Detroit rapper Big Sean performed live at Santa Barbara’s Velvet Jones Night Club to a large audience on Saturday, Jan. 8. Fans of the G.O.O.D. Music artist waited hours in line to hear him, but might have been a bit disappointed when his set came on late into the night.
Even at 8 p.m. — with the show slated to begin at 9 p.m. — an enormous line snaked along the side of the building. The first opening act, Black Knight, a.k.a Young Stunna, performed a few of his songs. Other opening acts included Kidd Kash and Mr. Man along with other local Santa Barbara artists who took the stage before Big Sean. The opening acts performed for a solid two hours, and were not well received.
Many of the attendees heckled the performers and challenged them to battle random MCs in the audience. A few times during the opening acts, members of the audience leapt on stage and attempted to grab the microphones. At first this behavior was allowed (the crowd loved it), but it soon became problematic, and security stepped in to curb their enthusiasm. It was clear who everyone wanted to hear and see: Big Sean.
Once Big Sean came on, the room truly changed in ambiance. The crowd made an abrupt shift from a near-riot to ecstatic welcoming of Big Sean to the stage. Arriving at 11:45 p.m., he kicked things off with “Final Hour” and other songs from his Finally Famous Vol. 3: BIG album including, “Five Bucks,” “Supa Dupa Lemonade” and “Big Nut Bust.”
At one point during his performance, Big Sean addressed the crowd about some life lessons he had learned as a struggling rapper. He recalled his grandmother giving him advice on following his heart and pursuing ambitions and dreams. Then he performed “Memories,” which received an extremely positive response from the audience. One of the highlights of the show included Big Sean removing his shirt for fans, which hyped up the crowd again into an uproar. His set ended around 1 a.m. with the song “Bullshittin.”
I personally enjoyed the show — the Big Sean parts at least. The opening acts were given too much stage time, but this is understandable when the main act has to belt out a good hour of their own songs. While the opening acts were received with aggression, jeers and blatant disrespect, the same crowd embraced Big Sean with cheers and excitement. Perhaps Velvet Jones could limit the time given to openers to avoid this type of response, or hire more well-known artists who would generate praise instead of boos.