I have been to about four concerts this month and I have noticed a consistent pattern with the way the shows are put together. In this city of Toronto everyone is looking for an opportunity to pursue their dreams and essentially “make it”. We have a lot of people in the rap game in Toronto and an artist who has already “made it” is usually a great opportunity for the rapper who hasn’t made it. In the month of November, I have gone to see : Joe Budden, Blackstar (Mos Def and Talib Kweli), Jay-Z/Kanye, and Ghostface. All these men are great artists in their own respect and have their own deep following, but let’s take a look on how they handled their concerts.
I am a fan of all of these dudes and was excited to see all of them perform live, but I was only really impressed by one concert. Opening acts have become apart of most concerts, but to give these guys 2-3 hours to perform their music is a bit much. The fans came to see the *FEATURED* artist but instead we have to listen to some guy who makes music when he is not at his full time day job.
Some opening acts are actually decent but after waiting an hour or more to see what you paid for, people don’t care what the opening acts have to say, they just want them off the gotdamn stage. Joe Budden showed up to his concert at 12am when the doors opened at 9pm. Opening acts were horrible and just made the crowd angry. This one hurt Joe for me personally because by the time he got on stage I didn’t want to hear a thing he had to say and after the concert I didn’t listen to one of his songs for about 3 weeks. Blackstar didn’t have any open acts rapping, which I respected, but instead they had two accomplished Toronto DJ’s going back and forth playing some old school music that only real hiphop fans would appreciate, but they still didn’t come on stage til 12pm when the doors opened at 8pm. Ghostface concert had to be the worst of the bunch by far. He had about 11 opening acts! It felt like karaoke night and everyone in the venue performed! The doors opened at 8pm and Ghostface didn’t come on stage til 1am!!! And he only performed for an hour!!! You really made me sit through all of those barely mediocre acts for 4 hrs to hear you rap for an hour?! Is this a joke?? He did get on stage and do his thing, however he is going to get “Joe Budden” syndrome and I am not listening to any of his music for a couple weeks.
Jay-Z and Kanye come to Toronto perform on back to back night with no opening acts. The lights at the Air Canada Centre shut off at 9pm and the show began…. And I enjoyed every minute of it, I don’t know a person who didn’t. There is a reason that these two are on top of the game, they perform on a whole different level from any of the dudes I mentioned previously. You saw the passion coming from Kanye as he performed every track, especially “Runaway”. Jay-Z just owned the whole ACC as soon as he put the mic to his mouth. Everyone else needs to take some notes and take a couple tricks from these two, probably won’t work the same way but you’ll be on your way.
All in all, artists need to chill out on the opening acts and get to shows on time. Give the people what they paid for. That is all.