Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, B.o.B. & Trinidad James at The Woodlands, 7/26/2013
"Anything is better than that 1 train." That's how A$AP Rocky opened his set in front of his devoted H-Town fans. The New Yorker who looked south for inspiration continues to claim Houston as his second home, adopting a mouthfull of gold teeth and the "purple stuff" motif as his own, but always giving props to the H-Town legends that inspired him.
With a full band onstage as his back-up, A$AP sounded fresh and happy, flashing his golds at every pause, to the screams and applause of the ladies in the crowd. In fact, the one thing that kept him down during the shows I've seen before were his other A$AP crew mates. The only guest he brought along was A$AP Ferg, and he only joined him for one song. Bun B made an appearance, of course.
My favorite track from Rocky is "Wild For The Night," and he performs it with just the right amount of swag and confidence. His set also included "Purple Swag," "Peso" and "Hands On the Wheel," ending with "Fucking Problems." Perfect set by Rocky.
Wiz Khalifa has been called a "modern day hippie" and the "stoner of the year." Both nicknames are appropriate, but the dude is so skinny, he could also be called "the rapping skeleton" or "the rapping scarecrow from Pittsburgh." I mean, his skinny jeans fit him baggy. I caught myself mistaking the mike stand for the rapper for almost 30 seconds, taking about ten clicks before realizing I was shooting an inanimate object!
One thing is for certain though... what Wiz lacks in body weight, he more than makes up with charisma and talent. With the moves like a rock star and a wide smile, Khalifa grabs his fans attention and never lets go. He covers every corner of the stage, interacting with the fans, dancing, jumping, and swaying his way with authority.
He definitely abides by the motto of his track "Work Hard, Play Hard". His success has been carefully scripted, which is why he is now near the top of the rap pyramid.
"Eveything is better when you're high" he shouted to the crowd. The smell in the air confirmed that mostly everyone there agreed. "Young, Wild, & Free" is definitely the anthem for this audience. A pair of costume characters in the shape a joint and a lighter joined Wiz onstage, dancing to the beat. He also rapped his hits "On My Level" and "Roll Up", before ending with the smash "Black & Yellow".
"Think of peace, love, and me when you roll up" he instructed the crowd.
Way ahead of you, sir...
Personal Bias: I love any rap show that starts on time, goes strong from beginning to end, and features beautiful sound and lighting.
The Crowd: Taylor Gang kids who have perfected the stoner/skater look, suffering in the triple-digit temps of a humid Texas summer night.
Overheard In the Crowd: "A$AP! WE LOVE YOU!"
Random Notebook Dump: There was more arrests made at this show that I've ever seen at The Woodlands. There was even an undercover lady officer or TABC agent with a drug-sniffing dog. If you bring your drugs to a show at The Woodlands, you're gonna have a bad time. Save it for later, kids!