I am an unabashedly huge 2 Chainz fan, and have wanted to see him in concert for a while. So, I can’t imagine it was anything but divine intervention that he happened to be playing at the Globe Theatre, directly across from the loft where my brother and I were staying, on the exact weekend I was in Los Angeles. That’s nothing but God.
Doors opened at 8 p.m. Generally I don’t show up to shows on time since shows rarely start on time, and this one was no different; but we had nothing else to do, so why not get there early and secure a place near the stage? Upon entering, the venue was practically empty. Most of the people in line went up to the balcony, and only about six other people were out on the floor with my brother and I. Two of these were some chunky older-looking white dudes in button-down shirts, and I kept my eye on them as they talked and laughed and danced goofily to the trap music that the DJ was playing. 2 Chainz’ biggest fans? I soon realized that they kept talking to the bartender and going backstage and onstage to speak with the DJ, which meant they probably were working with the club somehow; that sort of ruined the joke. I still like the idea of those two guys being 2 Chainz groupies who follow him to every stop on the tour, though.
At around 9-ish, the first performer came out. I didn’t catch his name, nor many of the other openers’ names, and here’s why: the sound quality at this show was so goddamn bad that each individual opener complained to the sound engineer about it onstage. I have no idea if anyone was even on sound, because the problem did not seem to ever get resolved. I felt bad for this first guy, though. The venue was practically empty and, from the little I could hear of his lyrics, he seemed like he had something he wanted to say and was a writer. I can’t tell you if he was good or not, because I couldn’t hear shit and much of his set was devoted to him asking the sound technician–who was either absent, incompetent, or not giving a fuck to–turn his mic up. At the end of his set, he apologized for how bad the sound was.
The next group was definitely more hype: three dudes (or four; it was hard to tell because for each set there were a whole bunch of unnecessary people on stage–more on that later) jumping around onstage to some boneheaded club music. One guy had a flag he was waving around. There might have been a reason for that, but I couldn’t hear it because of the mics. Another, inexplicably, had on a leather backpack. They were all wearing full on Stüssy ensembles, which was funny enough before they performed a song about how they Stüssy is all they wear and your bitch is in love with them because of it. Frankly, I wasn’t buying it, because these Stüssy outfits consisted of sweat shorts, regular looking T-shirts, and a backpack on an adult man. “How are they going to have a song about how bitches like their Stüssy outfits when it looks like a pajama jammy jam up there?” I said to Zach. The best part of their set was how they ended each song: abruptly. The beat would just stop and they’d keep saying, “kay, next song, next song.”
Most of the other performances were a blur. There were so many openers, and I couldn’t really hear many of them. I remember Fats the Man, mostly because he reminded me of a light-skinned Dr. Dre, kept doing air-hump gesticulations whenever he talked about fucking a bitch (which was often), and because he shouted out his Instagram handle. I remember the R&B singer with the Weeknd hair, mostly because I made the dumb joke, “Who is this now? Midweek?”
And oh… do I remember Crenshaw by Nature.
I don’t even know how to describe this performance in a way that will do it justice. It’s truly a “you had to be there” experience. But, I will attempt to give you a good idea of how it went down. The first thing I noticed was a big dude with French braids milling around by the side of the stage as one act, I can’t even remember which, ended their set. Next thing I know, this dude with braids and an orange prison jumpsuit is being pushed onstage. “What the FUCK is this?” my brother leaned over to ask me. At this point all hell broke loose. Another guy with braids jumped out to join the prison jumpsuit guy, and then people just started coming out of the woodwork. The stage was filled with dudes with their phones out filming the entire performance from onstage. There were at least 20 people on the stage, all but two of whom were completely unnecessary.
I’m pretty sure that the microphones were not on for the duration of Crenshaw by Nature’s 15-minute set. The beats were good and they for damn sure were performing, but I couldn’t tell you anything else about their music. But, what a performance. It was really more like performance art, heightened by the fact that I never knew when a song began or ended. And unlike the other openers, Crenshaw by Nature did not seem at all bothered by the fact that their sound was off. They just got up there and did their thing, mics be damned. After one song was over (I think?), the one guy removed his prison jumpsuit to reveal that he and his partner in the duo were wearing the same outfit, baggy jeans and a probably copyright-infringing T shirt with “Crenshaw by Nature” printed on it using the Naughty by Nature logo.
So, just to be clear, there were two braided men in the exact same outfit, jumping around onstage with mics that did not work and flanked by an enormous group of guys filming them on their phones. At one point they lit probably the longest blunt I have ever seen in person onstage, and two of the background dudes were filming extreme close-ups of the entire blunt lighting process… ON STAGE. Center stage. Money was tossed into the audience. Crenshaw by Nature shirts were tossed into the audience. I’m sure all of this made a hell of a lot more sense if you could hear what they were saying, but honestly, I preferred the bizarre chaos. It was like watching Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotbe on the Today Show at the gym when it’s muted and you have your own music on in your headphones. “What is going on up there? It’s pandemonium!” my brother said. That’s the funniest thing we said all night and it wasn’t even a joke, it was a stone cold fact.
After that fiasco, another group went on that seemed to consist of mostly unnecessary people onstage. Basically it was one dude with long hair rapping and then like 10-15 hypemen, one of whom was wearing a tiny short-sleeved red hoodie. Again, couldn’t hear barely any of their lyrics, so the whole performance just looked like a party onstage that I wasn’t invited to. Still, it was entertaining to watch, and at this point I was sufficiently turnt up for 2 Chainz.
But it just kept dragging on. At least four other openers, but frankly I lost track. And these were technically the legit openers. Sexton is some lady who looks like an American Apparel model and pretty much just sounds like a poor man’s Kehlani. I think I saw her open for Bryson Tiller back in June, and I felt the same way back then as I did this time around: No sir, I don’t like it. Moving on, Purpdrank seemed pretty good from what I could hear, but at this point I was completely exhausted. Kingi actually had his name on the flyer, but again, the sound was so bad and I was so tired that I had pretty much checked out. So had the rest of the audience: at one point he asked the crowd to hold up the light on their phones and even threatened not to continue with his set until he saw everyone doing it, and maybe two people did, probably because they felt that if they didn’t we would be essentially held hostage and never get to see 2 Chainz. I was too tired and my knees hurt. Seriously, where the fuck was 2 Chainz?
At this point, I turned my attention to the audience.
This was by far the most bizarre group of people I have ever seen at a show. Ever. There was the older couple: a small skinny guy with a doorag, a varsity jacket, and a Bluetooth headset (who was he about to call?), with his taller and bigger girlfriend or wife or whatever. They were actually cute though. There was the group of women in tight dresses who were super excited about everything and looked kind of manic. Like I feel like one woman in particular was on cocaine. And I mean, sorry Muva, I know at the SlutWalk you told us not to be judgmental, but none of these women looked that great in their tight dresses and they kept trying to twerk and it was just… not okay. This one lady had pigtails and her facial expression was literally demented.
Man, so many characters. There was the weird little guy who looked like a leprechaun who kept trying to dance with women and being rebuffed. Note to men: If you want to try and dance with strange women at a club, make sure you’re a much better dancer, or at least more attractive, than this guy. There was the couple loudly arguing right next to us (I hope that this is the concert at which they ended their relationship.) There were the three older white people: a guy with a “beer season” shirt and his lady in a floor length skirt and denim jacket who seemed to know all of 2 Chainz’ songs. Girl, get it.
Most of the audience on the floor was comprised of the openers, a fact which we realized as people that I had seen near the bar or dancing in front of me would just keep appearing onstage. I started worrying. Maybe we weren’t going to see 2 Chainz after all? Was this all just an elaborate ploy to get a couple hundred people to watch a huge group of friends put on a talent show?
Thankfully, 2 Chainz strolled out onstage at a little after 1 a.m. Tity Boi seemed at ease, running through his set real slick but without seeming bored with it. Basically, he just cycled through some of his numerous guest verses and his own songs, which was great for me because it meant that songs like “No Lie” and “Big Amount” cut out before Drake’s verse. Sorry, I just don’t like Drake. The sound was almost perfect for 2 Chainz’ set, except for a few seconds of feedback every once in a while. Although it was a relatively short show, given how much bullshit we had to wade through to get to the main act, it was definitely worth it just to see 2 Chainz up that close and intimate.
And that was it. Roughly six hours and like 10 sets later, we all filed out of the Globe Theatre, and Zach and I returned to our loft across the street. For $45 a pop, we definitely got our money’s worth–one way or another.
For more of our L.A. trip–and this show–check out last week’s vlog.