Mac Miller & Wiz Khalifa brought their “Under The Influence of Music” tour to their hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday night by performing at the First Niagara Pavilion. Before I get into writing my review for the show I would like to explain some background on the Pittsburgh hip-hop scene over the past handful of years. Pittsburgh has never been a hip-hop hot bed, but over the past few years we have seen our fair share of big tours pass through. I personally have been in attendance for Lil Wayne twice and Drake once at the First Niagara Pavilion and none of them performed in front of the crowd we saw for Mac & Wiz. Kanye West & Jay-z brought their ‘Watch The Throne’ tour to Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center last fall and performed in front of a less than sold out crowd. For The Under The Influence tour Mac & Wiz brought in over 20,000 spectators (may have been closer to 25,000). None of the others have been able to touch these numbers which probably makes this show the most sold hip-hop event ever in our city. That is why I say in the title that the duo “make history in their hometown”.
Now onto the review. Upon arriving at the venue around 2 pm, my friends and I were greeted by hundreds of cars stretched up and down the road engaging in good pre concert tailgates since the parking lots did not open until 3 pm. When the lots did open the party was really on as thousands of fans busted out alcohol and got ‘under the influence’ while waiting for the show to start.
more of my concert review after the jump
I arrived inside the venue at around 5:30 pm just in time to see Rostrum Records newest signee, Boaz put on his show. The gates had not been open very long, but the lawn was over half way full before Boaz took the stage.
The hometown MC started out firing as he performed his track “Do It For Ya” followed up by “Terminator”. His short set reached its peak when he performed the Pittsburgh classic, “Puffin On The Purp”.
Bo closed out his set with “My Way” a track that will appear on his upcoming free album ‘Bases Loaded’ which drops soon!
Chevy Woods was up next and had the Taylors turning up as he came out to “Homerun”. Most of Chevy’s set was selections off his newest mixtape ‘Gang Land’.
One of the highlights of his performance came when he performed “200 Hundred” with fellow taylor gang member Tuki Carter. He finished off his set with “U.S.A.” before rapping his verse off “Ain’t No Love Without You” acapella. The fans took a great liking to his Jerome Bettis reference in this verse.
Schoolboy Q followed up with his performance. While he was unknown to most in attendance, Q put on a good show featuring several cuts off his ‘Habits and Contractions’ project. The best part of his set came as he performed “Hands On The Wheels” before leaving the stage.
Chiddy Bang came on as the 4th opener of the night. Out of all the opening artist Chiddy received the most response from the audience. The duo of Chiddy and Xaphoon came out to their track entitled “Breakfast” and had most of the crowd singing along to their popular track “Manners”. Chiddy followed this with a freestyle where he took different words from the crowd and rapped about them. If you’ve ever been to a Chiddy show you know this is one of the best parts. The crowd really came alive as Chiddy spit “I Can’t Stop” before performing the hit song “Opposite Of Adults”.
Kendrick Lamar came out as the last of the opening acts. Kendrick’s set consisted mostly of material off his popular project ‘Section .80′. Included were the tracks “Hol’ Up”, “P&P”, and “ADHD”. The crowd really didn’t seem to enjoy much of Kendrick’s set and never really got into other than his performance of “Swimming Pools”. I was a bit disappointed in the performance especially for the fact that he didn’t perform “The Recipe”.
After a long delay it was finally time for Mac Miller to take the stage. Taking notice before the show it was easy to see that Mac was the crowd favorite given the amount of Mac Miller t-shirts that were around. The lights went dim and then the “Best Day Ever” music video started to play on the screen before Mac came out and rapped his verses. He came out wearing a Heath Miller Pittsburgh Steelers jersey equipped with a Pittsburgh Pirates hat. At one point Mac even mentioned how awesome it is that the Pirates are having a great season.
The crowd was rocking as Mac went into his popular track “Knock Knock”. At this point Mac had over 20,000 fans putting their hands in the air singing every word to his tracks. This was something spectacular to see as just a couple of years ago I can remember Mac opening for Wiz Khalifa at Stage AE in Pittsburgh. At that show there were several fans around me booing the young artist, that was not the case at all on Saturday. Mac kept the party going as he got into some cuts off his album “Blue Slide Park” including “Loitering”, “My Team” & “Smile Back”.
The old guy from the “Loud” music video introduced us to ‘Macadelic’ as Mac set the crowd on fire with cuts from that tape including “Loud”, “Ignorant”, and “Angels”. The highlight of the ‘Macadelic’ portion of the show came as Mac had the crowd singing along to “Lucky Ass Bitch”. Next up was an energetic performance “Diamonds & Gold” which I captured below:
He demanded total chaos before performing “Onaroll” and the crowd did not disappointing as the stadium exploded. Mac’s set came to a close with a few more cuts from ‘Blue Slide Park’ including “Of The Soul”, and “Frick Park Market”. “Missed Calls” followed, during this performance Mac had the venue full of lights which created an awesome image.
The highlight of the night for me came when he performed his hit song “Donald Trump”. During this performance the audience went nuts moshing into each other while smoke cannons went off on stage.
This was the 7th time that I have seen Mac, and this was by far the best show that he’s put on. The lights were phenomenal equipped with smoke cannons and balloons flying around the stage. Just looking around and watching the crowd was every bit as enjoyable as actually seeing Mac perform on stage.
Now it was time for Wiz Khalifa to take the stage. The hometown MC came out smoking a joint as his band played “Cabin Fever”. Wiz had everyone ‘pointing out bad bitches’ as his song played. This followed with a series of tracks off the ‘Cabin Fever’ mixtape including “Phone Numbers”, “Gang Bang”, & “Homicide”. Hearing “Homicide” with a band was really awesome to hear, it added a great element to the track. Wiz stated that Pittsburgh had some of the best weed before performing the Cardo produced track “California”.
Wiz introduced us to his Taylor Gang as “The Code” was played. Pittsburgh got their first ever glance at Lola Monroe as she made a guest appearance and performed her verse. Chevy Woods also made an appearance during the track. Wiz had the whole crowd chanting ‘Taylor…Gang’ as the beat dropped for “Taylor Gang” and the crowd was rocking. Chevy stayed on stage to perform his verse on this track as well, but that was the last we would see of him on the night. Wiz no longer relied on Chevy as a hype man but instead used his DJ, DJ Bonics, and his live band to make for a more mellow/classical like experience.
Wiz soon got into a slew of joints off his classic mixtape “Kush & Orange Juice”. This section of the show included the crowd favorites, “The Kid Frankie”, “Never Been”, and “In The Cut” amongst others. This followed with a cool performance of “Mary 3x” before getting into “Young, Wild & Free” and “Smokin On”, both of these tracks appeared on the soundtrack for ‘Mac & Devin Go To High School’. Weed clouds were everywhere as these tracks were performed.
Mr EZ Wider took us back a few years as Wiz performed classic cuts off his old mixtapes like ‘Prince Of The City 2′, ‘Flight School’ and ‘Star Power’. You could tell who the OG taylors were, because when the beat dropped for “Be Eazy” not everyone made noise or knew what it was. This was followed with “Boarding Pass”, “Feels Good”, and “Ink My Whole Body”. Hearing these older tracks were awesome, because the live band made them seem as if they were brand new songs.
The last portion of the show came with “The Race”, “Hopes & Dreams”, and “On My Level”. Wiz had the crowd involved as we chanted “Play Hard” following Wiz saying “Work Hard”. This was the first time that Khalifa had performed his single “Work Hard Play Hard” in his city and everyone was going nuts! Following that was every Pittsburghers favorite track, “Black & Yellow”. You can only imagine the mayhem that happened when Wiz rapped about his hometowns colors. Wiz wished the crowd a good night as he performed “O.N.I.F.C.” as an encore. During this song the entire Taylor Gang as well as Most Dope joined him on stage.
This was the 6th time that I have seen Wiz perform, but the first time I have seen him with a band. The band adds a different element to the performance and makes every track sound like it never has before. Wiz was a rock star during his set and wanted the crowd to enjoy more of a show rather than a hypey performance like what Mac showed. The two different types of performance made for great balance for the fans.
I can guarantee that there was not a single disappointed fan as the crowd dispersed from the venue. This was definitely one of the best concerts that I have ever been to. Seeing all of the Pittsburgh area coming out to support their hometown superstars was great to see. It’s safe to say that everyone was happy with the money they spent on their tickets. Hopefully they can turn this into an annual event in Pittsburgh!
Tomorrow I will be posting another ‘fan blog’ full of videos and pictures that have been sent to me from this show. If you have anything send it to me firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back in the morning for that!
Below are setlists from Boaz, Chevy Woods, Chiddy Bang, Mac Miller & Wiz Khalifa:
Do It For Ya
Some Things Never Change
Puffin On The Purp
Chevy Woods Setlist:
Ain’t No Love Without You Freestyle
Chiddy Bang Setlist:
By Your Side
I Can’t Stop
Opposite Of Adults
Mac Miller setlist:
Best Day Ever
Nikes on My Feet
Thoughts From A Balcony
1 Threw 8
The Mourning After
Lucky Ass Bitch
Diamonds and Gold
Of The Soul
Frick Park Market
Wiz Khalifa Setlist:
The Kid Frankie
In the Cut
Young Wild and Free
Ink My Whole Body
Hopes and Dreams
On My Level
Work Hard Play Hard
Black and Yellow