On May 19th, Waka Flocka Flame joined platinum recording artist Wes Walker and a slew of openers in Eugene, OR for Vitbrand Entertainment‘s Study Break concert. After a venue change just days before, the show ended up at the modern, 950-capacity Venue 252.
First up was DJRLOVE, who kicked off the vibes and got the crowd ready for the night ahead of them. Then came B-Rose, The Admiral, Kris White, and KEYSHAWNtheKING. KEYSHAWNtheKING was the most energetic – with water flying and the crowd jumping, the vibe had officially been set. Next was Raymond McMahon, who hit his hometown crowd with the best vocals and melodies of the night. The openers finished with Cam Stone and Nemo Cash, who hit the stage with a ski mask and impressive technical rapping abilities.
Platinum recording artist Wes Walker hit the small stage around 10:20 PM – just 15 minutes behind schedule. He initially burst out from backstage with an unerring positivity. The energy hit a high midway through his set when he played “Jordan Belfort,” his biggest hit to date. As the crowd yelled back every lyric, he went through the infectious record with a grin. Surprisingly, he did not end with his huge record, and instead chose to play a few, more rap-oriented songs. The biggest downside to his performance was that he was DJing for himself – it lead to less than smooth transitions that occasionally left the crowd lost.
Waka Flocka Flame came out at a seemingly perfect time. The crowd was chanting his name as he eased his way onto the stage with a special swagger that only he could bring. Immediately, the bass seemed to shake the floors and water was flying.
He screamed “Brick Squaaaaaaaaad” as he began to play one of his discography’s many hits, “Hard In Da Paint.”
Early in his performance it was obvious that he would be giving the crowd the performance they were looking for and more. Only a few songs into his set, he stood on the barricade between the stage and the crowd, and before it could bend too much, he made his way into the crowd. His 6’3″ frame stood tall above the audience he was performing for. Confetti flew during the playing of “15th And The 1st;” his thrilling performance was already everything that was expected, but with three times the energy. After he made his way back to the stage, he repeatedly caught flying phones and took Snapchats for his fans.
Waka Flocka brought nothing but hard, entertaining raps; he was evidently in Eugene to deliver a show that no one would forget. He spit a couple verses without an instrumental, just in case anyone was questioning whether or not he still had his impressive rap skills.
He then paused for the first time in the night; “I want to see an old school mosh pit,” Waka Flocka said to the center of the room. “Ladies, get out the middle.”
The audience delivered on their end as they went crazy while Waka Flocka performed “Mosh Pit” with Flosstradamus and Casino.
Even security couldn’t help themselves from dancing.
During his hour long performance, he never lost the intensity or potent enthusiasm that he brought to the venue. As his set was coming to a close, he took a moment to let the crowd know that he had “been fuckin with” them. Shortly after, the instrumental to “No Hands” dropped and the venue roared.
After performing his strongest song to date, he took the fans down a different road then expected. He mentioned that he wanted to put some soul into the room, and played “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as everyone sang along.
He was enjoying himself, and so was everyone who paid to see the independently promoted show in Eugene. He sustained an intensity throughout his hour-long set like no one other artist I have seen perform.
He got back into the crowd to finish his performance on a high note with his banger “Grove St. Party.” The night finished up with confetti hitting the air as the crowd moved like a sea around the legendary artist they came to see.
Waka Flocka‘s performance was high energy, intensity, and everything anyone could have asked. It was oddly authentic, but still perfectly raw and energetic.
A big thank you to VitBrand Entertainment for throwing a captivating first show and having Apex Hip Hop out. Be sure to stay tuned for their upcoming shows.
All photos by Jensen Ocampo: JensenOcampo.com
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