Swap: The Vince Staples concert was absolutely incredible. After an hour and a half drive, we got to Lawrence. David and I were joined by our friend, Basil. Doors were supposed to open up at 8 pm but we didn’t get inside till about 8:30. Before Vince got on stage, singer-songwriter Kilo Kish had a 30-minute set. She has been featured on a couple of Vince Staples songs, but I had never actually listened to one of her songs. During the performance, there were some weird visuals playing in the background behind her. Overall, I thought her performance was pretty entertaining but I was much more excited for the main event.
Basil: Going into the show, I hadn’t listened to Kilo Kish before, but I was pleasantly surprised. Her performance felt almost like a musical play at times. Each song told a story that all tied to together. She opened with “Hello Lakisha” which served as an introduction to her life. She used the same three giant screens in the back that Vince did but kept the stage well-lit so we could see her act out her music. Overall, Vince Staples was more capable of captivating his audience using smoke, lasers, lights and the three screens but she put on a great show and told her story well.
Swap: Vince Staples came running in rapping the title track of his newest EP, Prima Donna. The tour was called the Life Aquatic Tour, so naturally, the LCD screen displayed aquatic visuals. For Prima Donna the screen there were images of fishes swimming around in a fishbowl. After Prima Donna, he played “3230,” “Smile,” “Fire,” “Lift Me Up,” and “Jump Off the Roof.” With each song came another set of visuals related to the songs. After “Jump off the Roof” came “Senorita” which had the crowd bumping. Not one person wasn’t jumping. In the background there was a golden statue of a lady glowing. After that song, there was a cooldown with the songs “Lemme Know” and “Bird and Bees.” I thought Vince’s singing on “Lemme Know” wasn’t great, but I wasn’t there for the singing. Big Time and War Ready off Staples’ newest album were performed and thought both songs were highlights of the show. Vince Staples also played Surf, which features Kilo Kish so I was hoping that she would come out for the song. She didn’t and the recorded audio was played over the speaker which was a disappointment. At the end Vince Staples played Loco, then his new single “BagBak,” and finally “Blue Suede.” This was the best part of the show by far; Staples had complete control of the crowd. When he said jump, we jumped; when he said scream, we screamed. It was amazing. At the end, the stage went black and he disappeared. The crowd erupted into a shout of an encore. Vince Staples comes out to rap his biggest hit “Norf Norf;” in the background was this awesome video of the words ‘Long Beach’ with the video playing in the letters. Vince Staples ended the night off with “Summertime” off Summertime ’06. The entire stage was dark except for a single light on Vince and the mic. It was a great somber moment and the perfect way to end the show.
David: The biggest takeaway I had from the concert was the polish of the presentation. There were 3 huge LCD screens that were behind Vince that had different videos playing on them for each song. The screens and stage lights would go dark in between each song and then come back up for the next song with a new video clip, new light colors, different patterns on the lasers that were being projected on the wall of the upper balcony. The video clips ranged from goldfish and fish tank decorations to lava, and heat camera footage of what I could only assume was a boat that was running drugs. Everything about the visual presentation was absolutely stunning. Vince staples used the visuals in line with his music to deliver a concert that is one that I’m going to remember for a long time.
By: Swap, David, and Basil