Concert Review: Future at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia, PA
The undisputed King Of Hooks in the hip-hop game right now Future came to Philadelphia at the Trocadero Theater on Thursday for his “Honest” tour that featured some hometown Philly love as well as plenty of other performers that helped showcase the rapper’s energetic style of performing. The last time Future was in Philly was on the assist during Drake’s “So You Want a Tour?” tour, and the move from the stadium crowds to a more intimate venue helped prove that Future is a legitimate contender in the rap community and not just an artist who can provide catchy features. In just a few short years, his hip yet still minimal blend of catchy riffs and R&B mixed with hard rap have made him one of the most sought after artists.
Future bust onto the scene in a big way after signing with music industry legend L.A. Reid (responsible for molding the careers of Justin Bieber, Outkast, Rihanna, and more) and his label Epic Records during 2012. After releasing his mixtape Streetz Calling, his first studio album Pluto gave Future the industry singles to enter into the next level of music. After spending multiple years churning out successful feature after feature, Future came loaded with talent for his tour named after his second and latest studio album.
Opening the night was Philly native Newz Huddle, and not wanting to be outdone in his hometown, came with plenty of stage presence and surprises up his sleeve. Newz has been releasing plenty of singles in the past year, using a performance with Dj Spynfo from New York’s Hot 97FM to help motivate him to release new material. Newz performed his new music, ranging from a softer ballad “Real Love”, to the crowd favorite and high octane “Cleaning My Gun Pt. 2”.
The first surprise of the night was when Newz brought out rapper Maino, to perform an acapella version of his song “Girlfriend”. Maino, who found commercial success with the Drake assisted single “All of the Above” in 2009.
The second billed performer Rico Love pulled no punches with a set that was intense from the start, coming out to the song “Acting Up” by Philly’s own Meek Mill, and even though the crowd was happy with the song choice, what really elevated the entire scene was exactly how Love performed his set; the entire music selection was produced live on stage by Love and his three producers (who go by the name Division 1 and are signed to Love’s record label of the same name) by electronic APC beat machines.
Love had plenty of surprises of his own during his time, and it was a family affair as he brought out Tiara Thomas who is signed to his label, to perform her contribution to the radio and commercial smash “Bad” which eventually featured both Wale and Rihanna on it. Thomas stayed on stage afterwards and was joined by another fellow label-mate Young Chris, who just so happens to be another Philly resident. All three performed Love’s current radio single “They Don’t Know” and showed that Division 1 Records has a roster of current talent that may be making more appearances on radio and television in the near future.
When it finally came time for Future to make his entrance, the Trocadero was full, and the smoke from the stage was matched only by the smoke from the crowd who were on tilt; and Future did not disappoint, joining his DJ on tour DJ Esco on stage to perform a string of his latest features including “No Games”, “Karate Chop”, and “Honest”, before finally hitting the single that launched him from mixtape rapper to where he is today “Tony Montana”.
Future hails from Atlanta, GA and brings the raw energy of the streets he grew up on to the stage when he performs. He talked to MTV about just what he had to overcome to get to where he is today:
“When I was around 14 or 15, I got into the streets heavy and I got shot in my right hand. When I got shot, I stopped playing basketball and went harder hustling. My mother hated it. Whatever she wanted me to do, I did the opposite. From the time I was 17 until I was 24, I didn’t talk to my mother because she didn’t like what I was doing. I let the streets raise me.”
It’s the influence from this that may have underscored his latest smash “Move That Dope” featuring Pharell, Pusha T, and another artist who has frequented the Honest tour, Casino. Towards the end of his show, Future stopped to thank the crowd for their latest success and announce that “Move That Dope” had just reached number 7 on the US Hot Rap Songs- Billboard Chart . He wrapped up his show with the crooning ballad “Turn On The Lights”, conspicuously refusing to acknowledge the mother of his child Ciara as he has at past shows, fueling even more speculation that the singer and rapper have gone their separate ways.
The Honest tour started early last month, and wraps up in July in Toronto, Ontario. Still on the tour, Future will be returning to his hometown for a performance at Hot 107.9FM’s Birthday Bash, and a show in Florida featuring not only Kendrick Lamar, but also Dj Khaled and Trey Songz as well. You can still score tickets to see Future perform near you at Ticketmaster.com.