Wiz Khalifa (Photo by Mel Brandon, Jr/@ForHipHop)

Friday, August 1st @ 5:27 PM: For the thousands of Pittsburghers who were pushing through 376 West to get to the First Niagara Pavilion, they were confronted with two accidents which exacerbated the already bumper to bumper rush hour traffic.  My handy dandy phone app identified the accidents and rerouted my journey to arrive at the Burgettstown venue 34 minutes faster.

I could have sat in traffic though because the first act for the Under the Influence of Music tour was a no show.

According to a Live Nation representative, singer and actor Mack Wilds was “running late.”  In fact, Wilds did not hit the stage until moments before Wiz Khalifa, who was the last act of the evening  Even then, ‘The Wire’ heartthrob stumbled onto stage with what looked like road gear and sang a condensed version of “Own It”.

I’m just happy he didn’t sing “Henny!”  Although, I am more concerned for the Mack Wilds fans who were cheated due to his late arrival.

Along with Wilds, the 2014 Under the Influence of Music tour included Rich Homie Quan, Ty Dolla $ign, Sage the Gemini, IAMSU, Jeezy and Wiz Khalifa.

What made up for Wilds’ absence were the headliners of the show: Jeezy and Pittsburgh’s own, Wiz Khalifa.  Both of the rappers had surprise guests, lots of energy, and performed old and new songs.


Young Jeezy (Photo by Mel Brandon, Jr/@ForHipHop)

Jeezy, who I always thought was the real big name, put on an amazing set.  The strobing lights, his name spelled out in six-foot displays, and the highly anticipated snowman logos surpassed all expectations.

Meanwhile, Wiz, rocking a throwback black Penguins jersey with a pair of his coined skinny jeans, put on for his city. The crowd was overwhelmed with love for the Allderdice graduate. Wiz Khalifa reminds us that global success and recognition can be acquired beyond the quadrant of this great city.

Sage the Gemini, creator of instant hits like “Red Nose” and “Gas Pedal,”  gets an honorable mention.  He ended up with his shirt off and the crowd was still freelancing his contagious dance fads long after he stopped rapping.

Concert Report Card C+:  I realize that with so many hands in the pot it is quite difficult to get seven different artists to the stage, but there has to be some sort of accountability when someone doesn’t show (or arrives late).  Overall, Wiz truly provided an electric performance, like he was home. Heck!  Even Jeezy performed like he was from Pittsburgh too.

Crowd0740Crowd enjoying the concert (Photo by Merecedes J. Howze)


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