If you enjoyed last night’s show at the Ogden, you might want to quit reading now. This is one of those rare occurrences when I’m going to talk about how bad a show was. Seriously, you had to have been high to enjoy any set from last night’s LongLiveA$AP stop in Denver. And even though 90% of you were exactly that, no amount of purple persuasion could convince me that Danny Brown, ScHoolboy Q and the A$AP Mob were not a complete waste of my time.
Before you label me a hater, I should set the stage. Danny Brown’s set at SXSW this year was hands-down one of the highlights of that trip to Austin, and ScHoolboy Q’s short set at the Fader Fort was only upstaged by the Black Hippy performance that followed. And I might be one of the only people who defended the A$AP Mob’s aggression on the last night of the festival. I am not a hater, I just sorta hated the show last night. It was the polar opposite of the Kendrick Lamar show the week before. It’s almost as if all the hip-hop cliché that Kendrick left at the back door was picked up and divided among the acts, only to be thrown at the sold-out crowd like a drum stick at the end of the rock concert. Late starts, awful hypemen, laziness, inflated egos, awful sound, too many people on the stage — where Kendrick Lamar brought a renewed sense of interest in being more than just a rapper, last night’s lineup brought the scene right back to the gutter.
Instead of writing a review, I’ll just summarize what was wrong with each act…
- Awful hypeman – he was so much better at the Mohwak when he was doing what he do…by himself.
- Sound – his lyrics are what make him…when you can’t hear them, he is not worth seeing.
- Short Set – he was scheduled to come on at 8pm…he didn’t come on until 8:30..leaving him to a 30 minute set.
- Cover Song – with an extremely short set, he wasted precious time with an Ab-Soul cover (most of these people saw Ab-Soul last week!).
- Flow – there was a pause and chatter between every song, causing him to lose momentum.
- Too High – he literally had to sit down every five minutes, probably due to smoking constantly — I have no problem with the smoking, but know your limit man!
- Cover Song – covering A.D.H.D was unwise — we all saw Kendrick last week and you are no Kendrick.
- Preaching – he covers where he came from in the lyrics, there is no reason to constantly preach.
A$AP Rocky + MoB
- Late – it’s not that it was too late when they came on, but 50 minutes between acts without even providing a DJ is ridiculous.
- Politics – not even sure it was politics, as A$AP never clarified, but an upsidedown flag and talk of a mysterious battle seems a little over-the-top for someone who only raps about women and drugs.
- Theatrics vs. Content – the militeristic costumes and orange facemask might have been cool if Odd Future hadn’t done it before, but no amount of theatrical content can take away from a bad performance.
- A$AP Mob – when he was alone, A$AP Rocky wasn’t half-bad — “Wassup” was a highlight and I was looking forward to more of the Clams Casino tracks — but when the mob came out, it was chaotic as hell and sounded like crap.
- Drunk People – by this point, some dude was trying to have sex with the girl next to him while yelling “Kanye West!”…not A$AP’s fault, but it was enough to make me leave early.
Driving home, listening to a playlist comprised of all these artists, I couldn’t help but think how good the show could’ve been. If I could go back in time, I would have spent the $30 on gas and just driven around the city listening to XXX, Habits & Contradictions and LiveLoveA$AP in my ride, where there’s no bullshit and the sound is better.