Le$ at Warehouse Live, 12/22/2013
Le$, the prolific local rapper and Boss Hogg Outlawz affiliate, managed to cram one last big hip-hop show into Warehouse Live's studio room on Sunday night, and it really couldn't have come at a better time. The man who made his name with a million mixtapes has a young audience currently enjoying Winter Break; without the Le$ concert, they'd have been sneaking around at home, trying to get high without their parents noticing and eating up all the Christmas cookies.
Instead, they were bundled up and packed into the venue, hanging out pretty listlessly through a parade of largely unknown artists and waiting for L-E-Dolla, perhaps the most consistent and fully-realized of Houston's younger crop of money-hungry rappers. With no school (and certainly no work!) in the morning, the crowd showed up early and stayed late, populated in large part by young dudes stroking their first-ever beards and greedily eyeing the cute girls in attendance.
As for the young ladies? They came to dance, but they held out for most of the evening. Short of making it rain onstage, there wasn't a lot that most of the undercard could have done to drag so much as a golf clap out of the crowd. The likes of Morado, Doe Man, Blood Money Cartel and others worked hard onstage to earn a few new Facebook likes, but to call the audience reserved with their affection would be kind. That seems to just be the way it is nowadays at young Houston rap shows.
Sometimes, it feels like even booing would be better than the resolute refusal to acknowledge a performance at all. You're not watching YouTube, kids! This is actually happening! Throw a water bottle at somebody so we know you're alive, please.
People did finally begin to loosen up a bit as the musicians set up their gear for Cheldon McQueen's set. A white 'n nerdy drummer and keyboardist accompanied McQueen during his too-short set, which woke the crowd up with fresh cuts like "Headgames" and "Too Late" from his debut mixtape, Stranger.
Live bands, even if they comprise just a couple of dudes with drumsticks and a MIDI controller, really add a lot to a rap performance. The crowd was feeling McQueen, and thank God, even if it was only because they knew Le$ wouldn't be far behind. Cheldon managed to get the audience loud, at last, by picking on great civic goat Matt Schaub.
"When I say 'fuck,' y'all say 'Matt Schaub,'" McQueen said. That call and response could have gone on all night.
Review continues on the next page.