Saturday Night: Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne & Friends At Toyota Center
7:22 p.m.: We had not planned on getting here until way later tonight, but Bun B mentioned on his Twitter that the show would start at 7:20 p.m. and when Bun B says something, you get your goddamn ass in gear. Sure hope our sons are okay.
The babysitter said she couldn't get to them until after 8 p.m., so we left them in an empty dumpster behind the Target in Meyerland. They should be fine. We took out the few glass bottles that were in there.
7:30: After a thorough little pat-down out front, we're in. As promised, Travis Barker and Yelawolf are on stage. Superb. There is a gigantic boombox that's been constructed on the stage. Barker is inside of the right speaker, while Mix Master Mike is inside of the left. Yela is stalking around the stage like a cat. Neat, neat, neat.
7:32: Yela's just segued into "Good To Go," which means...
7:43: Jesus, Barker is an animal. He's all fire and brimstone up there. It's like he's trying to break his own arms using nothing but their own velocity. Is there another drummer in the world who can carry a live show like he can? He and Mike have just mashed together Nas and The Ramones.
It has to be a good sign when your opening act consists of one of the greatest drummers alive, one of the most heralded DJs in music, the man who delivered the most important verse in the history of Southern hip-hop ("Murder," 1996, Ridin' Dirty), and one of the most innately talented MCs of the new era.
Stage Coordinator: Okay, so Barker and Mike are going to have a giant, super impressive radio onstage that they'll play inside of, right?
Stage Coordinator: That should take about 15 minutes to build, as long as the construction is on point. Cool, cool. Rick Ross goes on after him. What sort of stage stuff will have?
Roadies: Uh, a poster of himself.
Stage Coordinator: Fuckin' Rick Ross.
7:56: Show's starting. They're playing Sam Jackson's pre-murder monologue from Pulp Fiction along with the sound of footsteps. Subtlety is overrated, we suppose.
7:57: "M.C. Hammer"!
8:00:30: Whoops. Never mind. He said it's because everyday we're hustlin'. Whatevs, we didn't shake on it.
8:00:45: We saw Ross the last time he was in Houston and he did almost this exact same thing. He tends to start with, like, his best, most hype songs back to back to back. It's a great start; everyone goes yo-yo and all. But there's a lull in energy immediately afterwards. If his set is short, it shouldn't matter, but if it's long, it might be a problem.
8:18: Ugh. Is there a more deplorable group of people than the Workout Guys crew, the gathering of knuckleheads united by their dedication to (and inevitably poor understanding of) the human body? Those guys are the worst. They always workout just enough so that you can tell they workout, but not enough that you're particularly impressed by them. And they're always all shiny and shit.
8:21: And there's the Pimp C hat-tip. Cool, cool.
8:22: Trae! Man, good to see him. The crowd is receptive. He does "Inkredible" then bears off into the darkness. Did you know he and Wyclef are making music together now? Yep, yep. More on that later.
8:24: Meek Millz. Another way to say that: Restroom break time.
8:32: Rozay just dropped the "Who's got love for Tupac?" line on the crowd. Asking "Who's got love for Tupac?" at a rap concert is like asking "Who's made some regrettable life decisions?" at the graveyard shift staff meeting at Walmart; that shit's a given, son.
8:33: And Ross is done. Not a bad show at all. A small amount of downness, but generally he was pretty active. Wonder how long it will take them to get his stage props off the stag - they're done.