From first and fifteenth to Foellinger

The lights were on, we wanted a show, and that’s exactly what superstar Lupe Fiasco gave us.
After a so-so performance by local opening act Krukid and a stellar performance by the talented rapper/singer Gemini, Fiasco rocked Foellinger Auditorium (which seemed to have gone through a major metamorphosis since I saw it two days ago for my FSHN 120 lecture) with his matchless, smooth charisma and “dumbed it down” for his dedicated fans who rocked their knees, pumped their fists and lent their voices to their favorite songs.
With the crowd’s energy, the built-for-sound auditorium and the flashing lights on stage, Foellinger actually seemed like a real venue, until I saw the two guys in front of me smoking a blunt and I bumped my knee on the desk attached to my chair.
Fiasco revived the term entertainer as he commanded the entire audience’s attention, schooling us with rhyming tales like it was story time back in first grade. At times, it was hard to distinguish his improvisational acts from his songs, because he consistently speaks in a hypnotizing, distinctive, rhythmic beat. But, no one spoke a word when the music stopped and Fiasco continued to spit lyrics at us.
From pausing songs in order to talk to us on a real note to making fun of George W. Bush (who, Fiasco calls an “American Terrorist” and a man who “likes to get his homies outta jail before they even go to jail”), Fiasco coasted through the performance without ever missing a beat.
I was proud of Lupe Fiasco, because sometimes performers are hot on their albums, but when it comes to walking the walk, they suck lemons. For instance, Lil’ Wayne was a lil’ whack when he came to Foellinger a few years ago. Granted his sound system was somewhat effed up, that’s no excuse for a gifted rapping genius to have a mediocre performance. Fiasco, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. His live performance was a few notches better than his CD because he took advantage of the fact that, along with our ears, he had our eyes in captivity, and the fact that we — the people who know his lyrics by heart — were only an arm’s length away. He hopped around the stage, slapped hands with his sweat-catchers and even dedicated a song to a girl who held a sign that read “This is my 12th concert!”
And even after the concert, the Cool Fiasco and his humble crew still absorbed the fan’s energy, taking pictures and shaking hands with fans. Make sure you check out Fiasco’s new album, The Cool, in store on Dec. 18.

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