Article By: Max Rothstein
Photography By: Jeremy Elder
G-Eazy’s sensational show at the 1st Bank Center proved that he is on the right track to achieving the legend status he’s working towards. As fans packed themselves like sardines into the arena, you could overhear conversations about their excitement and also about how many times they’ve seen the rapper perform (rather than if they’ve seen him at all). After phenomenal performances by openers Phora and Trippie Redd, fans were in no need of a breather before Young Gerald came on. “G-Eazy” chants shook the venue for 20 minutes until finally Halsey’s seductive prerecorded voice announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen,” and a parental advisory warning appeared on the backdrop reading, “Attention. What you are about to witness contains explicit language, irresponsible behavior and themes of sex, drugs and self destruction. It will thrill you. It may shock you.” The crowd went ballistic as the moment finally came for the show to start. The words, “Act I: The Beautiful” beamed throughout the arena as the title track of his newest album, “The Beautiful & Damned,” began playing. The backdrop displayed ominous red clouds and apocalyptic-like fire as smoke filled the floor of the stage. Towards the end of the chorus, the six foot four and devilishly handsome rapper swaggered on stage dressed entirely in black soaking in his rightfully earned cheers. When the moment came for him to deliver his first verse, he put everything he had into delivering a tone-setting introduction to his concert; jumping up and down with his audience and not letting a sore throat limit him giving all the power and emotion he had to his words.
He followed with “Pray For Me” and replaced “Hollywood” in the choruses with “Colorado” and “Denver” (which the crowd absolutely loved). The rest of the 13-song first act was mostly packed with material from The Beautiful & Damned but also contained songs from his previous projects such as “Lotta That,” which fans belted over Eazy, and very relaxed “Some Kind of Drug.” He ended this part of the show with “The Outsider” before walking of for a quick wardrobe change.
The backdrop announced “Act II: & Damned” and “Leviathan” started playing as Young Gerald, now dressed in all white, came back onstage and went immediately into his verse, delivering harder than he did on the album. But that song couldn’t hold a candle to how passionate he was performing “Random.” He put his whole body into the track as he threw himself across every centimeter of the stage. The only other song that could compete with “Random” was the closing track to the act, “Eazy.” Inspired by Ray Allen’s letter to his younger self, G-Eazy speaks to his younger self as well at critical moments in his career. Before he got ready to close the second set, he had a heart-to-heart moment with the 1st Bank Center genuinely thanking Colorado for constantly being there to support his career from the early days of packing 30 person bars to the current moment. The backdrop displayed a montage of his career that I can confidently say moved everyone. Suddenly the stage went dark and the audience begged for an encore. It wasn’t long until “Act III: Epilogue” illuminated every inch of the arena and Halsey’s voice made another appearance singing, “Cross my heart, hope to die…” making the crowd go its craziest of the whole show. Young Gerald walked back onstage one more time and performed with the same standard of passion as he had for “The Beautiful & Damned.” He followed the platinum ballad with “Me, Myself and I” and then “No Limit.”
I had always been a fan of G-Eazy’s music. But after the tremendous show he put on, I fell in love with his work all over again. The amount of passion that he puts into his shows is not only the mark of a great performer, but also of someone who’s worked really hard to get where he is and doesn’t take the limelight for granted.