04.04.23 – By Jordan Zinda
The Lil Wayne concert at The Fillmore in Minneapolis on Tuesday night saw the energy in the venue turn to electricity. Opening night of his highly anticipated “Welcome to Tha Carter Tour” had spirits high for everyone who had managed to get ahold of a ticket and with an artist as prestigious as Lil Wayne I am sure that a good portion of the staff were even thrilled to have been working that evening. Lil Wayne is a household name and if by chance you were still unfamiliar with his discography, you’ve surely heard tales of his high-energy performances. With a career spanning twenty plus years his fans are as passionate about his music as they are breathing the air they need to live. Tuesday nights show was set to be one for the books at The Fillmore. Not only is it a great venue for a concert, period, but its intimate atmosphere and great acoustics made the experience that much more unforgettable as Wayne could have easily played a room ten times the size.
It goes without question that with a career as long as his, there would be a handful of throwback tracks mixed into his setlist. Lil Wayne’s performance undoubtedly included a mix of old and new hits, spanning the entirety of his influential career as one of hip-hop’s most impactful and successful artists. Fans in attendance were beyond thrilled to hear classics like ‘A Milli,’ ‘Lollipop,’ and ‘6 Foot 7 Foot,’ as well as newer hits like ‘Uproar’ and ‘Mona Lisa.’ In addition to the hits from his many studio albums there was a portion of the show where Wayne introduced himself as ‘Mixtape Weezy’ and dove even further back into the vault, surprising those in attendance with fan favorites from his prolific mixtape run. Be it from the ‘Dedication’ series of tapes with DJ Drama, his legendary cover tape ‘No Ceilings’ or the litany of other efforts across the years, to hear these tracks live and in person was undoubtedly a lasting and life long memory for all who had gathered.
Nearing an hour into his performance Wayne left the stage to give his guests on the road with him some time to shine. While hopes were sky high when he mentioned he had brought people with him, his Drake level collaborators did not make an appearance. Introduced as the New Young Money, several up and coming artists gave the crowd some hard hitting and impactful three song mini sets. Individual sets from Drizzy Pink, Euro, Mellow Rackz, and Lil Twist managed to keep the energy alive and inspire a wave of new fans for each artist who graced the stage. With each artist getting 2-3 tracks to make an impression it was imperative that they make the most of their time and that’s exactly what they did again and again, artist after artist.
Throughout the concert, Lil Wayne demonstrated his signature charisma and stage presence while frequently engaging with the audience and delivering a relentless and high-octane performance of every song on the setlist. Wading through the packed house his fans young and old rapped along to every bar, every punchline, and every word, creating a one of a kind, memorable and immersive experience, be it your first Wanye show or your seventeenth. His time on stage in Minneapolis was consistently high energy and with plenty of enthusiasm from both Wayne himself and the crowd in front of him it’s easy to see why he is referred to as The GOAT (Greatest Of All Time.) Complex and fast-paced rhymes, which for some can be challenging to perform live, were delivered flawlessly and without a backing track to boot. Overall, high expectations were set with the announcement of this highly anticipated tour and Wayne exceeded every single one. It was like a fever dream, not only was everyone watching The GOAT give an all star performance, but in a 1,500 capacity room?! That’s a gift that does not come along too often and two memorable hours that I personally will never forget.