Hoodie Allen at the House of Blues San Diego

Hoodie Allen brought fun, food, and games alongside a fantastic set at the San Diego House of Blues!

The House of Blues San Diego welcomed rapper Hoodie Allen for his Hanging with Hoodie Tour 2018 on Friday, September 21, 2018. This tour allowed all fans who purchased a general admission ticket to meet Hoodie Allen at no cost, as well as releasing VIP tickets for dedicated and long-time fans. The small and intimate venue was decorated to highlight the carnival theme of this tour with circus games, raffle tickets, and prizes for fans to enjoy.

To start off the show, the opening act, Gianni & Kyle, energized the crowd with a few of their popular songs like, “5 Shots” and “Do You Even Miss Me At All?”. The duo’s 45 minute set allowed fans to build up enough adrenaline to prepare for their favorite headliner, Hoodie Allen.

Kyle of the rap duo, Gianni and Kyle, singing to the crowd

 

Gianni of the rap duo, Gianni and Kyle, patting his chest while following along to their song, “Do You Even Miss Me At All?”

 

Now, as an absolute “super-fan” of Steven Markowitz (aka Hoodie Allen), I had to opt in for the VIP purchase to get the ultimate experience. With the purchase of VIP, fans are able to take photos with the artist, obtain a signed Polaroid photo memento, receive a drawstring bag with small goodies from the tour, get the opportunity to purchase merchandise first, and were given “first dibs” for standing in the front row when the artist performs. Based on my experience, I was very pleased with the organization of this concert, including Hoodie Allen’s very respectful crew. I was able to talk to him in-between photos and, to my surprise, he even remembered me from the last time I saw him back in 2016.

Front row view before Hoodie Allen performs

Before the set, I had the pleasure of noting that this particular fan base was incredibly friendly. And contrary to typical concerts, their was not a single form of violence or negative behavior even suggested . Everyone amongst the crowd, including myself, made new friends and discussed how long they had been fans of Hoodie Allen. Based on my quick survey with the fans around me, a majority of fans wanted to hear Hoodie perform his 2012 single, “No Interruption.”

When the show began, I’ll admit, I had my own “fan-girl” moment and started screaming in excitement when he began his performance with his 2012 single, “Eighteen Cool;” a song which set the tone his the remainder of the night. Considering the fact that this venue was intimate enough to fit approximately 150-200 fans, concert-goers were consistently able to get clips and photos throughout his set. Additionally, two of the songs which Hoodie performed came straight from his new EP that will be announced & released sometime this year; the tracks, “Wasting All My Time” and “Operation”, were performed for the very first time on this tour in preparation for the release of his as-of-yet unnamed EP. As the night continued, he performed the short version of older tracks such as, “The Chase Is On”, “James Franco”, and “You Are Not Robot”.

Hoodie Allen talking to fans and crew about what song should be played next

In addition to performing, Hoodie Allen included multiple interactive event for fans to participate in. For this show, Hoodie Allen brought out some games for fans to play. The first game had fans spinning his carnival wheel, which allowed 1 lucky fan to determine which bonus song would be performed on this leg of the tour. For San Diegans, the wheel landed on the song, “Show Me What You’re Made Of”, which brought immense happiness to his older fans. He also included a trivia buzzer game, where two fans competed one-on-one on their knowledge about the the artist; the prize being Hoodie Allen caking the loser of the trivia game.

Now, if you are not educated on the Hoodie Allen tour traditions, here’s a fun fact for you. Fans will purchase cakes and decorate them to give to Hoodie’s backstage crew for one sole reason: to throw them into the audience during the show. This tradition started because of Hoodie’s well-known song, “Cake Boy,” which later lead to fans preparing ahead of time to avoid getting cake all over them.

As we have all learned over-time, all concerts must come to an end with the most popular song the artist has released. To my surprise, Hoodie Allen performed two encore songs to ensure this concert ended at an all-time high. The songs, “No Faith in Brooklyn” and “No Interruption” were the absolute best song choices to end Hoodie’s San Diego tour stop.

Overall, I was very happy with my experience seeing my favorite artist, Hoodie Allen, perform once again in San Diego. The atmosphere remained positive all night long thanks to the fans’ respect towards the artist and one another. Anyone whose interested in listening to an up-and-coming artist should definitely give Hoodie Allen a chance. Hopefully he’ll make you a forever fan as well.

Reviewed by: Sofia Gomez
Photos by: Sofia Gomez

A Year In Concert Review (Or More Like Half A Year)

2016 is winding down and it’s been quite the year to say the least. Unfortunately, I was MIA from the concert scene for the first half of the year due to insufficient funds. However, the second half of the year was enough to fulfill all of my concert needs.

August- Flogging Molly

Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater at SDSU

This concert was an early birthday present from my brother and it was incredible. The open air theater is not my favorite venue because if you have cheap seats, it’s difficult to see the stage. However, the dancing middle aged adults and great Irish music made the literal height of the seats manageable. I always welcome an excuse to celebrate my Irish heritage, other than wearing green and eating copious amounts of potatoes.

 

October- Yellowcard

House of Blues

Even if you don’t know me, a quick click on any one of my social media accounts will tell you that I am OBSESSED with the band Yellowcard. So, I was obviously biased going into this concert. I loved it, aside from their new music which is sub-par at best. This show was advertised as their last show in San Diego ever, but they have since added another San Diego show in March. Although I am a die-hard fan, I was really off put by what seems like a ploy for more money.

 

November- Watsky

SOMA

I’d never been to SOMA before this show, but there’s nothing really exciting to say about the venue. It’s got a warehouse kind of vibe, which would definitely be cool at a punk kind of show, but this was a white rapper kind of show. The phrase “white rapper” gets a negative connotation typically and rightfully so (cough, cough G-Eazy). George Watsky changed my opinion on this as his rap really leans into the poetry aspect of rhythm and poetry (aka rap) and he is accompanied by an actual band. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this show, I highly recommend checking out Watsky.

 

November- Iration

Del Mar Fairgrounds

Iration seems to be the perfect musical sound for the San Diego area, cool and calm. Did I already say cool? That needs to be stated multiple times. This concert happened immediately following the horse races at the Del Mar Racetracks, which is important to note because that brings a cast of interesting characters to the show. This includes high class San Diego race goers wearing fancy hats and smoking jackets as well as the hordes of college students pretending to be them. Then there were people like me, dressed in dark colors, solely there for the music. Anyways, this was my favorite concert of the year because I really felt the music. It was one of those unexplainable music moments; I will always be able to look back on that day and remember exactly how I felt listening to my favorite song, “Falling”. My holiday wish to all of you is that you get to experience one of these unforgettable moments, whether it be at a concert or at home with your family this holiday season.

 

The South Still Has Something to Say

The San Diego music scene blessed by some true southern talent as Mississippian rapper Big K.R.I.T made his last California stop at the North Park Theater this Thursday for his Kritically Acclaimed Tour. His hour set featured live drums and bass as well as accompanied by million dollar DJ, DJ Dibiase who played from a stage set up to look like an 1986 Cadillac. I mean, how much cooler can this show get? Soul singer Mara Hruby also made an appearance as she accompanied K.R.I.T. for the song “Do You Love Me” off of his album Cadillactica released about a year ago in November of 2014.

Big K.R.I.T. rises from a region that has earned its reputation for being home to some of the most talented hip hop artists. Outkast, Master P., Goodie Mob, U.G.K., Ludacris, Nelly and Three 6 Mafia are just some that I can think of right now. Southern hip-hop artists are known for representing their hometowns while staying away from the divide West Coast rappers and East Coast rappers created among each other in the 90’s. We saw this when Andre 3,000, member of well-known rap duo Outkast spoke out against this at the 1995 Source Awards as he and Big Boi were booed while receiving their Best New Rap Group award. He put aside the hatred and made it clear their music was the only thing that mattered  by letting everyone know that, “the South got somethin’ to say.” Ever since then artists from that region became far more respected and to this day continue to grow, thrive and add they’re own flavor to hip hop culture. I like to think of it as the perfect mixture of the G-funk sound and southern music.

At his show Big K.R.I.T. represented his home well by setting off the crowd with songs like “Counrty Sh*#“, “Mt. Olympus” and “King of the South“. He brought southern rap’s cultured and soulful sounds to San Diego and his fans enjoyed every minute. The live bass and drums were the cherry on top as they exemplify Southerner’s influence and appreciation for live music. His openers also held down for the South with featured artists like Scotty ATL and DeLoreanBJ the Chicago Kid who’s home is not far from the southern hip hop scene was also a part of the talented set list. Nothing but straight up knock and slap. Last night  reassures modern West Coast hip hop fans how much the South can teach us about rap music. The crowd also let the artists know that the West Coast can definitely vibe with whatever the South has to say.

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“What’s good for hip hop may not be good for my soul, so I keep flexin’, wreckin’, for the people that respect it. Check it, f*#k a control.” -Big K.R.I.T.