The Game at the Fillmore 1-31-07
The Fillmore is one of the nicest places for a hip hop. Hip Hop concerts are very interactive and the stage at the Fillmore is not set far from the audience so artists can engage with the audience more. The sound is set up so up close you can hear without getting your eardrums blown out but if you decided to sip your drink in the back you can still hear every beat. With standing room only, it insures that everyone will be up and participating. The Game concert was no different. The audience was compromised of listeners generally around the same age as the performers from about 18-30. However, there were some members of the audience who were as young as 12 and as old as 50. The Game has no problem winning over all of them.
The Game brought 3 other acts with him to Frisco. The opener was an R&B singer named Marvin who is signed to The Game’s label. Clearly this guy was inexperienced performing live and didn’t know the definition of determination. After only 2 songs and a lackluster response from the audience, he and his 3 back up dancers left the stage. He should have let the crowd warm up to him more. After checking the schedule for the night that was posted by the entrance of the venue, it seems as though the concert was running slightly behind. Instead of pushing the whole concert back a few minutes, the opener was forced to cut his set short to allow the headliner to have his full time.
The breaks between sets moved relatively fast. Sure they took about 10 minutes each time but Snoop Dogg had us wait 75 minutes so I’m not complaining. Jay Rock, a rapper from Watts signed to TopDawg ENT/ Warner Bros, came up correct and ready to lace the mic. Not wanting to make Watts look soft, this dude came out tough with lyrics about gang violence and drug trafficking. “Got my own stash, blowing on my own hash. Get your weight up, my pockets all swoll. ” from LA Sh*t” which uses the same beat from Busta Rhymes “New York Sh*t” off The Big Bang. He did not invite anyone with him on stage making it clear that he, “trust no body but my semi automatic and my 12 gauge.” (from “That’s my word.”) He and his other 2 rappers and DJ were dressed in typical hood wear “white- tee, Dickies, black and white Chuckies” like his song “LA Sh*t” states and looked like they could have come from the audience.
The last opener was Clyde Carson (who performed with the rest of the members of The Team at the Fillmore last year) and a real crowd favorite. He had everyone go dumb being fit as we were right across the bridge from “The town where they go so dumb and so sick” (from “Hyphy Juice.”) He rapped some of his solo songs and his parts of The Team’s songs including “Bottles Up” “Hyphy Juice” and “It’s Getting Hot”. All of his songs were party songs about drinking, smoking, dancing and side-showing. He was joined on stage with another collared shirt and sweater wearing friend. Clyde Carson brought a great energy to the stage clearly “This is what the [shows] been missin’. The west coast [and every where else] best tune in and listen.”
Finally DJ Kris-Stylez appeared from the periphery of the stage. He got the crowd pumped up by playing clips of club favorites like Yung Joc “It’s Goin’ down,” Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement.” Finally he introduced one of The Game’s own songs which had the audience cheering louder. The Game was dressed in a grey sweatshirt (which he later took off and threw in the crowd) and a red bandana covering his face. The set list was pretty even from The Documentary and Doctor’s Advocate. Not exact setlist but close:Lookin At YouWestside StoryComptonRemedyHigher
Put You On The Game
Scream On Em
How We Do
Where I’m From
Start From Scratch
Hate It Or Love It
Wouldn’t Get Far
During his set he kept the audience eyes glued on him, pacing back and forth on the stage, hand firmly gripped to the mic held close the whole time. It was not much different from the CD quality sound and flow seeing as his DJ wasn’t doing any live mixing and the background vocals were still on the tracks. He was pretty reserved in his gestures and kept the audience’s attention with his banter between songs. There was no hesitation on performing songs that featured 50 Cent. The Game sung his former friend’s lyrics and added extra lyrics “F*** 50 and G-U-not.” Everybody in the crowd cheered loudly for his boisterous attitude.
To get ready to perform a song dedicated to an old friend he brought one of his homies from the City and shared a bottle of Hennessy and Grey Goose. By share I mean The Game killed a whole bottle by himself while the other dude gave his friends some Hen and they were more than ready for some free hard liquor. The audience loved every moment of it and cheered on Game as he drank for what seemed like 5 minutes straight. Being this inebriated did not hamper his performance. Other rappers forget all their lyrics when they are drunk but The Game was able to perform complete songs without having to rely on the audience to sing back the words.
For a finale Game performed “One Blood” Not before calling all the homies wearing red in the audience to come on stage with him. (Tookie Williams would be rolling over in his grave!) There were no haters there tonight and everyone was real cool and didn’t try to harass The Game or disrupt the performance trying to give him a mixtape to get signed or pitch an idea about a new music video. They just kept one finger up and indicated in the song. Not to leave the girls out he invited all the women on stage as he rapped “Wouldn’t Get Far,” his groupie song which may have discouraged a few girls from jumping up but not me and my friend! By this time it seemed everyone and their mom was on stage but the audience still looked full.
It was a great turn out but not sold out. With all the energy in the crowd and the stellar performance from Game you couldn’t tell. If you surveyed the room you wouldn’t find any bored faces, tired eyes, or restless people. Most people looked like they were ready to continue the party at a nearby club that night. Exiting the venue I heard comments like “best show I’ve been to in a long time,” “I never miss The Game when he comes into town,” “So-and-so is going to be so jealous they couldn’t make it tonight,” “I can’t wait until the next one!” Hearing my favorite songs performed at this volume with the creator right there in front of you is something you cannot duplicate on CD or DVD. The Game’s stage presence is not something every rapper has. Others can try to imitate the flow but it will not come out as effortlessly as it does for The Game live.
More about The Game and his artists here: http://therealblackwallstreet.com