Lupe Fiasco, Trae And Bun B Pack House Of Blues
Photos by Marco Torres
For more images from the show, see our slideshow here. 9:10 p.m.: Goodness gracious. House of Blues is stuffed to the gills tonight. And it appears that all races love alt-rap. 9:13: Is it really so much to ask that venues that have no seating to arrange for some type of height-based requirements for where you can stand during a show. You could do it shortest to tallest, like a high school panoramic picture. It sounds like it might be a bit of hassle at first, but is anybody really going to argue with being able to see better? The tiny woman standing next to us who will be staring at some guy's lower back for the duration of the show certainly wouldn't. 9:19: Some guy with prime standing position worked his way out of the way of the middle of the crowd to get a beverage. He got it, then tried to wiggle his way back to his spot, only to get stonewalled by a group of four or five Asian fellows. Nice job, Asians. Message sent.
9:22: The lights go dark. The guy standing behind us screams, "OHHHHH!" Some lights come on onstage and he screams, "OHHHH!" A guitar player starts in on a solo. "OHHHH!" The guitar player stops playing. "OHHHH!" Jesus Christ. Of all of the places to land in here, we end up next to an overeager screamer. Beautiful. 9:25: Just as an Asian guy (separate from the Stonewallers) was lighting up a blunt, HOB staff was walking through our area of the crowd. The HOB guy, being real cool about it, says, "You gotta get rid of that, buddy." The Asian guy responds, "Oh, sorry about that," then tosses it on the floor and steps on it. But as soon as the HOB guy wanders off he picks it back up and lights it again. Fuckin' Asian guys have been the highlight of the night so far. 9:26: Lupe is wearing a jacket not unlike Cap'n Crunch's. This should be a good show. Anytime we've ever seen someone dressed like someone on a cereal box, things have worked out well. 9:27: Cool. Hat-tip to Radiohead by Lupe. 9:34: He's doing "Hip-Hop Saved My Life." That's the song that he wrote about Slim Thug, in case you didn't know. Because of that, he will forever be Houston-affiliated. The place is nuts right now. Drake gets the same kind of treatment for his proper support of The H.
9:37: Beginning tonight, every concert we go to we are going to keep track of how many times the performing pulls the "RIP DJ Screw, Pimp C, HAWK, PAT, Moe..." card. Asher Roth was the most egregious offender we've ever seen. He must've done it about nine times. Lupe's at one. We will keep a running count of this for the rest of time. We're going to call it "watering the 'Please Like Me' tree." 9:42: The guitar player for Lupe is amazing. When we saw him at the Sprite Step-Off show performing with not too long ago he was wearing white pants. He's not wearing white pants tonight. We're a little sad about that. 9:46: Remember a while back when Lupe was singing with a British accent for that rock band? There's no question that on stage, Lupe is more of a rocker than a rapper. The way he handles the mic is very Axl Roseian. Seeing him live, the singing in a rock band thing makes more sense. It doesn't make it a good idea, but it does make more sense. 9:48: Somehow, Lupe manages to make a song where he says, "All the girls standing in line for the bathroom" sound cool. It's hard to overstate how amped up he is. 9:57: Just swung through "I Gotcha" and "Kick, Push." He owns this crowd right now. And someone really needs to do something about Overeager Screamer. This shit is getting out of hand. Fingers crossed that he'll eventually irk an Asian guy. They won't stand for that. 10:06: Nice solo from the drummer. Ill drum solos are like six-pack abs: If you have them, you are so getting laid after you show 'em off. 10:09: Lupe just brought some kid up on stage to play Hypeman for a song. More and more rappers seem to be doing this. And that is a splendid thing.
10:15: Some thick-necked guy trying to talk to a girl standing near us: "I go to about one [concert] a month. The last time I came was to an LMFAO concert." LMFAO? Ack. That's the best he could come up with? She appears to be LHFAO at his pick-up line. 10:18: Man, Lupe is going in on this show. He's like Sonic the Hedgehog after you revved him up, only more excited. Well done. If you're at this show, whatever you paid for your ticket was worth it. 10:19: He's doin' "Beaming" right now. There's a line that says how the perfect woman would be a mix of Melissa Ford with Maya Angelou. That's pretty close. Though if we were to tweak it, we'd take the Maya Angelou part out of the mix and replace it with more Melissa Ford. It gets pretty hot in Houston. Not sure how well Maya Angelou would fill out a pair of shorts. 10:24: "Superstar" looks to be the last song. Not a bad choice. The crowd is buzzing. Everyone is singing along. Kudos to Fiasco for getting after it. Kudos to the fans for staying engaged. Kudos to the Asians. Reverse Kudos to Overeager Screamer. 10:29: Surprise! "No Help" just came blaring through the speakers. Trae comes walking out and the place erupts. He showed up at Lupe's Sprite Step-Off show too. They're buddies, apparently. Nice touch. He cuts through "No Help" and that song about banging Screw. It's getting real Houston in here right now. He glances sideways at his (supposed) ban by 97.9 FM by hat-tipping the Kracker Nuttz (recently fired from The Box after, as Klean Cutt of the Nuttz told us, playing a song with a Trae verse on it) then saying, "There's a lot of muthafuckas what don't want to see me make it. But I'ma ride for the city til' I'm dead."
10:36: And there it is. The sun will rise and set, water will be wet, fire will be hot and Bun B will make an appearance at any rap concert in Houston. These are things we know to be true. The Bun B Law of Inevitability, folks. 10:39: The crowd is bananas. Lupe gets back on the mic and says, "Y'all didn't know I was Houston affiliated, did you?" (See: 9:43 p.m. time stamp, Lupe.) He then proceeds to rifle off the names of about ten different Houston MCs, then places like Pappadeaux, Shipley's, Frenchie's and High Rollers. 10:54: He's been getting after at all this time. He just dialed up "Daydreamin'" and the room erupted. He takes his shirt off, finishes with a big strobe lighty flourish and solos by his bass player, drummer and guitarist, and shuts it down. Hard to find anything wrong with that show. And he only watered the "Please Like Me" tree three times. Bravo, Mr. Fiasco.
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