Concert Review: Kendrick Lamar


Kendrick Lamar brought life to the Patriot Center at his live performance this past month in Fairfax, Virginia. A mild Tuesday night nearing the end of April, the electrifying, packed venue suggested a Saturday of midsummer. Made up of a diverse mixture of George Mason University’s student body, the mesmerized crowd radiated energy as it sang and danced to Kendrick’s flawless live verses. All in attendance seemed to forget that the evening fell directly in the middle of a high stress, end-of-the-semester school week.

The concert was part of a large college tour featuring the talents of rapper Kendrick Lamar and electro house musician Steve Aoki. After hitting the road on April 4, the tour reached a total of 27 college campuses. Each stop, however, was not graced with both performers. Despite this performance schedule leaving a solo Kendrick Lamar for the Patriot Center, this certainly didn’t kill the vibe for the students of GMU. Born and raised in Compton, California, Kendrick began his career at the age of sixteen with the release of his first mixtape through TopDawg Entertainment, rapping under the pseudonym “K.Dot.” Since then, he continues to represent the west coast rap scene, but chooses instead to use his birth name. Kendrick Lamar’s style, with its smooth delivery, powerful lyrics, and heavy bass, offers a refreshing return to what makes hip-hop music so great. These aspects were only enhanced in his live performance.

Songs performed were mainly selections from albums Good Kid M.A.A.D. City and Section. 80, including radio hits such as Swimming Pools (Drank), Poetic Justice, and Don’t Kill My Vibe, as well as other less well-known jams including Money Trees, and encore performance of Cartoon & Cereal, and three performances of Madd City, as the crowd demanded. Despite Aoki’s absence, the audience fed off the energy on stage, and vice versa.

In a perfect testament to the night’s vitality, Kendrick tweeted, “George Mason University got the title. Madd City 3x 2night. Yawk Yawk Yawk!!!” Not only did Kendrick connect with fans at the concert through Twitter, but he also showed love and hyped up screaming audience members by passing water bottles through the crowd after first taking a sip himself.

The realness of Kendrick’s music fuels his widespread appeal translated flawlessly to the stage, making this artist a must-hear, both live and otherwise.

Learn more about Kendrick Lamar, including interviews, tour dates, and albums at his official website.

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