Lil Uzi Vert gave us a spooky night to never forget...
I’ve always felt that there's two ways an audience member can digest a live show. Most of the time, you get to bounce around the mosh pit and scream your heart out to the songs being delivered by the artist, but in some rare cases, it goes beyond that. Sometimes, artists don’t just rap, or sing. They paint pictures; showcasing theatrical elements that take what we hear in our ears and make us feel like we’re watching a movie. Very few artists are capable of doing that. I have a short list of creators that have demonstrated this X factor, per se, but at the top of this list, would have to be Baby Pluto himself, Lil Uzi Vert. Alongside some of my friends, I had the privilege of being able to see Uzi on Halloween of all days (insert “demonic” reference here), at the MGM concert hall in Fenway. More than just the show, I need to take time to emphasize how passionate audience members were before Uzi came out as well as during the course of the show.
As we crossed the entrance of the MGM, we were greeted by a line extending two stories high with fans oozing with excitement to buy some of the tour merchandise. Usually, I’m one to shy away from long waits, but nothing was going to get in the way of me snagging an exotic Pink Tape t-shirt. After a grueling hour and a half of waiting, I was able to get my hands on one of the tour exclusive shirts designed with the alternate cover to the album. Was it tough butting shoulder to shoulder with other fans trying to beat me to the shirt? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
As I approached the hall, I was marveled by the number of people piled up on top of each other in the floor. As Uzi’s personal DJ opened the show, fans went wild, throwing t-shirts in the air, making multiple pits alongside one another. Not to mention so many people were in costume in the spirit of Halloween. I saw Winnie the Pooh and the Grim Reaper side by side (never thought I’d ever say that). The passion wasn’t exclusive to the floor, with members of the balcony also making their floor shake as they watched the show overhead. A fan in front of me had brought his dog’s ashes in a box that had Uzi’s name engraved on it. If that doesn’t show absolute allegiance to a musician, then I really don’t know what does.
Uzi took a while to finally grace the stage, but as we waited, we got to admire the beautiful set design his team had put together at the Grand. The DJ for the night had set up in a van on stage, and in the backdrop, was a custom made Pink Tape shed displaying many anime figurines alluding to the cultural theme of the album. Not to mention a motorcycle and inflatable demon-head also bolstering the neon pink color scheme of the project.
The hip-hop icon made his presence known as he came out on the rooftop of the shed, dancing to “Amped Up.” As the performance furthered along, we got to take a trip down memory lane as Uzi performed songs off his older albums as well. The nostalgia was infectious with fans around me starting to tear up as Uzi played songs off his Luv is Rage series, and Eternal Atake. In his own words: “I make a lot of different types of music, and each type is a different era of Uzi Vert.”
Mid-way through the show, Uzi decided to give up on the set-list altogether, and started taking fan requests from the floor. Fans got to hear songs Uzi doesn’t typically perform live, which made this concert that much more interactive and custom to the fan’s preferences. I’ve always believed that Uzi’s fan base is one of the most loyal to exist, but in no way is the relationship a one-way street. The relationship Uzi shares with his fans is revered because the appreciation he shows for his listeners is profound and drives the energy of both his performances and music entirely. More than lyrical masterpieces, Uzi’s claim to fame stemmed from his excellence in the field of mumble rap. For me, mumble rap has always deviated from that of traditional music given the genre isn’t as lyrically based. Nevertheless, it can’t be argued that the music is “feel good,” and with his cadence being second to none, Uzi excels at making this type of “people-music.”
As the concert was approaching its tail-end, the question I started to ask myself was whether it had to end. Fans refused to let any song be the last of the evening, and as an observer, I couldn’t agree more. The word “Uzi,” bellowed throughout the hall and with every next song, it only seemed to get bigger, and crazier. With that being said, everything must eventually come to an end, and before leaving the stage, Uzi thanked Boston for the support, even addressing the Massachusetts crowd as the greatest he had seen over the Pink Tape tour thus far. Fans were disappointed to see the legend go, but all the more thankful for being able to witness such a performance on a day like Halloween.
As a fan, I feel privileged to have been a part of such a historic experience, but I am also upset that it may all be over soon. See, in a concert earlier this year, Uzi announced his up and coming project Luv is Rage 3 will be his final album, and that the tour for that album will also be his last in the music scene. He went further in his announcement to mention how after the tour concludes, he wants to retire and “try and live a normal life.” With any icon of this generation and those of the past, it’s always hard to see them go. This leads me to wonder how we will handle the fact Uzi won’t be an active part of hip-hop’s future. Regardless, it can’t be argued that the legacy Uzi has paved with his music will carry on through time, and has laid the foundation for other artists to follow in his footsteps.
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