This summer’s coming to a screeching halt students are returning back to school, street festivals are starting to fade away, and baseball is no longer the only sport to watch on TV. The Endless Summer tour came to Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island and it’s a strange mix of acts but it’s taking over 33 cities with lesser known acts like P-Lo, Murda Beatz, YBN Nahmir. Ty Dolla $ign, and Lil Uzi Vert are all rotating acts, sometimes appearing on and off specified dates and headlined by Oakland rapper G-Eazy. Everyone in the pavilion looks so young I can’t tell if they’re in high school or gearing up for their first year of college. The smell of weed and Axe body spray surrounds me as I enter through the pavilion’s gates, greeted with a dismal “hello” from a security guard.
P-Lo from the Bay area gets the night started, but doesn’t spark much of a reaction from the crowd of teens. Attempting to make the most of his 15-minute set he performs what he can of “Same Squad” from his 2018 release, PRIME. The next act, YBN Nahmir, brings a much-needed boost to the early night, with him and his posse taking over the stage right from the start. Even though they are teenagers from Birmingham, Alabama, it’s clear from their stage presence they’re here to turn up and have a good time. Despite a quick rise to fame with last year’s “Rubbin’ Off the Paint” Nahmir shows the stage presence and charisma to someday headline his own tour. Producer Murda Beatz rings out the group of short sets. He’s a 24-year-old household name when it comes to rappers, but not so much with most rap fans. The crowd’s not interested in his stage antics or what he has to say, but they love the hits they have no idea he’s produced and DJ’d for the likes of Drake’s “Nice For What,” Migos’ “Motorsport,” and Travis Scott’s “Butterfly Effect”. The set was just snippets but enough to entertain the early crowd before Ty Dolla $ign.
Ty Dolla $ign doesn’t waste any time as he arrives on stage with his brown and blonde braids swinging. The Los Angeles pretty boy instantly delivers a vibe with “Saved” that really makes you feel like summer is endless. Ty Dolla $ign is a man of many features and doesn’t shy away from showcasing these tracks but before doing so he takes the time to find someone to come up on stage. “Who wants to smoke a joint with Ty Dolla $ign?” After picking one lone soul who didn’t know what to do, another person of age gladly lit the joint met with a loud cheer from the crowd, it’s the perfect situation for an outdoor venue in a decriminalized city. We get a snippet of the most recent and popular features such as “It’s a Vibe.” “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2),” and “All Mine.” A rap fan’s favorite 2 Chainz song and a duo of Kanye songs sends the crowd into a frenzy and the best way to cap off the set was with “Blasé” a hit from Ty Dolla $ign’s 2015 release Free TC.
I take some time to survey the crowd before G-Eazy takes the stage. Passing through one of the many lanes of people I see Chicago Bull’s player Cristiano Felício towering over people and hanging with friends, an interesting but not surprising sighting. The stage light go dark met with a scream from the crowd and a joker-like laugh. A white light comes on around a doorway followed by three giant white crosses on three screens G-Eazy slips through and instantly starts rapping “Pray For Me” from 2017’s The Beautiful and The Damned. It feels a little ironic, since he looks like he’s ready to front a Christian pop punk band in his flannel and blonde hair. But fans have become entranced by his presence and energy unlike prior performances tonight. The stage lighting is impressive, highlighting G’s performance with a range of vibrant lights and peculiar-graphics from a sea of purple clouds to flashing scarlet lights. He keeps that same energy with a career-spanning set, with most songs coming from last year’s album. The end of the set takes an interesting turn as he performs “Him & I” a song featuring his now ex-girlfriend Halsey followed by his breakout hit “Me, Myself & I.” The crowd reaction is mixed but still enthralled by the Oakland native. G-Eazy isn’t the most interesting hip hop act to see but, his credibility and stage persona is enough to catch a show.
All photographs by Josh Zoerner
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