Lil Xan Concert Review

Lil Xan
February 13th, 2018
The Granada - Lawrence, KS

Lil Xan
Regardless of how you feel about his music, the career trajectory of young Redlands, California rapper Diego Leanos is an interesting one that accurately reflects several elements of hip-hop's current landscape. Just two short years ago, following the theft of his camera, Leanos decided that he should give rapping a try instead, and in reference to his opioid addiction, dubbed himself Lil Xan. In 2017, Cole Bennett's video for his song "Betrayed" was released and has since racked up over 100 million views and undoubtedly helped him land his deal with Columbia Records. Much like YBN Nahmir, within his first months of fame, he set out on a national headlining tour.

Xan's set at his Kansas debut on Tuesday night was kicked off with screams of adoration from his fans as he bounced out from backstage to one of his earliest tracks, "Been Bout It." Following the initial excitement of catching a glimpse at the young star, the audience's enthusiasm turned sporadic for the rest of Xan's 35 minute set. Where performances of popular tracks like "Who Are You?" and the grimy, South Florida-esque "Slingshot" garnered sing-alongs, the unreleased Ronny J collaboration "Tick Tock" and a handful of other songs proved to be less than invigorating, partially due to Xan's inherently torpid delivery.

Watching playful antics like Xan tossing Skittles and teddy bears into the crowd or snapping Polaroids or laughing about his grill falling out of his mouth may have added some color to the show, but those hoping for much nuance in his performance were likely let down. And anyone who walked into The Granada on Tuesday night could have predicted that Xan would play "Betrayed" twice. Perhaps, like Post Malone has since his rise, Xan will eventually provide the dynamic concert performance that his songs deserve.

Xan's right hand man Steven Cannon provided an opening set similar to Xan's. Drug raps, Nerf gun play, and shouts of "Xanarchy!" dotted his 20 minute set. Cannon's songs were a bit more energetic than his partner's, but often lacked the pop appeal and usually didn't land with most of the crowd.

St. Louis rapper Yusee returned to open the show. He welcomed his friend Jooby Truth to the stage and debuted his new single "Face."

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