Concert Review: A$AP Rocky & Tyler, the Creator Light Up The NRG Arena Stage

Just a day before A$AP Rocky’s 27th birthday, he gave Houston a wild night with a star-studded line-up that included Tyler, the Creator, Danny Brown, and Vince Staples.

The night kicked off early around 7:20 PM when Taco, the DJ for Tyler’s set, played some tracks to get the crowd pumped up. After playing some hype tracks from “Energy” to “Alright,” he headed off to give Vince Staples the stage.

Despite being the smallest name on the tour, Vince got an enormous round of applause and screams when he came out. It was obvious that he has some die-hard fans out on the floor. Staples spent a majority of his time on stage playing songs off his most recent album, “Summertime ‘06,” like “Lift Me Up,”  “Norf Norf,” and “Mamacita,” along with crowd pleasers like “65 Hunnid (Hell Can Wait)” and “Blue Suede.” Once he was done he wished Houston a good night and gave way to Danny Brown. Watch part of his performance of Norf Norf below.

If you have never seen Danny Brown live, you need to. This man had energy like no other. You wouldn’t believe what you were in for as soon as he stepped out onto the stage. With a big cheesy smile and a “what’s up Houston?!,” Danny took the energy in the arena up another notch. Brown performed many of his big hits like “Smokin & Drinkin,” “25 Bucks,” and “Dip” and a personal favorite of mine that he is featured on, “Attak” by Rustie.

After Danny Brown had finished up his set I was itching in anticipation to see Tyler, the Creator for the second time this year. He recently had a show in Houston during the summer at Warehouse Live, but I was expecting a completely different atmosphere since this was at the NRG arena. There was a much longer wait for Tyler but it was very much worth the time once the lights shone on top of a playful set up including toy blocks spelling out “GOLF” and “TYLER” and a life-size toy box that I could only guess was for him to use for his song “IFHY.”

Accompanied by his friends and hype men, Taco and Jasper, Tyler commanded the crowd to his pleasing with songs ranging from all his past albums. He started off with a loud and bass-bumping “Deathcamp” from Cherry Bomb, a crowd favorite performance of “Yonkers” from Bast*rd, and songs from Wolf like “Bimmer,” “Jamba,” and “Domo 23.” Just like I guessed he soon used the life-sized toy box to give a theatrical performance of “IFHY.”

 

To my dismay he didn’t play too many songs from Cherry Bomb except for “DEATHCAMP” and “SMUCKERS.” However, in a hilarious incident to start off “Rella,” Tyler’s DJ Taco accidentally messed up the intro to the song and threw Tyler off his game. Watch a snippet of the accident in the tweet below.

By the time Tyler finished up, it took a good 20 to 30 minutes for Rocky’s stage to be set up, though it felt even longer as the crowd became more and more anxious as they stared upon nothing but a black curtain covering the main platform. Finally, when the lights turned off and it was nothing but pitch black in the arena, everybody knew who to expect.

 

The curtain gradually lifted up to show an amazing visual set up of a three story platform with 2 DJs on each side of the second story. Lights and projectors immediately gave life to the platform as he began with the hard-hitting intro of “JD.” The audience was at the peak of its energy as he transitioned from “JD” to “Multiply” and “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2 (LPFJ2).” In contrast to his electrifying start, Rocky slowed it down by shouting out to all the “trippy people” in the crowd and performed “L$D” and “Excuse Me.” Rocky gave love to some older hits of his as well such as “Shabba” and “Goldie” that thrilled the die hard A$AP Mob fans in the audience. Adding on to his amazing platform which he paced back and forth, up and down onto,  Rocky had cannons that fired out dollar bills with A$AP Yams face on it to his song “M’$.” Amongst the dollar bills, he had also paid homage to his mentor by repeatedly shouting out “Long live A$AP Yams, long live A$AP Yams / Long live A$AP Yams, I’m on that codeine right now” off Future’s song “Slave Master” from Dirty Sprite 2.

To end one of the most epic concerts I’ve been to, A$AP Rocky brought on attention to Tyler biking around in the audience who then came onstage and told everyone it was Rocky’s birthday with a “Happy Birthday, f*ck you” towards the main headiner. The DJs then proceeded to play “Birthday Song” by 2 Chainz that had everybody repeating back the chorus ecstatically.

In response, Rocky brought on a well-known Houston rapper who was also celebrating their birthday – Maxo Kream.

There’s no way to easily sum up Friday night, but anyone who went would easily agree it was definitely lit.

Watch more short clips of A$AP Rocky’s performance in Houston below.

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