In addition to the actual performance, Playboi Carti live was an amazing experience. Fans wrapped around the block in the brisk 30°F hours before the show even began. Some laughing and hugging to keep warm and others dancing to Carti’s music off their phone. Upon being let into the Masonic Temple, there’s a chilling red scene against the ornate walls of the theater. I will say, the Vamps showed up! Everyone in the bathroom looked absolutely stunning from subversive basics, balaclavas, shiny black latex to detailed, smokey makeup looks. You would’ve thought you were backstage at a Rick Owens fashion show.
The stage welcomed Ken Carson, Rico Nasty, and finally Playboi Carti himself. Each artist brought high energy onto stage which was evident in the audience. I was in awe by Rico Nasty’s vocal range as she performed “Tia Tamera” and “OHFR?” She added her own screams that made the crowd go all the more wild. So much so that articles of clothing were being thrown up high into the air in the mosh pits.
I already lost my voice and Playboi Carti wasn’t even out yet. But when he did finally walk the stage, I couldn’t help but sing along a little louder. The. fog grew thicker and we could barely make out Carti, except for a small silhouette. His voice and the crowd’s roars were all that were needed. Not wanting to sit, many — including myself — stood in the middle of aisles to get as close as possible. There we excitedly sang along to each lyric of “Sky” and cheesing at one another during “Rockstar Made” None of us felt like strangers in that moment, but all happy Vamps.
In between each song, the rich sound of the bass and organ filled the theater. Like Rico, he also added new ad libs in the live performance. The rhythm coursed right through me, to the point where it felt like the sound and I had become one. I could lay my hand on my chest and feel the beat coming straight from me. It was surreal.
Some might say it was insane or dramatic, but that’s Carti. And I loved having the opportunity to see him perform live.