Shwayze The Observatory 7/19/15
Sunday night, the Observatory in Santa Ana decided to throw a good ol' college frat party. Instead of the $5 cover charge getting you an empty red Solo cup to fill with the cheapest beer and mixed drinks imaginable (yes, Jungle Juice is technically a mixed drink), you got a ticket to see Shwayze perform.
Funky rock trio Carlton (who doubled as Shwayze's backing band) and OC's own Aloha Radio both performed as extremely solid openers for the Malibu native, but the fans were truly only there to see the main event of the evening.
The bulk of the packed crowd resembled one of those Girls Gone Wild commercials from a decade ago (even though most of the audience probably wasn't old enough to remember those). It was roughly 80 percent college age white girls losing their minds, while 19 of the other 20 percent was comprised of the bro-ish dudes who were there with them.
By the time Shwayze's extremely bro-tastic hype man came out to scream, jump, and ask if everyone was ready, the fans had already answered the question a few times by chanting the rapper's name before, after, and occasionally during the sets of the openers.
Shwayze gave the young (somewhat impolite) fans everything they wanted, when he came out to the stage and immediately began with an energetic rendition of "Bolt" before playing "Roll the Camera (Movie)" off of his brand new EP, King of the Summer.
With a good portion of the audience unfamiliar with the track off an EP that dropped less than a week before the show, Shwayze went back to his roots with "Livin' It Up" off of 2009's Let It Beat and then 2012's "West Coast Party" to get the crowd back to bouncing, smoking, and making out with strangers.
Throughout the entire set, Shwayze continued to keep both his energy and his inebriation up, sipping on both Patron and a Corona as he played through older hits from his catalog (like "Drunk Off Your Love" and "Get U Home") as well as a couple of new ones (such as "Addicted" and "King of the Summer").
Toward the end of the set, as girls began to throw their bras on to the stage (much to the bro-some hype man's delight), Shwayze laid out all of his biggest hits, from "Corona and Lime" and "Buzzin'" (although most of the crowd probably couldn't yet legally drive when 2008's self-titled album came out, and unlikely they remember his short-lived MTV series, Buzzin') to "Tequila" and "Love is Overrated."
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Although he stumped much of the crowd by playing the older cut "Butterflies" and brand new "Young Love" mixed in with those hits to close out the set, no one seemed disappointed, and a lot of people seemed to be having just as good of a time as the fun-loving rapper himself.
While Shwayze probably won't ever be compared to the likes of Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and the other great thoughtful rappers of this generation, he's certainly damn good at what he does. Shwayze is to partying and hooking up with a stranger as Drake is to crying and breaking up with a significant other, and you can't blame him for being totally cool with that.