Before Noname took to the stage, her opener Elton was a sight to behold. Elton has the vocal range to make it big. Elton was a challenge to shoot due to how much energy he had. Elton had the fans engaged, from making them laugh to giving out free t-shirts in an effort to hype the crowd up even more. Elton’s indie-styled raps and flows held the crowd’s attention and yet had everyone on their feet, dancing with him.
I’m just going to jump right in and say Noname was freaking awesome. Most artists interact with their audience in a limited manner. They perform; the crowd sings along; the artist makes a note about how the fans know the song and what not, and that’s about it. But Noname was different! She paused multiple songs just to speak to her fans like regular human beings. The concert vibe felt like a house party. Noname even free-styled to the beat of “Song 31.” The theme of the concert followed the concept from her current album Room 25. I couldn’t help but notice the sign that hung from the stage resembled the neon sign for a broken down motel.
Noname skipped onto the stage and opened her set with “Self,” the opening track to her album Room 25. The song is the perfect opener since it’s soulful, yet boisterous. This song, along with the fact that her band was nearly all male, was a sight to see. Noname rapped “My pussy teachin’ ninth-grade English/my pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism/ and y’all still thought a bitch couldn’t rap huh?” Noname was bold and unforgiving in letting her personality shine through. She showed her newfound power as a woman and an artist as she performed songs from Room 25. An example of this would be the fact that there was a chair for Noname to sit and perform but she never sat down. Instead, Noname hopped from one end of the stage to the other, laughing and smiling, interacting with not only her fans but her band mates as well.
Noname performed about 12-15 songs this night, but her set never felt rushed. For an artist that raps about real-world issues, her set delivered light to what would have been an otherwise boring night. She let her music do all the talking, and everyone listened.