Saturday, May 16, 2009
I am still sitting here at 4:58 a.m. with the yellow House of Blues wrist band on my wrist. There are no words for the numerous amounts of things that took place tonight that led to the most anticipated Hip-Hop/R&B show to take place in the city since Glow in the Dark. So because so MANY things occurred, let's go with a play-by-play.
9:50 p.m. - My friend Cathy picks me up so that we can go to the show.
10:12 p.m. - We arrive at the House of Blues, there is a mile long line ALREADY, and the ramp to the HOB parking lot is CLOSED.
10:24 - We finally find a lot about seven blocks away for a cheap evening price of $19.
10:36 - We finally arrive on the other side of the House of Blues where the restaurant is so we don't have to wait in the super long line.
11:12 - I down my second shot of Patron with salt and lime and start feeling nice. We waste a chicken finger appetizer so that we can get in the V.I.P. line for the show.
11:31 - I trip up the stairs as I anxiously climb them to get into the concert hall.
12:02 - I take a third shot of Patron for good measure, all the while hysterically cracking up my friend and neighbor sitting at the barstools where we have a fantastic view of the stage.
NOW THIS IS WHERE THINGS GET SKETCHY AND WHAT ULTIMATELY LEAD TO THINGS ENDING THE WAY THAT THEY DID.
12:45 - The main floor of the venue is just about full, with a plethora of people standing all around both sides, both sides of balconies full. Still NO SHOW.
1:26 - A lesbian couple decided to make out about two feet in front of where I am sitting. Oh yeah, and still NO SHOW.
1:44 - I scream out to 40/40 when I see him yet again. Hopefully the show will begin soon. Crowd starts to get antsy and tired.
2:03 - The show starts with a weird DJ combination and city shout-out.
2:09 - Opening act, some small Lupe Fiasco looking dude, who is sing rapping. GARBAGE!
2:15 - Another opening act, some dude from Cleveland who sings while another guy raps. He practically gets booed off the stage. MORE GARBAGE!
2:22 - Another opening act, local DJ spins, uses his own beats. He's decent, but by this time, the crowd really wants to see Drake.
2:31 - Some Puerto Rican rapper hits the stage with a hype man, and two strippers booty popping off some Miami-bass GARBAGE. This is when my buzz officially left the building.
2:40 - Curtains close, then reopen as local artists Ben-Won hits the stage. He sings six songs, of which only one is a song that actually gets played on the radio. A local DJ shouts out Derrick Rose and Marcus Jordan who both are in attendance.
2:52 - The actual scheduled opening act whose names made the ticket, "Sly Polaroid" hit the stage. I don't know if this is the whole group, but there was like ten dudes on stage. They do about five songs, and several times, booing erupts from the crowd. The only people into them are a few westside hoodrats. At this point, I am sure that something bad is going to happen if Drake doesn't hit the stage. Also at this point, I get molested by some drunk dude standing behind me smoking Black-n-Milds. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
3:13 - Future da Prince, Drake's DJ comes out to try and hype the now overly-tired and greatly irritated crowd. At this point I am livid! I don't want to see anymore people - Just Drake! (In my Jack from Will & Grace voice)
3:18 - Future talks to the crowd, does a minute on the turntables and it changes the energy somewhat, but we are WAY PAST READY for DRIZZY.
3:21 - Drake appears on stage, the crowd goes wild, and then his set begins. The LOVE is ridiculous. Every man, and woman seem to know every line and pause he utters. 40 smiles as the crowd screams, "I see my next girl, standing to my ex-girl, standing to the girl that I'm f*cking right now!" I even heard a guy singing Brand New like his life depended on it. The crowd is finishing every line, every note, my anger has completely dissipated and the love fest is in full swing.
4:08 - Drizzy's set is coming to a close. He is doing Best I Ever Had and all of a sudden, I feel about two people fall on me. I turn around and there are two idiots fighting. Yeah, and NO SECURITY. So the fight escalates. Two more guys join in, ending in one of the guys knocking him out with a barstool. Then two guys jump in the fight from the main floor. These ninjas were fighting like they were trying out for the UFC. Needless to say, Drake's set got interrupted and the crowd expressed their displeasure immediately. Future joined in and decided to encourage the crowd to tell the fighters to get the f*@k out. We obeyed.
4:12 - Drake comes back on the stage, although the fight isn't quite broken up yet. He launches into "Every Girl," and the crowd is right there with him. By then though, the jig was up. People were scared and mad that the set was interrupted.
4:20 - I am standing on Dearborn and Hubbard when a ring of gunshots unloaded. My friend and I start briskly making our way to the lot where we parked.
4:32 a.m. - I am sitting in her car cruising down Lake Shore Drive in a daze, because I can't believe the show ended like that!
This is what happens when a show is poorly managed. You don't make a bunch of people wait FIVE HOURS to see the headliner!!! Furthermore, you certainly don't throw a bunch of no-name, talentless opening acts on the stage to add fuel to the fire.
I LOOOOOOVE Drake! I really do, but if he comes back to the Chi, and it's at the House of Blues or some other too small venue - I'm not going. If the management/promoter isn't reputable - I'm not going! He sold that joint out, even the skyboxes were full, which means he could have sold out the Chicago Theater or some place like that. I know he isn't signed, but would the record industry WAKE UP! Seriously, last night, there was another concert with Keyshia Cole and The Dream, and he still sold out the HOB.
I sincerely hope that the fight incident doesn't taint his image of Chicago. We really are good people, and before that fight, the night was EPIC!
Sorry that my pictures aren't the best (camera phone), but it is hard to live life and be the camera girl too. (Shouts to MikeSee)
I want to shout out Lupe Fiasco for coming through and reminding those who forgot that we actually have REAL hip-hop artists from this city.
Also, I want to offer a suggestion to the promoter. Don't put acts that have no cohesion with the headliner on the show. For example, you wouldn't expect to see Souljah Boi opening at a Nas concert!
To Drizzy...Chicago thinks you're THE BEST WE EVER HAD!