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Lately I’ve been glowed up
Paper finally showed up

Anderson .Paak and KAYTRANADA, Glowed Up

Cheeky Andyyyyyyy was in the buildingggg!!!! I hadn’t heard Anderson .Paak live since 2017 when I saw him open for J.Cole on the 4 Your Eyez Only Tour. But I lived. In July, I’ll start ranking my concert experiences from this year and I know this is Top 3.  People talk about the vibes and energy the same way they talk about opinion and bowel movements. I refrain from buzzwords but, the vibes were right and the energy in that amphitheatre is unequivocally unmatched. Here’s a quick overview of my day and how I arrived in Nashville.

I went to work and on my lunch break I stopped by the BBQ fest because that’s the Memphis thing to do in May.  (Unfamiliar with the festivities of Memphis in May? Here’s more information about the month’s events.) Then I left work at 3 to get on the road for the concert at a decent time. On the way, I ran over a snake. An. Entire. Snake. I freaked out, but made it to Nashville with enough time to check into my Air BnB and get to the concert. I paid $25 for parking, which is  kind of high, but it is what it is. Remember when I told you to bring $20 cash to concerts (in this post)? Yep, increase that to $30.

The Ascend Amphitheater staff was so friendly! I normally hate outdoor venues unless it’s a festival but this amphitheater really nailed it. There’s a dedicated space for merchants and also space for food vendors, including our coveted food trucks. Concession stand life isn’t the best life and food trucks were sent to deliver us from those harsh realities. God bless the people who started this trend. So who was there? I’m glad you asked. This specific show garnered appearances from Thundercat and Earl Sweatshirt , but Jessie Reyez, Mac Demarco, and NoName will make / have made appearances on the tour.

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So let’s start with Thundercat. You may not remember his face, but you know his bass.  Thundercat has played and composed music for some of the greatest acts of my time: Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, Bilal, Kamasi Washington, N.E.R.D. You get it. He’s the real deal. So I had the opportunity to hear him open and yes I took it in the best way that I could: Front Row, Pit seats (even though I stood). Thundercat performed songs from his album, Drunk, featuring some pretty cool songs. Captain Stupido is a fun song (I don’t recall hearing it but I could be wrong). But I do remember Thundercat’s impactful cat. While introducing A Fan’s Mail, he mentioned that he wrote it about his cat which warmed my heart. 

Song You’ve Heard from Him: Them Changes

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Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt was up next! This is really irrelevant, but pretty cool in my mind…. Earl Sweatshirt’s birthday is one day before mine (2 years later than me though). Woot Pisces! Okay, back to the music. Earl is most known for his time with Odd Future (also stylized as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All or OFWGKTA). I knew of him because of Frank Ocean but didn’t really gain an appreciation for his music until early 2018 so I’m super late to the crew. I listened to a few of his songs and was pleasantly surprised. Seeing him perform live was tight. He had a sense of calm and peace that was so different from the energy of his OF days.

Song You’ve Heard from Him: NoWhere 2 Go.

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Show Time!

Disclaimer: I feel as if right now is the best time to throw this out there (even though I mentioned it earlier): I’m not from Nashville and I don’t live there. I’m from Memphis, TN so the Nashville references that might have been mentioned, went over my head. Got it? Great.

Mobetta opened the show with a beautiful, crowd soothing trumpet solo. It was the kind that made everyone in the room freeze because we knew it was showtime. It was time for Paak! The Free Nationals (TFN) played “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” and suddenly Anderson .Paak rose (okay it was some type of mechanically, elevated platform but you get it). Throughout the night .Paak switched between playing the drums and singing center stage. I’m a fan of both so to see him playing the drums gave us a chance to just enjoy the music and accompanying visuals. There wasn’t a need to stand there and video him playing the drums (unless it was your favorite song). Speaking of visuals − During “King James”, the background behind .Paak +TFN displayed the lyrics in a font and style reminiscient of Crayola. I also loved the entire color scheme from the blues to the neons.

Considering that he released Oxnard and Ventura merely months apart, his set list balanced them well while acknowledging crowd favorites from Malibu and Venice. If you’re looking for cities to visit in California, look no further than Anderson .Paak’s album titles (seriously I’m making a list of cities to visit and all of these are on it because of him. The man is on to something). I video’d a few of the songs but would highly reccommend that any and everyone see him while he’s still on tour. When he goes on tour again, see him AGAIN. He’s one of few artists that I would love to see two or three times in one year and pay a decent price every. single. time.

Also, worth noting, I’m now investing in a pair of Vans because if Anderson .Paak can perform multiple shows in these shoes, then they must be magical.

Treat yourself and catch the Best Teef in the Game while it’s still a tour and you still can.

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