Three light panels clutter the undersized stage as the rising star, Future, rocks the Observatory. Ironically, the venue's title fits the rapper well, as the bulk of his work up to this point consistently refers to the cosmos. Early in his set, he vows to take the crowd to the moon. The panels flash to the bass hits of the 2012 single "Same Damn Time," with a magnitude high enough magnitude to blind the whole building. Now, like the majority of his time on stage, Future hops from stage left to stage right, searching for his most hyped fans. Next, the Men in Black Neuralyzer type lights create a silhouette of Future pumping his arms to Pharrell-featured single "Move that Dope."
But before getting into the smash hit, Future stops to thank the crowd for making the track one of the biggest in the country, in a lower toned, raspy, Southern voice resemblant of an SEC linebacker's. The 30 year-old's remarks show how happy he is to be in his position and just how much he's enjoying the night in Cali, yet he wore a expressionless face throughout the night, mustering a smile only when he shakes a fan's hand in the front row. Even when pausing to take a hit of his DJ's blunt onstage, Future doesn't seem relieved by the exhalation, standing stiff to face the crowd.
When the music resumed, though, Future returned to the bouncing, arm-pumping action that incarnate his dirty, bassy minimalism. In a bun, his honey Dijon mustard colored dreadlocks danced along with him. Demonstrative hands, his and the crowd's, were the onomatopoeia of his lyrics mentioning whipping dope and also personified his tense lyrics. One might liken the movements to a vicious karate chop. Future's simplistic moves and fetching, repetitive hooks make it easy maximize the young crowd's participation, who often gestured back at the emcee with their hands the way he did them. The DJ also egged the crowd on throughout the night by muting his fader to let them go a cappella for the popular lyrics that make the rapper so appealing.
Future jumped back and forth from his new album, Honest, to his debut Pluto, with a few of his featured verses in between. Many of the choruses, bolstered by his signature vocal style were collaborations with Rap's best including Kanye and Lil Wayne. With the exception of his outro song, "SH!T," the crowd was most receptive to his collabs .While the assistance Future now offers and depends on -in concert and in the studio- to make him one of the most notables seems to be a crutch for the artists to be great, there were flashes, besides the bright as lights, of something special that draw a high-energy crowd from all over the locale. Watching the Future unfold will undoubtedly continue to be a spectacle.
Random Notebook Dump: California was mentioned so much during the night, it seemed Future, his DJ, Esco, and other out-of-town acts were told it was a safe word that could fire the crowd up instantly.
The Crowd: Young chicks with flannels wrapped around their waists with no intentions of putting them over their shoulders
Overheard: A presumed bro-ho rocking an obnoxious chain that read "BOSS" gestured to a group of guys and condescendingly whispers "That there's what you call a circle jerk"
Critic's Bias: For the first time in my experience at the Observatory all press was blocked from taking pictures in the pit, leaving me to fend for myself with the wolves in the audience who threw their hands obstructing chances of good and shots. I was also in danger of having some cheap cocktails spilled on my camera.
Gone to the Moon
Ain't No Way Around It
Future and jeezy
Turn on the Lights
Same Damn Time
Move that Dope
The Top 10 Rappers in OC
10 More of OC's Best Rappers
Top Five Female Emcees in OC
Follow us on Twitter at @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality. Follow the writer at @Nukem_Nick.