As my photographer/ friend and I got in line for Monday night’s show, we were instantly struck by just how young the crowd around us was. We joked that some of the kids couldn’t have been more than seven but, honestly, I’m not quite sure we were that far off. As we made our way into First Avenue- our home away from home- we made our way through the crowd and up to the side of the stage where the photographers hang out. With doors at 6:30, we assumed music would be at 7:30 but, as 7:30 came and went, we got word that music wasn’t going to start until closer to 8. We grabbed our bags and headed upstairs to grab a drink (at all ages shows you aren’t allowed to drink on the main floor which is usually a bit disappointing but was a blessing in disguise last night).
As we made our way up the stairs, we quickly realized that upstairs was a ghost town and after we grabbed out drinks, we made our way to the railing so we could watch the crowd. Even though I go to a million shows, I rarely stand at a place where I can watch the entire crowd. I typically stand on the floor and watch the chaos happening around me but with upstairs being so empty, last night gave me a chance to get a different perspective. I watched as the crowd swelled creating an almost lava lamp like visual. There was nothing happening on the stage yet randomly there would be a huge swell in the sold-out crowd that had people falling over or having people begging security to get them out of the sweaty mess (which security did swiftly and safely– God bless the First Avenue staff). After a good two hours of anticipation, the screen blocking the stage finally came up and two performers took the stage.
Nothing was said but the beats started bumping from the speakers in the venue. The crowd instantly erupted into an even sweatier mess than it had been and I watched in awe as the young kids jumped up and down as the clutched their phones trying to get video, Snapchats, Instagrams and whatever other cool app kids are using these days. It wasn’t the headlining act, just the opening DJ and what seemed to be a hype man but the crowd didn’t care. They were giving these two kids everything they had and it had me a bit worried if they would have any energy left for the headliner. The DJ played through a quick set of music that I didn’t recognize but I seemed to be alone in that department. I asked the mom (she literally had a son in the audience) next to me if she knew anything about the tracks blaring through the speakers. There were some Lil Peep songs (RIP), Lil Yachty– I bunch of names that, although I recognized them, I didn’t recognize the songs. After a couple minutes of the DJ, the lights went down and Lil Pump made his way on stage to screeching, screaming, Snapchat-taking fans.
Lil Pump is a 17 year old megastar that seems to have hit his stride thanks to some singles on SoundCloud that caught like wildfire. In a world of up and coming rappers (who all inexplicably use the name “Lil”), Lil Pump seems to be the one poised to take over the kingdom that Lil Peep left behind due to his untimely death. The music is harsh and inappropriate at times but the beats behind Lil Pump’s music are nothing short of infectious. Whether you listen to rap music or not, there’s no way to not move around a little bit when listening to his music. With only one mixtape and a couple of singles out there, Lil Pump really didn’t have much material to perform leaving the crowd with a set lasting less than thirty minutes but that didn’t seem to affect the young concert goers. Although his set was short, it was full of energy that was impossible to ignore. I watched as Lil Pump danced across the stage and, at one point, even climbed the stack of speakers hanging from the ceiling on the side of the stage like a monkey.
The crowd was eating out of the palm of this youngster’s hand, and he knew it. Although I walked into the show on Monday not quite knowing what to expect and with a less than favorable opinion on the music of Lil Pump, within just a song or two I was sold and, instead of being confused by the hype, found myself joining in on it. Sure, maybe I’ll never be the biggest fan of this “emo-trap” movement but I definitely have a new appreciation for it after watching Lil Pump do his thing on that stage in front of a completely sold out crowd.