Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, 7-23-13 (photos, review)By Ru Johnson | July 24th, 2013 | 3 comments
Wiz Khalifa is a certified rock star. He wears his tattoos like clothing, his expensive jewelry like accoutrements to his personality and swings his hair with the ferocity of any ’80s heavy metal guitarist. Tuesday at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, the MC from Pittsburgh, Pa., brought the ruckus with grand fury for the “Under the Influence Tour.” The lineup featured Joey Bada$$ and the Pro Era camp, Trinidad James, B.o.B and A$AP Rocky. But even with so much young talent, this was still Wiz’s night.
Heavy on commercial sponsorship (Wiz has a line of Converse coming out at the end of summer), the show became a chronological explanation of his career as one of the most financially successful youngins in the game. With his live band dubbed Kush and Orange Juice, Wiz performed tracks from the mixtape of the same name while weaving in his newer material.
He opened with “Bout Me,” from “O.N.I.F.C.” soon followed by an explosive rendition of “Work Hard.” There was hardly room to breathe between the audience’s bursts of excitement and Khalifa’s exuberant rapping. The first wardrobe change acted as a segue into older material — namely “Say Yeah,” a track recorded when Wiz Khalifa was still a Warner Bros. signee. Shirtless with pin-striped pants, Wiz settled down for “Up,” crooning to the crowd that “everything is better when you’re high.” For all the smoking he does, his voice is intact and solid with his rapid flow and melodic singing on “This Plane” and “Young, Wild and Free.”
The Taylor Gang boss brought out numerous affiliates (Chevy Woods for “Medicated” and Ty Dolla $ign) throughout the show and gave more than one on stage shout out to Amber Rose (Wiz’s wife) who was watching from the audience. The lights, drums and deejaying (DJ Bonics from Pittsburgh) highlighted the roughly hour-long set from Wiz.
Long before Wiz took the stage, medical staff at the venue walked teenagers out of the pit from likely dehydration. As was the scene when A$AP Rocky picked up the mic. Lord Flacco was in rare form, though the altitude appeared to get to him on more than one occasion. Demanding cold water and taking much needed rap assistance from A$AP mob on rowdy tracks like, “Wild For the Night,” the Harlem native was succinct and fresh-faced on stage. A$AP implored the crowd to party with him on more than one occasion and the clouds of smoke were wafting through the air almost on demand. He opened with “1 Train,” and finished strong with “F**kin Problems.”
Though A$AP impressed with his rowdy rhymes, pretty face and “purple” movement, B.o.B stole the glory with the preceding set. He performed “Airplanes,” “Nothing On You” and various radio hits backed by a legion of women dancers. The coolest part of the night hands down was during “Outta My Mind,” when the MC launched off stage and ran, still rapping, through the amphitheater all the way to the lawn seats with security racing after him. Finishing his set in the cheap seats, B.o.B was the night’s champion.
Ru Johnson is an arts and culture music writer living in Denver. You can follow her on Twitter here.