Concert review: Travis Scott (12/12/18)

Travis Scott’s Astroworld Tour hit Denver, Colorado’s Pepsi Center on December 12th as one of the final 10 stops on the first leg of the tour. The show was certainly one to behold, being as it’s Scott’s first headlining arena tour after his massively successful 2018 campaign. But does Scott fair well as a headlining act? That is one of the questions I set out to answer when I attended his concert in Denver, along with having fun and enjoying the music of course.  

Opening acts

The first opening act for the show was Harlem’s own Sheck Wes. If you are unfamiliar with Sheck, he’s a newly-signed Cactus Jack Records artist that has a top 10 Billboard Hot 100 single under his belt in “Mo Bamba”. Wes came out shortly after 7:30, which was much appreciated by the crowd. Immediately upon entering the stage, he blasted “Mo Bamba” and raised the hype level of the crowd instantly.

After performing “Mo Bamba”, Wes performed other songs such as “Chippi Chippi”, “Gmail”, “Live Sheck Wes”, and capped it all off by performing “Mo Bamba” once again. Funnily enough, the second performance of “Mo Bamba” got an even better reaction from those in attendance than the first one did.


Photo courtesy of Seth McConnell, Denver Post

Shortly after Sheck Wes exited the stage, Gunna entered and began his performance. The first track he performed was “Pedestrian” off of his 2018 mixtape Drip Season 3. The crowd was clearly excited for Gunna and showed it as he kept his set rolling. He performed tracks off of his Drip Harder, collab album with Lil Baby, including “Style Stealer”, “Never Recover”, and the fan favorite “Drip Too Hard”. The whole building was rocking by the end of his set, eager with anticipation for Travis Scott to show up.


Photo courtesy of Seth McConnell, Denver Post

Honestly, Sheck Wes and Gunna were the perfect openers for a Travis Scott show. Their musical styles are somewhat similar and they have a lot of mutual fans. They both were able to hype up the crowd for La Flame and created a good atmosphere as well.

La Flame makes his entrance

While I was gazing at the intricate roller coaster-centric stage design that Travis Scott had created for our viewing pleasure, the arena suddenly went dark.

On the giant circular centerpiece screen was a video that depicted childhood joys such as roller coasters, cotton candy, and the like. The video then stopped and the beat to Astroworld intro track “Stargazing” began with an insanely loud roar of approval from the crowd. Travis Scott appeared from beneath the second part of his stage, complete with a looping roller coaster track, rapping every word of the song. The lighting was spectacular and the pyrotechnics were astounding as the magic is just beginning.  

Photo courtesy of Seth McConnell, Denver Post

Following a great performance of “Stargazing”, La Flame addressed the sold-out Pepsi Center crowd and then began performing “Carousel”. The next section of the show was dedicated to all of the day one fans, with tracks including “Quintana”, “Uptown”, “Mamacita” and “Don’t Play” being played.

 Possibly the best thing about Travis’ set as a whole was the energy level of the whole building for every song. There was a stretch of the show that included six straight Astroworld songs, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard an arena as loud as that one was. Fans screamed every word and jumped up and down as the beautiful lights flashed in front of them.

Later on in the show, Scott finally hopped on the roller coaster that was part of the stage design to perform “Can’t Say”. The coaster elevated La Flame above the crowd and slowly rode him throughout the arena. When he got to the other platform, he introduced Houston artist Don Toliver and rode the coaster back to the main stage as Toliver performed his portion of the track. This was an amazing moment and my personal favorite of the entire evening.

To finish off the show, Scott played “Antidote”, “Goosebumps”, and “Sicko Mode”, the three biggest tracks of his career thus far. Each of the songs got a roaring reception from the crowd and everyone seem quite happy with how the show turned out as they were leaving.     

Final Thoughts

In case you didn’t know, Travis Scott has a reputation for being one of the best live performers and always having a wild crowd. That reputation will be upheld based on what I experienced at this show. Even though I wasn’t in the general admission floor section right next to the stage, it was definitely a night to remember for everyone in the standard seats.

The atmosphere of the show wasn’t the only thing that was perfect; the setlist, lighting, and visual effects were also top notch. The first leg of the tour raps up in Portland on December 22nd, but a second leg is supposed to be announced soon. If you are able to attend a show on the second leg, I would definitely recommend it. It was a 10/10 experience and exactly what I was hoping for.  

Photo courtesy of Brandon Johnson (@BJohnsonxAR)
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The month in hip hop: October

This may be obvious to many hip hop fans, but 2018 has been a year for the books. We’ve received so many projects from a huge number of artists, ranging from the superstars to those that are still working their way up to that position. But even with the crazy amount of albums, mixtapes, and EPs that have released this year, we still have two and a half months left. And naturally, those last few months will be chock-full of even more music.

We’re about halfway through October and there are plenty of projects coming soon from a variety of artists. I’ve compiled the hip hop and R&B projects that have been released this month that I believe are noteworthy and that you should check out.

October 5th

  • Sheck Wes – Mudboy
    • Cactus Jack Records signee Sheck Wes finally released his highly anticipated debut album after the great success that was “Mo Bamba”. This is a project with a lot of different sounds, great production, and interesting lyrics. Check this one out if you’re a fan of the more aggressive side of hip hop, because this will undoubtedly fill your appetite.
  • Gunna & Lil Baby – Drip Harder
    • A few weeks ago, Atlanta trapstars Lil Baby and Gunna unleashed their collab album after months of teasing it. The project contains 14 tracks, with features from the likes of Lil Durk, Nav, Young Thug, and Drake. If you’re a fan of trap, check out this project. It is one of the best collab tapes of the year.
  • Mozzy – Gangland Landlord
    • West Coast mainstay Mozzy has released his new studio album titled Gangland Landlord after first teasing it in 2017. The project contains features from YG, Ty Dolla Sign, Dej Loaf, and many more. It has so many dope vibes that’ll instantly make you feel like you’re in the middle of Sacramento, California. If you’ve never checked Mozzy’s music out before, this is a great project to start on.  
  • T.I. – Dime Trap
    • Atlanta legend T.I. has finally dropped his latest album Dime Trap after originally announcing it in 2014. It is a sequel to his previous album Paperwork. T.I. is a certified legend and one of the creators of the current trap sound, and it is always a good thing to receive new music from him. Since the project got a 7.4 rating from Pitchfork, I’d suggest checking it out if you’re a fan of that original trap sound.

October 12th

  • Quavo (of Migos) – Quavo Huncho
    • Recently, the three Migos members announced that they would all be releasing solo albums while still remaining a group. The first of these solo projects to drop is Quavo’s Quavo Huncho. The project is preceded in release by three singles; “Workin Me”, “Lamb Talk”, and “Bubble Gum”. Featured artists on the album include the likes of Travis Scott, Drake, Kid Cudi, and Normani. With 19 tracks in total, this is certainly one that’ll keep you busy for a while.   
  • Belly IMMIGRANT
    • If you don’t know who Belly is, it’s time to become aware. He’s been around for more than 10 years, steadily releasing projects since 2005. In 2015, he signed with The Weeknd’s label XO as well as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. He then went on to feature on numerous tracks with The Weeknd and many other artists. His new project IMMIGRANT shines a light on his status as an immigrant and why he wants to support his fellow immigrants. The project is stacked with features from well-known artists including Meek Mill, The Weeknd, Yo Gotti, French Montana, and more.   
  • Usher A
    • It seems like quite a long time since we have got a new project from Usher, even though it’s only been a couple years. He’s back with his ninth studio album titled A, which is a collaboration with talented producer Zaytoven. The project’s title is inspired by both Usher and Zaytoven’s hometown of Atlanta. The project features 11 tracks with guest appearances from Future and Gunna. This is a return to form for Usher and definitely deserves a listen. 

That’s not all of the projects that are releasing in October, so keep an eye out for part 2 of this post!

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