I have been to many shows over the years but some always seem to stick out more than others. I am not including festival sets in this, but here’s some of most memorable concerts I have had the pleasure of going to:
The DAMN. Tour with Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, & DRAM @ Wells Fargo Center
This is the most recent concert on the list, but it wowed me so much it deserves a spot.
This was two huge acts getting together to put on a amazing show. Starting with Travis Scott, who I had seen before, he put on a big energy set as usual.. The craziest part of his set however was when he brought out a giant mechanical bird and flew around the stadium. Yeah that’s not a sentence I thought I would write out, but it was crazy cool. Travis actually had about as many fans as Kendrick in the stadium and by the end of the set I could tell why.
Kendrick’s set however was incredible. The main thing with Kendrick’s set was the visuals. It was all inspired by Asian culture as he took on the moniker Kung Fu Kenny. He had high production short films that would play during his breaks that presented a story throughout the show. It was something I had never really seen before.
However when it comes to his music he was fantastic of course. He played hits from his albums and the crowd was fantastic. They were electric, singing along with him all night especially during his hit “HUMBLE.”
It was just a huge production value, well rounded show that I had a blast at.
Run the Jewels @ Electric Factory
Run the Jewels may be the best performers on this list.
The duo consisting of Killer Mike and El-P put on a high energy show when I saw them at the Electric Factory last January.
This was the first show of their US tor following the release of their album, “RTJ3.”
It was the most rowdy crowd I had ever been in.
They never stopped pushing and moshing from the first song until the encore. It was exhausting, but exhilarating. I actually got departed from my friends after the first song and didn’t see them until the after the show was over.
All their songs play great live and create this crazy atmosphere. They sound exactly like they do on recording, and are also very funny during their performance. The show made them an act I have to see every time possible.
Schoolboy Q & Joey Bada$$ @ Electric Factory
Schoolboy Q & Joey Bada$$ was just a very good show. It might sound boring, but it was just an extremely solid show.
The two performers were great and had a bundle of hits to keep the crowd jumping all night.
At the time I was more of a Schoolboy Q fan than Joey Bada$$, but both sets were great. They both sounded great and had set lists that kept the atmosphere flowing.
I actually had a friend who was working at the Electric Factory and got me in for free and early. I was really cool to go in early, and see the stage being set up. I even got to see Joey Bada$$ do his mic check and say what’s up to him.
So that experience along with a great show really solidified this experience in my mind.
Vince Staples @ Union Transfer
Vince Staples‘ show had some of the coolest visuals and lighting I have seen at a show.
His stage was simple but featured three large screens behind him that displayed striking images, whether it be a neon bird flying through the stage or fish to make it look like a giant aquarium.
I was in the front as well so it made the images especially vivid and added a lot to the show. His lights were also very unique and were very coordinated with the music kind of how a electronic show would have been.
Besides the visuals the show was great. Vince has a very no nonsense approach to his shows. He isn’t going to talk to the crowd pretty much at all, and just going to blast his bangers.
It was a great time, except for when I got kicked in the head by some dude who was crowd surfing. I turned around ready to retaliate but calmed down. Vince saw the whole thing and actually asked if I was okay during one of his songs. I met him after the show and said he really appreciated I didn’t do anything.
That just kind of created a special moment that I won’t soon forget.
Kid Cudi @ The Fillmore
This was the first show I ever went to, and it will always hold a fond place in my heart.
I had been a Kid Cudi fan for a very long time before seeing him live. I love all his albums and getting to go to one of his shows was a big deal.
And the show completely lived up to expectations. It was after he put out his album, “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven,” which was panned by critics, but the set list was great.
I knew the words to every single song and he performed all of them with perfection. He had a live drummer which made all of the percussion on his tracks pop and the sound was great. His stage design was really unique as well and really made the show complete.
I also had VIP for the event, so I got to be in the front row, and meet him after. Meeting him after was really special since I got to tell him how important he was to me, and get to know him a little better.
Meek Mill & Friends @ Wells Fargo Center
This was the most stacked lineup I have ever seen period. It wasn’t the best show, being honest. The sound wasn’t great, the stage design was generic, but the lineup was legendary.
First of all being from Philly, this was my first time seeing Meek after listening to him around the city for years. So that was a big deal for me to see songs like “Dreams and Nightmares” live.
But what really made this show special was all the special guests he brought out. The artists he brought out included Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, Blac Youngsta, YG, DJ Mustard, Tory Lanez, Jadakiss, Shy Glizzy and DMX.
Meek just keep bringing our guest after guest to keep the crowd pumped, and it made for one of the most stacked lineups of all time.
Chance the Rapper @ Franklin Field
To be honest this was the worst concert on the list, but not because of the show itself, but how long it took for Chance to show up.
This was a show for Penn and I didn’t find out about it until the day of and was so excited to go. I had been a fan of Chance for a while, but hadn’t seen him live yet. This was also right as he was blowing up. He just finished working on Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” was preparing to release his third mixtape, “Coloring Book,” which would go onto to win Grammys.
Regardless it was a cold windy night at Franklin Field and after the openers we just sat on freezing metal stands until Chance came out. It was almost a two hour wait, and we debated leaving, but thankfully he finally came out. He told us the show was almost cancelled because he was sick, but ultimately decided to stick it out.
The show was fantastic even though he was sick. He played all of his hit features and songs mostly from his mixtape, “Acid Rap.” It was a magical atmosphere, and it made sitting through the cold worth it.
Have you seen any of these artists?
I had a great time at all of these shows, but how many of them have you seen? Anybody you really want to see but haven’t had the chance yet?
3 thoughts on “Best Shows I’ve Ever Been To”
I really enjoyed this post. You laid it out very nicely and it was easily broken up and digestible for the reader. I am very jealous that you saw Chance the Rapper because I LOVE him. You can definitely see that you have a knowledge and passion for music and live events which is exciting when reading your post.
Hey Sean, not going to lie, but I’m really jealous that you’ve gotten the opportunity to see this many shows and all in Philly. Makes me feel like I’ve been missing out. I can only imagine what it was like being at Kendrick’s DAMN. Tour. Of all the artists you’ve listed I think Kendrick a long with a few of the others are the only ones I haven’t seen yet, but at the same time, my experiences so far have only come from MIA festivals which I got the opportunity to work for two years in row. It sucks that the Chance concert wasn’t all that because I have to say the experience I had watching him perform at Made right after Coloring Book dropped was phenomenal, he really made sure his show highlighted the Colors of his Album. Travis Scott is always a wild time too especially when he tries turning the crowd into a moshpit, which speaking of, I’ve never really listened to RTJ but after reading your experience at their concert I think Im gonna have to pay their page a visit on Spotify. Excited to hear more about your show experiences and hmu if you ever get free tix!
I was at MIA the past few years, and I saw Chance there as well. He was awesome at MIA, but the first time was just a bit more special. RTJ was also at MIA in September and they killed it. I go to shows all the time so let me know if you ever need a partner.