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G-Eazy Concert Review (2018)

August 7, 2018
Providence Medical Center Amphitheater - Bonner Springs, KS

G-Eazy at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
G-Eazy's tours over the last several years have all been interesting due to almost every element besides the 29 year-old rapper's music. The most prominent of those elements are 1) his touring support, 2) his stage productions, and 3) the ability to see in real time what kind of material will be embraced by an amphitheater full of teenagers and young adults. Those searching for any type of substantial musicality in Gerald Gillum's August 7, 2018 headlining set were likely let down, as they would have been in most years past, but viewing the evening with a broader scope proved to be an worthwhile experience.

Gillum and his team are to be respected for those first two elements. His 2014 tour brought support from E-40, his winter 2016 tour brought A$AP Ferg, his summer 2016 tour brought YG and Yo Gotti, and this tour brought Lil Uzi Vert and Ty Dolla $ign.

Uzi's past concert appearances at Uptown Theater and Flyover 2017, while containing a select few highlights, were ultimately letdowns. In this appearance, Uzi spent significantly more time on the mic and seemed genuinely happy to be performing, hopping and skipping across the stage, sending the occasional well-timed, cheerleader kick into the air. He also, impressively, caught a box of Pop-Tarts thrown at him while standing on the amphitheater's barricade and cheerfully doled them out to fans standing nearby. Uzi spent his set shuffling through his biggest hits, much like Drake will do for portions of his shows, but never spent too long or too short a time with any given track. A cappella moments at the end of some songs gave fans endearing, intimate looks at Uzi's dorky, hip-hop-meets-pop-punk star persona.

Ty Dolla $ign's set may have been one of the most impressive to occur on the Providence stage in the last several years and made a case for the singer-rapper-writer-producer being one of the music industry's most underappreciated and versatile stars -- a talent that could succeed in any generation. Ty bounced through his hits and recent album tracks backed by an unstoppable pro R&B band and left no stone unturned. In a moment that proved to be a fitting metaphor for the performance as whole, Ty wrapped up a stunning piece of R&B vocal work before removing his outermost shirt and draping it over a Moog synthesizer that he would utilize later in the set. He also ripped a bass solo on his Post Malone collab hit "Psycho" and ran all the way to the venue's lawn with a wireless microphone on a set-closing, hellraising rendition of his Future/Rae Sremmurd joint "Blasé."

After his stage crew had been scrambled (honestly, huge shout out to them) and three hulking video walls and a roof had been suspended on the stage -- there didn't seem to be a bad seat in the house -- Gillum came out to do his thing. Carried almost solely off his conventional attractiveness -- at this particular moment, honed to look like an iced-out late nineties boy band member -- and expensive pop-rap production and songwriting, Gillum's performance was as dull as they come. As always, his nasal voice wouldn't have been as distracting if there was an original flow or sense of humor attached, but cringeworthy raps about money and women and cookie cutter pop hooks were all he was serving. "Say Less" turned an already popular phrase into a painfully boring EDM-rap track; the first line of his club-style track "Drop" featured an indescribably disconcerting "Get Out" reference; his decision to close with "No Limit," on which he is completely eclipsed by Cardi B and A$AP Rocky, was poor.

In the end, fans ate up the hits, girls screamed and threw bras on stage, and the experience was likely a carbon copy of any other date of the tour. A win for our man Gerald.

Crossover superproducer Murda Beatz provided a DJ Khaled-style supporting set (sans the charisma of Asahd's father), sipping Hennessey and singing along to music (only some of which he produced), as he lazily strut across the stage. The evening was opened by G-Eazy collaborator P-Lo, who injected the show with some much-needed Bay Area bounce, along with bits of boilerplate pop-rap melodicism.

Full photo gallery here.

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