos, the rap trio that have been known for their mixtapes for years and finally put out their debut album last year, played a bevy of hits from their catalog, including “Hannah Montana,” “Handsome and Wealthy,” and “Pipe It Up.”

2 Chainz couldn’t be contained by his 20 minute set time. He went all in while performing songs like “All Me,” “Birthday” and the Chance The Rapper song he is featured on, “No Problem.”  He showed the audience how much time he had left on the clock and kept going, performing “Watch Out” from his newest album with Lil Wayne, “Collegrove.” He eventually pushed over the TV that displayed his set time, performing over his limit. Once he finished his set, he dropped the mic and walked off the stage.

T.I.’s set included music from the past and present. While he performed his first single “Rubberband Man,” he also performed his newest single “Dope.” He also performed summer hits like “Why You Wanna,” “You Don’t Know Me” and “What You Know.”

Young Jeezy closed out the show with his 40 minute set, rapping with the crowd songs like “I Luv It” and “Put On.” He brought out new artist and Chicago’s own Lil’ Durk to finish the night, playing songs from his mixtapes and getting the crowd ready for his next album “Lil Durk 2X” which is being released June 24.

Summer Jam was a great way to further kick off Chicago’s summer festival season, which started with Spring Awakening and will include Pitchfork and Lollapalooza.

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[Photos] BOSCO and Yuna at Lincoln Hall

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Yuna took her tour, with opening act BOSCO, to Lincoln Park’s Lincoln Hall on May 6. The diverse crowd, including many wearing headscarfs like Yuna, were excited to hear their eclectic music.

BOSCO, a Brooklyn based R&B and electronic singer originally from Savannah Georgia opened up the night with with music from her newest project with Speakerfoxxx, “Girls In The Yard.” While many people were there strictly for Yuna and were unfamiliar with her music, she won the crowd over with her energy. While mixing the heavy hitting beats of electronic music and the soul of R&B, she got the crowd dancing by jumping around and screaming from them to turn up on her megaphone. She also brought a few fans on stage with her to dance female focused anthem “Beemer.”

Yuna had a completely different energy. She has a calming strength. With her opening song, a cover of Beyonce’s “Sorry” she did her own take of the kiss-off song, making it more emotional and taking away the sassiness of it.

Yuna continued to take her audience on an emotional journey with songs from her catalog dating back to 2008. Songs connected to her songs about love, feeling alone and going after your dreams.

Yuna has had a unique career. After earning a law degree in her home country Malaysia, she decided to pursue music instead. Her current single, “Crush” featuring Usher has peaked at number 15 on the US Adult R&B Songs.

Check out pictures from the show below.

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[Photos] Teyana Taylor’s Unplugged 2016 tour makes a stop at House of Blues Chicago

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Teyana Taylor brought her Unplugged 2016 tour to House of Blues Chicago. Playing songs off of her 2014 debut album, “VII,” and her recent mix tape,  “The Cassette Tape 1994,” Taylor got the crowd pumped with her soulful voice and her complex choreographed dance moves.

Taylor who is also a new mother that gave birth to her first child with Cleveland Cavaliers’ basketball player Iman Shumpert back in December, had her baby girl on stage for the show, being held while wearing a protective headset as she watched her mother sing.

Check out pictures of the show and stream her album below.

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[Photos] Lukas Graham and Daye Jack at Double Door

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Lukas Graham and Daye Jack made their Chicago tour stop at Wicker Park’s Double Door with a sold out show. Daye Jack, a Nigerian rapper who released his debut mix tape “Hello World” from his dorm room at NYU, opened the show with songs from that mix tape and his 2015 EP “Soul Glitch.” Daye Jack had loyal fans at the show, but also won over a new crowd with his socially conscious raps and his music’s production, which is influenced by both soul and electronic music.

Lukas Graham, a band from Denmark fronted by Lukas Graham Forchhammer, are known for their pop-soul music. Their single “7 Years” which broke them into the U.S. scene, has peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band opened the show with a slow, somber song “Better Than Yourself,” but then built momentum with songs like “Drunk In The Morning” and “Take The World By Storm.” The momentum built led to an all out rager when the band jumped around along with the crowd to “Strip No More.” They closed out the show with “Funeral” where Lukas talks about how he wants his funeral to be a celebration of life. After having the crowd begging them to come back, band came back to play “7 Years” and “Happy Home.”

Lukas teared up at the end of the show, saying that this has been the best night of his life and that Chicago has been the loudest crowd. The show was extra special for him because he has flown his mom out to see the concert, so he smiled with sheepish pride while bowing to the crowd.

Check out pictures and stream both of their albums below.

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Photos by Ariana LaBarrie/Fresh Pair of ii’s

[Photos] Kweku Collins celebrate release of Nat Love with release party and concert

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Evanston, Illinois’ own Kweku Collins released his debut LP “Nat Love” on Apr. 8 and had a party to celebrate at Reggie’s on April 15. Performing tracks off the LP, which he produced himself, he had a large group of fans who already knew every word. Taylor Bennett, who is featured on the track “Vanilla Skies” also made a surprise appearance to sing the song alongside Collins.

Check out pictures from the show and stream the LP below.

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WGCI celebrates The Morning Takeover Anniversary with Takeover Jam Concert

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Some people celebrate anniversaries with cake, WGCI celebrates with a concert at the historic ChicagoTheatre. In celebration of the one year anniversary of WGCI’s radio show The Chicago Morning Takeover Show with Kyle, Kendra G, and Leon, WGCI held The Takeover Jam with Yo Gotti, K. Michelle, Kevin Gates, 2 Milly, TK & Cash and Zoey Dollar.

Several of WGCI’s top songs were played live, including 2 Milly’s, “Milly Rock” and TK & Cash’s “3X In a Row.”  These opening performances got the crowd ready for the headliners, Kevin Gates, K. Michelle and Yo Gotti.

The crowd went crazy for Kevin Gates, who after putting out mix tapes for years released his debut album “Islah” this January. Playing songs from both his mixtape catalog and studio album, the crowd knew every word.

K. Michelle represented R&B  with her set, that included some of her classic songs like “Can’t Raise a Man” and “V.S.O.P.”  She also sang songs from her latest album “More Issues Than Vogue.”

Yo Gotti closed out the night with songs spanning his entire career thus far, from his earlier mixtapes to his current album, 2016’s “The Art of The Hustle.” He finished the show with his single “Down In The DM,” which has hit number one on Billboard’s Mainstream R&B/Rap Charts.

Check out pictures from the night below.

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Photos by Ariana LaBarrie/Fresh Pair of Iis.

[Photos] Tinashe at House of Blues Chicago

Tinashe brought her Joyride tour to House of Blues Chicago Wednesday night. Performing songs off her debut studio album “Aquarius,” her previously released mixtapes and songs from the forthcoming album “Joyride,” Tinashe brought down the house with her signature dance moves. Check out pictures below.

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