Scenes From Friday Night's Paul Wall Show at the Prophet Bar.
Backstage in the green room at the Prophet Bar on Friday night, Paul Wall was easy to miss.
Despite his reputation, the Houston rapper's a rather unassuming presence in person. He's calm, hardly boastful. He rocks his token grill, of course — but, beyond that, he just kind of is.
And that's how he was on this night — right up until he got noticed. His show was still 45 minutes or so away, but, already, his fans in the green room unofficially started lining up to take pictures with him. And, patiently, he acquiesced to each request.
Actually, that's kind of how this whole night went. All throughout Wall's headlining set, the rapper expertly interacted with his crowd, acting more like a new artist still intent on building a fanbase than a long-established one content to rest on his laurels. The performance was filled with personalized shout-outs to his audience. There was no rush.
Earlier in the night, the show's main support, favored Oak Cliff rapper Dustin Cavazos, was a little more rushed. His performance was solid, but mired with technical difficulties during his act and the fact that much of the crowd mostly wanted to see Wall's following display.
And after greeting his fans with a smile that put his grill on full blast, Wall was happy to oblige that demand, too.
But the previously foreshadowed technical difficulties persisted. Nothing from the DJ booth was transferring to the speakers. Instead, the crowd was forced to tolerate minutes of tech conversations between the sound engineers and the scrambling DJs.
Wall, to his credit, handled the situation impossibly well. Unfazed, he didn't even look back at the DJ booth. Instead, he went straight to the edge of his stage, took selfies with groups and individuals, engaged in full-on conversations and swapped flashes of tattoos with his more inked-up audience members. Through it all, he maintained a positive attitude — even as the wait got longer and longer.
And when he finally gave in and approached the DJ booth to see how he could help, he still kept an optimistic outlook, never once even showing the smallest hint of anger. And, finally, once all was fixed, the show began again.
From there, it was smooth sailing. And at the end of the night, Wall's fans stumbled out of the venue, fully satisfied with songs they'd heard — yes, he played all the hits — and, perhaps even more so, the love they'd received from the artist himself.
It balanced out.