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Lupe Fiasco w/ B.o.B. @ The Rave

April 16, 2010

Apr. 21, 2010
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A Chicago-born MC with a versatile flow and an ear for big hooks, Lupe Fiasco gained his first taste of mainstream exposure on “Touch the Sky” from Kanye West’s Late Registration. A pair of well-received albums for Atlantic Records followed (2006’s Food & Liquor and 2007’s The Cool), expanding his fan base far beyond the Windy City. In advance of his third album, Lasers,due in May, Fiasco’s latest tour stopped at The Rave on Friday.

Preceding Fiasco was B.o.B., an Atlanta rapper backed by a tepid, thoroughly boring rock band. The crowd still seemed to take to them, although the group probably benefited from enthusiasm for the night’s main attraction, as chants of “Lupe, Lupe” began before they had even vacated the stage.

As for the man himself, Fiasco’s energetic, charismatic and infectious performance encapsulated everything that has propelled him to (near) superstardom. He displayed his own rockist bent by adding a live drummer and guitar player to the standard DJ/MC setup, though that only exacerbated the usual sound problems with rap shows at The Rave, namely that the vocals often become buried under a deluge of poorly mixed bass. Despite professing to be rather ill, Fiasco seemed committed to pleasing his fans, warmly recalling his appearance at UW-Milwaukee’s Pantherfest and pouring his all into crowd favorites like “Daydreamin’” and “Superstar.”

Overall it was a solid, satisfying show, given extra appeal by the fact that most other national rap acts seem to omit our fair city from their touring schedules. Still, it wasn’t so impressive that it didn’t allow the opportunity to ponder a few minor distractions, like the omnipresent odor of reefer or the puzzling, somewhat disappointing fact that even though the tour has been dubbed the “Steppin Laser” tour, the show didn’t include a single laser—only an abundance of strobe lights.


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