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News & Stories: 2008-09

Lupe Rocks the House April 8, 2009

Lupe Fiasco concert

Lyrics. Passion. Beats. Rapper Lupe Fiasco brought it all at the Van Noord Arena Friday night, April 3 as a lead attraction of the 2009 Festival of Faith and Music.

Although the wait for Lupe to take the stage seemed to last forever, —it was some 45 minutes—he soon made up for it with his ultra-smooth rhymes. Lupe set the tone very early for a show that would be defined by constant motion. He moved everywhere on the stage, side to side and front to back. He interacted with his DJ and drummer often and in humorous ways. The words from his mouth matched the movements of his body in motion and intensity. All of this made for a transcendent show.

Music and politics         

Of course, fans who are familiar with the 25-year-old Lupe understand that he is not famous just because of his amazing lyrical talent, but also because of what he stands for with his songs. Lupe’s political messages manifested themselves in several ways during the concert on Friday. He took time between songs to express his opinion that war is unnatural and that human beings should be compassionate toward each other. He wore a “Free Gaza” t-shirt during the concert.

Also, he embraced Dr. Cornel West on stage after performing his massive hit Superstar. Lupe refers to Dr. West—a keynote speaker at the Festival of Faith and Music and a civil rights activist and philosopher—as a mentor.   

Crowd-surfing and head-banging

Lupe put on a very enjoyable and thought provoking show. He performed on stage only with a DJ and a drummer. I found myself following the drummer most of the time. He did a great job of moving Lupe’s beat along and making things fun for us in the crowd. There was quite a bit of crowd-surfing going on all night. When Lupe was not rapping he was often up head-banging in front of his drummer and making him laugh. Seeing that the performers were enjoying themselves only made the night more enjoyable.

When I was not senselessly head-banging or jumping up and down, I found Lupe’s words to be enough to keep me thinking. The beats certainly provided a fun night out. Several days later, I still can’t hear very well, but Lupe’s words have stayed with me. As a rapper, he is extremely smooth and adept at packing very much meaning into very few lines.  

All in all, the evening was very well done—and it was topped off by a hug I received from the drummer at the conclusion of the show. Thumbs up to both Lupe Fiasco and the Festival of Faith and Music.

~by Matt Decker, communications and marketing

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