NEW YORK, NY — Dazed and confused. Those are the words this writer left New York City's PlayStation Theater with following what took place inside that very venue on Monday night (May 2). There, thousands of fervid fans — interspersed with 300 Entertainment execs — assembled into the multi-level space for a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus-style affair. How so? Well, the kind of energy and theatrics generated during night two of Young Thug's month-long Hy!£UN35! (pronounced Hi-Tunes) Tour was strictly something meant to be experienced.
Although it was far from being billed as something bold as "The Greatest Show On Earth," Thugger's show was undoubtedly like no other as it gave the fans of rap's current wave of off-the-Internet sensations a treat like no other. Rich the Kid and Lil Yatchy, products of this aforesaid new wave, conveyed that message as they opened up the show with their respective sets of unorthodox material.
Where the former touched fans with his string of wrist-flicking Pyrex odes ("Trap Still Jumpin," "Plug"), the red-headed latter struck the packed crowd with a jolt of caffeinated energy thanks to his batch of contagious digitized trap jingles ("Minnesota," "Water On My Face"). Nothing of the ordinary took place, as the crowd did everything from chant records like "Wanna Be Us" and "WDYW" word-for-word to assembling and dissembling mosh-pits as if it was mandatory. But by the time man of the hour hit the stage, all expectations were ripped apart and strewed like looseleaf turned confetti.
As the clock struck 10 p.m., a mini Prince and Michael Jackson tribute ensued as the pounding production of "King Troup" prompted Thugger to the stage, draped in a ruffled Prince-style blouse with high-waist pants and MJ-esque penny loafers. The homage even stretched onto the stage design, as as life-size cut out boards of Prince and MJ stood at opposite sides of the stage during his set. While the theatrics paid respects to the legends, Thug's performance reflected the assertion that he, himself, is poised on setting a similar foundation as his predecessors.
Within the hour-long set, Thug beat fans in the head with back-to-back bangers, which spanned across his ever-growing discography. From Barter 6 to the Slime Season series, along with other cuts like "Lifestyle" (sans Rich Homie Quan) and "Check," he had everyone in the venue (and their cameras), dare we say, lit. Between his oldest buzz records, like "Stoner" and "Danny Glover," to newer favorites like "Power," "F Cancer," and "Memo," Thugger's stop-and-go delivery practically lifted the PlayStation Theater — at least during the duration of his set. Elsewhere in his stage show, Thug jumped into rowdy tracks like "Slime Shit" and "Thief In the Night" and later found time to honor his mentor Gucci Mane with "Free Gucci." And before the night was over, he took a moment to shoutout "Best Friend.
Considering that this is one of his early nationwide tours, Thug worked the stage like a seasoned vet, who just so happens to have an enviable batch of material that can rival your favorite emcee. And if that comment leaves you dazed and confused, then, believe it or not, Thugger's done his job — a job that continues to turn heads on this Hy!£UN35! Tour.