When @Wale comes to town, it is a must that you are in attendance. Thursday night, the #SimplyNothingTour slid into Houston smooth like. Despite Jack Frost being disrespectful to the best of them, concert attendees made there way to the House of Blues to witness what can now be described as greatness. Wale has always been on my list of artists to see live. He gave us “Sunshine” and “Curse of the Gifted”, “The Followers”. There are very few artists that are in love with the craft and the very fibers of creating music. Even fewer can translate that love into a great performance.
Never has a line-up flowed so effortlessly. From Roosh Williams to Chaz French and Bizzy Crooks, the line up made sense. @AudioPush was my fave. The hot duo out of Cali had the crowd jumping. Performing hits such as “Repping” and “Quick Fast” among other favorites, the fans embraced their sound and the culture . Their stage presence is to be marveled. It was polished , but uncontained. They were the perfect choice to precede Wale.
As the blue light cast itself upon the arena, bass danced throughout. The DJ made us honorary MMG affiliates as he played sounds from the camp, but not before keeping it H-town with “Southside”. And as anticipation swelled,the hale beat of “Legendary” requested Wale’s presence. Humbly obliging, he entered. The unparalleled sound of the live band took each song to the next level. Performing “Chain Music” and “The Deep End”, Wale was just getting started. The intoxicating rhythm of “Pretty Girls” and “Lotus Flower Bomb” had us grooving. “Loyalty” tested the breadth of fans knowledge regarding his latest work. With quirky dance moves and sincere passion, Wale gave us Wale. It wasn’t commercialized or gimmicky. It was pure. He let the ladies know that if he calls you his sis and you aren’t related, he plans on hitting as he transitioned into “Friendship Heights”. “The Break Up Song” and “Don’t Hold Your Applause” were my favorites. Scanning the venue, I could see the crowd go word for word as he performed “Bad” and “90210”. Spitting the bars to “The Body”, fans were challenged to belt the chorus to “You Remind Me Of Something” [R. Kelly]. Songs such as “Bait” and “Clappers” had us going up. Lacing us with a freestyle or two, the naysayers and critics didn’t matter. He was at home. Houston had him for the night. He indulged with us. Wale couldn’t close his set without performing his infamous verse on “No Hands”. Sliding across the stage like MJ in his prime, Wale brought the entire line up out once again for his rendition of the Soul Train line. Audio Push took us out one last time with “Quick Fast”.
Many artists lose the culture that made them who they are. Wale has not. Infusing the unequivocal sound of “Go-Go” music with bars eloquently wrapped in metaphors, Wale has enough lyrical presents to last a lifetime. His emotion transcended the barriers of studio mixed sound. It enveloped us. If you have never seen Wale perform, check him out. It’s worth every penny.