So here’s the deal… I heard about this show on Monday of the week and knew there was no way my brother and I were missing it. Lil Wayne is the artist that made my brother a fan of rap/hip hop and he passed on the fandom to me. Plus, I could never pass up the thrill of a secret show. I’ve been able to see some pretty amazing ones (Foo Fighters @ 9:30 Club, Breaking Benjamin @ Gator’s Pub).
For those who don’t know, this Lil Wayne tour was called “I Ain’t Shit Without You” and hosted by Tidal. The lineup consisted of four dates of free fan appreciation shows in Houston, Atlanta, D.C. and Chicago. The deal was – sign up for email updates to the show closest to you and you’d get an email with ticket pick-up information. All you had to do was show up and show your Tidal subscription, then you’d get a laminate and wristband into the show.
So Friday morning we woke up and got to Silver Spring around 8:30 AM after an email I had received a few days prior saying the tickets would be given away at a Sprint store at 11 AM. What I didn’t know was that Tidal had sent another email and changed the ticket pickup location to the Fillmore I knew this would be the show location when I received the first email) and the time to before doors would open at 7:30. Confusion among fans seemed to be a theme with this tour as Tidal seemed to have an overwhelming demand for tickets. This all makes sense though, I mean, the GOAT at the Fillmore in Silver Spring for FREE?! Just tell me WHATEVER I have to do and I’ll be there. Also it seems like this tour was put together pretty quickly as Weezy just wanted to do something cool for fans.
We drive back home that morning and come back around 2. 4 rolls around and Fillmore staff come around to alert everyone they really haven’t been filled in on many details and that this event is strictly Tidal’s business. Tidal starts handing out laminates and we are lucky enough to secure them, along with a wristband that is required upon entry to the show.
We returned to the venue 40 minutes before doors Tidal handed out the final laminates. I was amazed that they lasted so long. Tidal and the Fillmore’s staff were all incredibly nice and helpful despite their whirlwind of the time leading up to the show.
Entering the doors was a little surreal. It’s hard to express the excitement of seeing an artist of Lil Wayne’s stature in such an intimate club setting.
A DJ pumps up the crowd of dedicated fans and their is an absolute craze of energy. This is both my brother and I’s first rap show and the vibe is unlike any rock show we’ve been too. You have to experience it to see,
Lil Wayne entered the stage right around 9:30ish. Chiefing a blunt (which he did for most of the show), he opened with the ever powerful “Mr. Carter from “Tha Carter 3”. It’s undeniable how dominating Wayne’s voice and presence is over the packed Fillmore.
The transitions between songs were astonishing and instantaneous. This only made the show more impactful. Wayne continued with many other classics and a good amount of songs from his most recent and long-awaited album “Tha Carter 5”. Wayne took time to sincerely thank everyone in attendance and reminded everyone he “Ain’t Shit Without You”. He often asked the crowd to applaud for themselves for coming out and his hype-man asked everyone who had “Tha Carter 5” to put a five in the sky – I didn’t see a single hand that wasn’t up.
His band was tight and added so much depth to each of his songs. At some points you could feel the bass shake the floor and the intensity was incredible to experience. I don’t think I need to explain to you Lil Wayne’s lyrical genius or his influence in the rap world.
To be honest, I was one hundred percent hooked into the show and didn’t take notes of the song order and no setlist seems to exist online. All you need to know is that the performance was more than phenomenal and Lil Wayne is a live act you want to catch – Charismatic, skilled, surprising and utterly cool.
Wayne ended on the brilliant rocker “Uproar” which had a massive crowd singalong interaction, though most songs of the night did. A little over an hour of all killer no filler.
Tidal really put on a great show and even handed out free posters at the end of it all. Now my brother and I have a laminate and poster to always remember that epic time we saw Lil Wayne up close and we’re blown away.