Lupe Fiasco – San Diego – North Park Theater

After about a 20 minute break all the lights shut off. The front pit was a little less than half way full as the curtains was raised. Suddenly a bunch of loud rapid Japanese voices began shouting “Tetsuo”.

As the intro of the album ”Summer” began, Lupe was revealed to be sitting on a big throne with the Tetsuo & Youth album cover hanging largely behind him. Once the instrumental of “Mural” began Lupe quickly got up and grabbed an old school style microphone with an iron man styled light emitting from it. He was wearing black shades, black pants, and a black coat. He went on to spit the entire song with incredible energy not missing a single word (this is an 8 minute complex song). Once the song was over something kind of unusual happened. Lupe bowed his head and put his hands together, a prayer started and Lupe began to move in a way it made the guy next to me say “I think he’s doing Thai Chi”.

He then went to play the album through in its entirety never skipping a track or interlude.

After “Dots and Lines” he brought out Nikki Jean to play piano and sing in the background for most of the show. He went back and forth from sitting on the throne the whole show until his legs were lazily hanging over the sides. The show perfectly kept building more energy. I was looking forward to hearing “Chopper” but was let down when Lupe only did one chorus and only his verse. 
He then went on to ask the crowd who was hungry then called a pizza place. Unfortunately the man on the other line said “We don’t deliver to that area anymore”. This brought us into a very rowdy performance of “Deliver”. The pit begun moshing at this point and it almost got chaotic. The energy then shifted when he got to “Adoration of the Magi”, everyone was still moving but it was mostly just a smooth swaying motion while clapping along to the beat. When he then got to “They.Resurrect.Over.New.” with the deep bass and loud background sample this track had everyone jumping again. He even spit Ab-Souls verse at the end of the track. After the song he then went back to sit on the throne as the final interlude played. After the track ended he then thanked his DJ, DJ Double O and started to say goodbye. The crowd loudly erupted and maybe he heard me yell “One more song” but he nodded to his DJ and began to preform “Hip Hop Saved My Life”. It was awesome to hear some old Lupe and with the pit almost completely full everyone went crazy. He then played what he says was a new track. With fast snare drums, Niki Jean background vocals and a sample of what sounded like Lupe on a phone call this track kind of confused me. After he said he would play one song from each album but he told everyone that the show is over. He then went on to preform “Kick Push”, “Paris, Tokyo”, “Words I Never Said”. Once the song was over he then reminded everyone that the show was over in a very sarcastic tone. This made me feel like he is doing something he knows he shouldn’t. It being the “Tetsuo & Youth tour” his label might have told him to not play any other songs during the show. With a hyped crowd Lupe was driven to perform an unreleased T&Y track followed by “Day Dream”. While he only preformed the first half of most of these tracks I could really tell how much Lupe cared about his fans. “Around My Way” was then played only to be followed by “Old School Love”. Lupe ended the show with “The Show Goes On” and everyone was singing along. He spent a lot of time during this song running around the stage hittin the whip. He thanked the crowd and shamelessly plugged his merch booth before exiting the stage. From the sleek pamphlet I was handed on my way in to the constant energy brought by Lupe this was one of the best rap performances I have seen. While there were no crazy mosh pits like when I saw Joey BADA$$ which you can read about here, there was high energy the whole time he was on stage. This was a very engaging performance.


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