Monday, December 10, 2012 at 6 a.m.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Like some cruel joke from mother nature, how ironic was that we had our first major snowfall the same night the so-called "Snowman," also known as Young Jeezy, stepped foot into town.
Young Jeezy (or just Jeezy) has been one of the South's biggest rappers over the last ten years, releasing some 40-plus singles and numerous mixtapes. He's got the stamp of approval from heavyweights like Jay-Z, Kanye West and Sean Combs. He's a hustler no doubt, he puts in work, and his resume proves that. This was Jeezy's fourth Twin Cities appearance in the last three years and judging from the show, maybe he should take some time off.
Around 11 p.m., there was a line already around the block. Brave women wearing dangerous short dresses and skirts even though it's about 20 degrees outside, but they don't care. Inside, the main floor was jam-packed but the VIP floor had some breathing room. The smell of cold air and kush wafts throughout the two levels of the club, while security pounds and gives hugs to regular patrons. One guy was running around claiming "Chicago!" all night loudly boasting his pride for his city, until he tripped down the stairs and face planted onto the floor to the amusement of those around.
ATG DJs warmed up the crowd. When they stopped the music for random promotion announcements, it disturbed the groove a little. DJ Enferno kept people entertained with Instagram games and energy until Jeezy hit the stage.
Just after 12:30, Jeezy hit the stage wearing a black winter coat, black t-shirt and black jeans with his trademark black shades. The crowd erupted with anticipation as dollars rained down from the VIP level onto the main floor. Jeezy started off strong and energized that lasted about 30 minutes, with a set that was like a live mix tape, full of short songs with the emphasis on the hooks. Strong performances of "Go Crazy", "I Luv It" and "Go Getta" kept the crowd pumping at first.
Midway point of the performances, something happened. Jeezy got tired, bored or just didn't give a fuck. Showing more enthusiasm and presence on his newer songs and seeming bored with the older tracks. Like on "Soul Survivor" he basically let the crowd take over to chant the hook and let the recorded backing vocals take the lead while he did drops off and on and walked around the stage.
To make up for the severe lackluster performance from Jeezy, the crowd picked up the pace and energy and became the major entertainer that night. The near sell-out crowd knew every word, and yelled them out with energy all night. The right and left wings of the venue turned into competing dance sections.
Groups of people took turns walking about to the music proudly, Jeezy become background noise to the main attraction of drinking, fighting and flirting. Carrot Top could have been on stage with a Casio keyboard and I don't think anyone would of noticed by this point of the night.
Jeezy became so unimportant on stage, the lights turned on around 1:30 and no one seemed to notice that he had left. Everyone was too busy with their own performance that night -- which included three fights, an impromptu fashion show and extreme holleration from both sexes. A fun night for the patrons, but you could have been at any bar downtown and got the same effect.
It's clear why Jeezy has been here so much over the years -- it's easy money. Sell some major tickets, put on a half-assed show and leave the city a little richer. That's game. That's hustle. The question is when is Minneapolis going to wake up and realize we are the ones getting hustled? If he pulled this kind of show in any other major city, cups and bottles would be thrown on stage. He would have had his card yanked and booed off.
The Crowd: The crowd was the best part of the show. Heads were having a great time, oblivious to everything around them, they wanted to have a good time and most people did. While the City of Minneapolis is driving out all the downtown "urban" nightclubs, you can tell that the patrons appreciate a rare night partying downtown again, and you got to give some respect to Epic for continuing to throw shows despite pressure from City Hall.
Random Detail: One of the more entertaining aspects of the night was bar close and watching women wearing high heels battle the ice and fail as many ended up ass down on 2nd Avenue. Many cars stopped at the lights honked in approval.
Overheard: One tall fellow was posted up at one of the VIP bars surrounded by girls all night, he story was that he played for the Denver Nuggets and was in town and just got done playing the Timberwolves. I think stretch should watch Sports Center more carefully. The Cleveland Cavaliers were in town that night and lost to the Wolves. Denver is not in town until Wednesday night. Oops. But it worked; he walked out with two girls at the end of the night.
Personal Bias: I really wanted to like this show and gave it my all and ignored most things that would be sacrilegious at many live concerts, but in the end the awful performance by Jeezy overpowered the night. I think his laptop got more of a workout than he did. It's no secret that Minneapolis is an "easy money" city for mid major artists for all genres, but mostly in the Rap genre. You can get away with more here than say St. Louis or Denver. You can sleepwalk on stage and get paid headlining money and fly off to Chicago for a real show. That's just how it is though and it's probably not changing any time soon.