Scene's From Last Night's Almost Disastrous Lupe Fiasco Show at Granada Theater.
Lupe Fiasco's first Dallas show in over three years seemed like it was doomed from the beginning.
In just the second song of his set, the Chicago rapper, whose “Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour” only kicked off last week on November 1, quickly grew frustrated with his DJ, whose MacBook seemed to be lagging and throwing off the artist's rhythm with the tracks.
After a few glares, Fiasco eventually threw his hat toward the DJ and told him to just cut the music. The rapper then paced back and forth on stage for a bit, appearing to grow more and more frustrated before finally yelling at the DJ, “Reboot your shit!” then walking off the stage — instead of the more obvious choice of explaining to the audience, y'know, that technical difficulties happen sometimes.
The fans in the audience, who produced an air of genuine anticipation for Fiasco's set and for the most part packed the Granada Theater, were thrown and began to boo either the DJ for the technical issues or Fiasco for walking off the stage so quickly for what appeared to be minor technical issues — it was tough to tell.
After the grumbling settled, Fiasco finally returned to the stage and decided to just work through the issues his DJ was having. But there would be plenty more of them that Fiasco would call out in front of the audience.
The set was tainted; Fiasco was visibly angry by this point, continuously shaking his head, balling his fists and glaring at his DJ. At one point, the rapper even lashed out about the lights being too dim on stage.
Little did Fiasco know at that point, though, that he had a savior in the crowd who'd make his night and, in turn, improve everyone else's. Fiasco noticed the audience member shortly after returning to the stage as he ran through tracks from Lasers, Food & Liquor II and some newer cuts from his upcoming fifth album, Tetsuo & Youth, due to be released early 2014. The audience member caught Fiasco's attention as he recited each lyric to each song back to him with the enthusiasm of a true fanatic. For most of the songs performed, Fiasco repeatedly returned to the young guy and performed the songs with him, smiling and seemingly cooling down from his earlier frustrations.
As well received as Fiasco's latest material was, his run of tracks from his first two albums, Food & Liquor and The Cool, were what most effectively changed the attitude of the room. With the performance of each of these more recognizable tracks — Kanye West's “Touch The Sky,” 2006's breakout hit “Kick, Push” and 2007's Top 10 single, “Superstar” — Fiasco seemed more and more at ease, and more comfortable than at any point earlier in the night.
Later, in a sign of appreciation, Fiasco pulled his favorite crowd member and adoring fan on stage with him to perform the final song of the night. It was an endearing moment, and Fiasco was all smiles during the song, as his special guest was so clearly enjoying his moment on stage with his hero. He even held his own with the headliner, rapping the second verse of the track.
It was about as high a point as the show could've ended on. But, even as the crowd filed out, multiple people commented that it wasn't enough.
For many, Fiasco's misbehavior at the show's start set too high an unfortunate hurdle for him to overcome. Considering that tickets to the show cost $49, well, that's probably fair — even if an opening set from Ohio rapper Stalley helped justify some of the costs.