Review: Vince Staples Makes it Feel Like Summer at House of Vans

The first House of Vans show of the summer is finally here, curated by Vince Staples he’s brought along a fellow long beach rapper Vonnie D and Sudanese rapper Bas. This is the first of nine House Of Vans summer shows in Chicago, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Despite the amazing weather I was caught up working for corporate America and actually missed the first opener Vonnie D and the Vans giveaway that took place on Instagram and throughout the skate park. 

Walking into the House of Vans has become a familiar feeling for me whether I enter through GA or VIP it’s almost like being transformed into a different dimension. Every show has seemed to become more and more tailored to the liking of each of artist. Throughout the whole skate park everywhere you look there are giant murals giving Vince Staples the praise he deserves. As I entered the VIP entrance there’s a giant wall that says “Vince Staples” with lettering that pays homage to the ‘greetings from Long Beach sign.’ I push through the beers lines to get closer for a glimpse of the second opener Bas.

Bas is the younger brother of Ibrahim Hamad, manager of Interscope/Dreamville Rapper J. Cole. His flow is impeccable and from the jump his energy and confidence is higher than most openers I see. It could be the alcohol, the weather, or Bas himself that has the crowd sucked in from the jump. As he nears the end of his set he picks a crowd member out to perform one of his song and instructs the crowd member to rap the J. Cole verses on the song. This is probably one of my favorite things to see at a concert because it’s always going to go one of two ways, terribly bad or good enough. After this fan raps better than I have ever seen any random person do Bas gives him praise for the performance as does the crowd. So far this is the peak of tonight’s shenanigans and we still have Vince to delight us. 

Finding things to do at House of Vans once you’ve seeall the art and drank one of each beer can become hard but there is an outside area where you can find a food truck and tonight there’s tacos and burritos. Some friends are nerding out about video games, others are scrambling to find cash for the food truck that also takes card. I devour a few carne asada tacos before entering the skate park again to listen to the DJ between sets. A DJ at a rap concert never disappoints neither do the people dancing in the crowd who have no rhythm. After hearing a few Kanye songs mixed with an abundance of one liners from today and yesterday’s hits we finally see the man everyone’s been waiting for Vince Staples. 

“I’m excited for everyone to be here tonight until I get to know you personally.” Vince Staples has set the tone of what’s to come tonight. First off we get the Sophie produced track Yeah Right, the crowd of mostly tall lengthy boys goes wild climbing on top of each with each bar we hear from Vince. Nearly every song Vince has released emits a flurry of comments from his mostly white fan base such as Norf Norf” that lead to Vince promoting Sprite on twitter in years past because of the opening line, “Bitch you thirsty please grab a sprite.” Halfway through the set the lengthy boys create a giant circle for the masculinity to roam wild as Senorita and BagBak play back to back. Vince plays a pretty high energy set that pulls from his 2014 release, Hell Can Wait to last year’s FM!, he never misses a step despite his asthma. Since his emergence to a bigger audience in 2014 Vince Staples has been on the forefront of innovation and success in the music world and tonight’s show is a culmination of skill and what’s to come. Vince made it feel like summer.  

House of Vans’ summer series House Parties will continue throughout the summer. The next House Party at House of Vans will be curated by The Breeders and will feature Palehound and Divino Nino. You can RSVP for the show here! Check out the rest of this year’s lineup at their website.

All photos by F. Amanda Tugade

Brandon Smith
Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith is a freelance writer, frequent concert attendee, and occasional Twitch streamer. He’s usually at the nearest taqueria or attending the concert of an artist he discovered while surfing the internet.