Concert Review | A$AP Rocky gives rocking House of Blues performance
“The future of rap music” roars through Boston
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 08:10
The Boston House of Blues was buzzing with anticipation last Friday as Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown finished their opening sets. As their performances ended, the two welcomed friend and associate A$AP Rocky to the venue. Introduced as “the future of rap music,” Rocky bounded onto stage wearing camo, a Kevlar vest and a facemask amid the sound of machine guns going off and the roar of an appreciative audience. His dramatic arrival announced the peak of the show’s always high energy.
A$AP leapt right into action with “Thuggin’ Noise.” Having successfully roused the crowd, Rocky took a brief moment to address his listeners, preaching an electrifying message of acceptance. Rocky may be from New York, but his influences scan the country.
“We [A$AP Mob] look like we from Cali, we rap like we from Houston, we’re from New York and all we want is to be accepted,” he said to fans.
He encouraged the audience not to judge each other for their differences, but instead to consider that everyone there that night possessed the same common love for music. The message was welcome, particularly considering hip-hop’s tendency to promote competition and personal attacks.
Later in the set, A$AP also included a moment of silence for Pimp C, honoring the late MC by playing “Sippin’ On Some Syrup,” a popular Three 6 Mafia single featuring C. After the tribute, the lights dimmed to purple for the tune of the hit “Purple Swag,” and the crowd went absolutely wild.
This same energy remained for the duration of the show. Indeed, once Rocky took the microphone there was never a dull moment — by the third song he was crowd surfing and the audience was pulsing to the music. After his first two songs, he brought out the entire A$AP Mob, the most notable of whom was A$AP Ferg. Both Rocky and Ferg meshed together seamlessly, their dual stage presence riling the crowd even further. He later pulled Danny Brown back on stage for another special collaborative performance. Though other Harlem-born, facemask-donning members of A$AP Mob were slightly less talented lyricists, the entire crew put forth an impressive performance nonetheless.
Although Rocky appeased the rowdy audience with his newer A$AP Mob material, the real excitement happened when he performed his more well-known songs off his hit mixtape, “LiveLoveA$AP.” The likes of “Wassup,” “Peso” and “Brand New Guy” had spectators jumping up and down in unison and belting out all the lyrics to every song.
“Peso,” widely regarded as the first mainstream A$AP Rocky song, was a particular crowd favorite, but nothing compared to rampant enthusiasm when the beat of “Goldie,” his most recent release, began. The first single off his upcoming album, “Goldie” was more than well-received, foreshadowing good things to come for Rocky and the rest of the A$AP Mob.
At times, the A$AP Mob’s lack of stage experience was fairly evident. When his fellow rappers first came on, Rocky became somewhat distracted and even the simple task of keeping his lyrics on beat seemed to be too much for him to handle. During this segment of the show, the music was choppy and almost difficult to keep up with. Without the clarity afforded by high production, the live delivery from the other A$AP members seemed almost like a distraction.
Overall, however, the concert was a success, especially considering that this tour is one of A$AP Rocky’s very first mainstream appearances. Undoubtedly, the quality of his shows will improve as he performs more often. Regardless, A$AP Rocky is already making a name for himself in the hip-hop world. With a new album, “LongLiveA$AP,” set to debut later in October, A$AP Rocky is poised to become a solid contender in the realm of rap.