Big Sean has been all over the media lately. With his well received Detroit mixtape being released, high-profile features on the latest Lil Wayne single, as well as going in on the track Clique with Jay-Z and Kanye West. With all that music out, he is now embarking on a cross Canada tour dubbed Canada is Finally Famous. The tour kicked off here in Vancouver at The Vogue Theatre. The thing about the Vogue is that the shows there are either a huge hit, or a miss. There is no middle ground. I went into this Wednesday night show with high expectations. I had the Detroit mixtape bumping on my headphones walking down Granville.
Once inside the Vogue it was clear that this was indeed an all ages show. I thought – “Isn’t this a fucking school night?”. That being said, a large contingent of under age kids was not enough to keep my mind off of the music I was about to see live. I am a fan of Big Sean. Not like a diehard fan or anything, but I still support the G.O.O.D. Music rapper.
As I walked into the main level of the Vogue, local hip hop act BoomBox Saints were wrapping up their set. Once they left the stage and the house lights dimmed down a bit, a large “BIG SEAN” chant began from the restless crowd. This died down once they realized Big Sean wasn’t coming out right away. An even louder roar erupted as Big Sean’s DJ, DJ Mo Beatz, stepped up behind the decks. He played a quick, but banger filled, set to get the crowd amped. He succeeded, once Big Sean took the stage the crowd was ready.
With a large video screen behind the stage, Big Sean moved to the middle of the stage and a huge white light flashed to the beat behind him. This flash of light provided a great silhouette of the rapper as he began his set. With the Finally Famous trio of mixtapes, along with the Finally Famous album, and the aforementioned Detroit mixtape out, Big Sean has a long list of songs to perform. Like most rappers in today’s era, Big Sean knows that his mixtapes are what got most of these people to be fans of his. It would be hard to say that that fact didn’t heavily influence the track list of the show. Drawing heavily from the Finally Famous trilogy, Big Sean had the crowd moving for his entire 50 minute set.
Being that this was night one of a Canadian tour, some difficulties were to be expected. As a veteran concertgoer, I tend to look for or notice these things. Aside from one HUGE technical difficulty, the show went off with almost no hitches. The sounds man was on point all night. The lights were doing there thing in time. The one problem that arose was with one of the smoke machines. These weren’t like the smoke machines that had set up at prom. They were like smoke guns that shot smoke up into the air, nearly to the ceiling. After the initial blast from them at the start of the show, one of the “guns” didn’t turn off. It just kept spewing smoke up to the sky. It went on until it ran out of “juice”. Like I said, it was the first show. Chances are this won’t happen on the rest of the Canada is Finally Famous Tour.
That being a “low point” of sorts, I will now give you my high point of the concert. It is a tie. One of the highs was when Big Sean treated us to the first ever live performance of the track Clique. Sure, Kanye and Jay-Z weren’t there to do their verses. That aside, the beat was still just as infectious, and of course Big Sean killed it on his verse.
The other high point was the last pair of songs of the show. Big Sean did a verse on the Lil Wayne track Mercy. At the end DJ Mo Beatz sped it up. Then faster. Then FASTER. Then out of nowhere he snuck in the start to the track Dance (A$$). The crowd went nuts. But then, just as fast as the night hit the climax, it was over.
Was this show a home run? Was it a dud? It was neither. It was a middle of the road hip hop show. I was treated to many of my favourite Big Sean songs (RWT and Do What You Gotta Do). Big Sean didn’t blow me away with any freestyles. His DJ only showed some brilliance at the end blending Mercy and Dance. The stage show would have been A+, but the smoke machine faltered. I’m not saying the show was bad, I’m just saying it wasn’t great.