Trap music is all the rage these days, and this is hard to deny. The fairly new brand of hip-hop – or, at least, one that has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years – ably blends synth and drum beats in creating a somewhat atypical musical experience.
From Future to Migos, Lil Uzi Vert to Drake, trap music has influenced some of the most successful hip-hop artists of the past decade. A$AP Ferg, one of the more successful solo artists to emanate from the famed A$AP Mob, is no exception to this trend, and he proved as much before a jam-packed crowd at House of Blues on Sunday night.
Ferg, touring in support of his latest mixtape – last year’s Still Striving – blew through a cadre of hits during the course of his 21-song, 65-minute set as those in attendance sang along with every verse. A$AP Ferg did a fine job of catering to new-era fans via more current fare like “Nasty (Who Dat)” and “East Coast,” while Day 1 types were treated to older singles like “Work” and “Shabba.”
Ferg has a certain stage presence, and he manages to ably blend confidence and bravado with sincerity and appreciation. He pulled a fan on-stage to celebrate at one point, filmed a portion of the concert with a fan’s cell phone and took time to express his appreciation for those who purchased a ticket and have supported him and A$AP Mob over the years.
Speaking of A$AP Mob, fans of the legendary hip-hop outfit were treated to tracks like “Hella Hoes” and “Yamborghini High.” Of course, the highlight of the evening – at least as far as crowd reaction was concerned – came when Ferg teed up “Plain Jane,” his most successful single to date as a solo artist, for the penultimate song of the evening.
By the time Ferg closed out his set by bringing openers Denzel Curry and IDK on-stage for “Kristi Yamaguchi,” the crowd had long ago been worked into a frenzy. Say what you will about trap music, and the genre is certainly an acquired taste, but for those who appreciate that brand of hip-hop, and as evidenced by Sunday night’s show, few, if any, do trap better than A$AP Ferg.
So, How was the Opener?: Not gonna lie, I don’t often arrive in time for openers, and I didn’t plan on doing so on Sunday. However, IDK didn’t go on until around 9 p.m., and Denzel Curry took the stage around 9:20. This turned out to a somewhat fortunate accident, as each put on one hell of a show before an audience that had already filled up House of Blues by the time they took the stage. The highlight of entire show may very well have been when Curry and IDK teamed up for a sing-a-long to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The pair also teamed up for “No Wave,” Curry’s latest single from his upcoming album. It’s safe to assume the next time Curry comes through Houston, he’ll likely be headlining a tour of his own.
And the Crowd?: Well, at 36, I’m officially the old man in the room, as evidenced by Sunday night’s all ages show. In addition to bringing along my 13-year-old son (he’s a fan), I glanced around the crowd and noticed a thorough mix of high school and college kids, many of whom were raring up for a good time with Spring Break on the horizon. To their credit, this wasn’t some fly-by-night casual crowd; these young folk knew Ferg’s entire catalog and carried the energy throughout the entire show. I, meanwhile, secured my 21-and-up wristband in order to buy a drink, sipped a bourbon and wished for bedtime.
Throwback Jersey Report: Sad to say I only saw one basketball jersey on Sunday, and it wasn’t even a throwback. Rather, props to the guy in the James Harden jersey, and shame on the rest of the crowd for not treating us to the stylings of a Bryant Reeves Vancouver Grizzlies jersey or some other piece of obscure NBA nostalgia.
Random Notebook Dump: Half that crowd wasn’t even alive when “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the airwaves … The primary perk of an all-ages show? Shorter line at the bar … The acoustics at House of Blues are phenomenal when compared to larger venues like Toyota Center and those of its ilk.