-- In health classes across America teachers are hard at work warning their students about the dangers of drugs. With stern looks they tell their young pupils all about the effects of ingesting such illegal substances, explaining that using drugs will result in an increased heart rate, loss of coordination, and distorted perception.
On Wednesday evening, as Lil’ Wayne arrived in Chicago for the first of two Midwest stops on his “Tha Carter III” promo tour, all three of these common symptoms were on display. While it is widely known that Wayne has an addiction to a certain cough syrup cocktail, it was the audience who showed a clear dependence and constant craving for everything Weezy.
Following a short 20 minute set from Young Money Entertainment artist,
, and then a nearly 40 minute intermission, the raucous sold-out crowd at the House of Blues began to chant “Weezy! Weezy! Weezy!” as the red-velvet curtains on stage began to peel apart. Sporting an old-school Jordan “Flight” sweatshirt and new-school Chicago Bulls fitted cap, the rapper born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. appeared on stage and immediately walked toward his cheering fans.
“Before we start the show, I have three things I need to share with you all,” said Wayne. “One, I believe in god. Two, I ain’t sh*t without you. And three, I ain’t sh*t without you.”
Not wasting any time at all, Wayne immediately broke into his chart topping collaboration with
,” followed by a highly animated, but shortened version of “
.” After taking a moment to remove his sweatshirt and once again address the crowd (“Make some noise in this b*tch for me!”), a blazing fire alarm signaled the true beginning of the show.
Pulling out records from his almost obscenely large catalog of music, Weezy blew through verses from “
” and “
” in roughly twenty minutes, before taking a breather, plopping down on an old wooden stool, and accepting a green and white electric guitar from a nearby stage hand.
Once he found the right chord, the New Orleans native wowed the capacity crowd with an acoustic version of the Birdman collaborative effort, “
Leather So Soft
.” With everyone in the house affixed to his every move, Weezy slowly rose from his stool, strapped the guitar to his back and walked from one side of the stage to the other gauging the crowd’s satisfaction of his playing. After happily accepting a rocking ovation from the audience, the headliner laughed and said, “You thought you were coming to a hip-hop show!”
Amazingly, the last half-hour of the concert held in store the most entertaining moments of the night. Following a rendition of “
,” in which the chorus was transformed into “Go Weezy,” Wayne once again returned to his a capella ways performing the hysterical “
,” and later “
Stuntin’ Like My Daddy
” with surprise guest
In the end, hundreds of dollars in singles had been thrown from the balconies, three fights erupted near the main bar area and several fans had to be escorted from the venue after attempting to grab the rapper. So, what do you call a man who can unite the suburbs with the hood and cause those who consume his music to have an increased heart rate, loss of coordination, and distorted perception? Clearly, the new drug of choice.
Note: Above photo not from Chicago show. Universal did not grant photo passes.