Lupe Fiasco & N*E*R*D at St. John’s University

Lupe Fiasco & N*E*R*D

Date: April 24th, 10p

Venue: St. Johns University, Queens, NY

Ticket Price: $20

Rating: Loved It!

All you have to say is Lupe Fiasco! I’m there. I have seen him perform several times since his debut album Food & Liquor officially released in the Fall of 2006. I remember hearing his cameo on Kanye West’s Touch the Sky single (Late Registration) and wondered “Who is this kid?” Lucky for me, my Chicago friends hooked me up with Lupe’s mixtapes. Once I heard Switch (Science Project), I became an instant fan.

The last time I saw Lupe Fiasco was last summer as the headliner for Coca Cola’s Refresh Your Flow Tour. I was over due for a Lupe fix. So when Lupe Fiasco’s 2009 College Tour with N*E*R*D pulled in to St. John University’s Carnesecca Arena, I was anxious and overwhelmed with excitement. Up until this point, I had been successful in being front and center at his shows just from getting to the venue earlier than most people would. St John’s brilliant security plan dashed my hopes and dreams of getting any where near the stage. When we arrived at the venue, two hours before doors were going to open, we were faced with two huge lines and miscommunication from members of the event security staff. Many fans with tickets stood in the line for the arena doors only to be told that they needed a wrist band to get in. Thanks a lot. So now, after standing in the wrist band line for two hours and the arena security line for another hour, we were greeted by a huge crowd already formed by the stage. Getting to the stage wasn’t even a consideration. The only option was getting in a good place to see the stage.

I was packed in the middle of the crowd of college students chanting “Lupe, Lupe”. I much rather see Lupe at a smaller venue like SOBs or even The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, but I was eager to see the energy of this crowd. Lupe came out on the stage accompanied by a drummer, his DJ, Simon Sayz, and his right hand man, Bishop G. As expected the crowd went wild. Lupe performed majority songs from his second album The Cool such as Go Go Gadget, Little Weapon ft. Bishop G, Hip Hop Saved My Life, Paris/Tokyo, Hello/Goodbye (one of my personal favorites), and Superstar (the crowd’s favorite). A few tracks from the first album were sprinkled in such as Daydreamin’, Instrumental, I Gotcha, and of course Kick, Push. In a way I was disappointed by the show. It has nothing to do with Lupe’s performance, but more with the choice of songs and the crowd’s response to him. I realize that these are college students, so many of them may not be familiar with the Lupe Fiasco I’m a fan of. I can understand not hearing Switch (Science Project), but couldn’t I have at least gotten Sunshine?!!! The crowd didn’t have as much energy they lead me to believe they would have with their pre-show chanting. I felt out of place most of show dancing and rapping along with Lupe. The energy didn’t peak from the crowd until he performed Superstar. To my surprise there wasn’t a guest appearance from Matthew Santos or Nikki Jean, who have shared the stage with him during many shows I have attended. Really none of that really matters since I got to see a “shirtless” Lupe Fiasco on stage, something I had never seen before in concert.

When N*E*R*D. performed, it was as if I was at a totally different show. I have seen N*E*R*D. twice before and I must say this might have been the craziest experience by far. Put it like this… If you have never experienced a mosh pit before, you will at an N*E*R*D. “the college edition” show! I’m usually good about getting out of the way of those in the mosh pit, but some how I found myself in the middle with a mosh pit on the right and on the left! What do you do? You can either stay and pray or duck out as soon as there is a break between songs! To my surprise, this was just the beginning. Pharrell proudly acknowledge how awesome it was to see two mosh pits rocking, but on the next song he wanted to see both come together. Did that mean right where I was standing was going to be included? Oh hell, you only live once, so I stayed and prayed! There is something about the song Spaz, when it comes on the hype meter goes off the charts. The two mosh pits clearly became one.  The crowd jumped up and down, swayed back and forth. I felt like I was being passed around like a hot potato. It was unbelievable. When you get over the initial shock and fear, the intensity can match that of being on a rollercoster! Oh and I almost forgot to mention, there was a crowd surfer too! N*E*R*D. kept the crowd hype with such songs as Sooner or Later, Kill Joy, Anti Matter, Everyone Nose (All the girls standing in the line for the bathroom), Lapdance, Rock Star and She Likes to Move.

-Dana Bingham
The Concert Junkie

N*E*R*D performs “Spaz” at St. John’s, Queens NY (Lupe Fiasco joins in)

Lupe Fiasco performs “Kick Push” St. John’s, Queens NY

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