Nelly concert gets it hot in Vancouver’s PNE Forum
So, Nelly was in Vancouver on Wednesday (March 16). Oh, you didn’t hear about it? Neither did anyone else. Okay, so there were a few ads in a few papers. So, why did everyone I talk to not know that he was coming? Maybe it is a matter of no one thinking that Nelly is relevant anymore. I mean, honestly, when was the last time Nelly put something out? Or maybe he tarnished his career with a schlocky duet with Tim McGraw? Or maybe it was because the Band-Aid thing was a little too gimmicky for most. (Side note: If you don’t know why he wore the Band-Aid, I’ll fill you in. He wore it because his brother was in jail and he wouldn’t take it off until his brother was out.) So, to answer your next question, the Band-Aid was not worn at the show. His brother was there and helped him out with a song. So, I’m guessing the real reason was because the tickets started at $55.
Nelly released late last year a new album titled Nelly 5.0, and it’s actually pretty good. He has a couple of hits on the album, such as “Move That Body”, which features Akon (surprise, surprise—I’m pretty sure that Akon is a guest appearance robot built by a record label to put on every second hip-hop/R&B track) and T-Pain, as well as a song featuring Kelly Rowland titled “Gone”. There are rumours that Diddy helped convince Nelly to come out with some new stuff and to tour again. Not that Nelly isn’t busy with putting out a work-out video, playing professional poker, and running a women’s clothing line called Apple Bottoms as well as the nonprofit 4Sho4Kids Foundation. That organization started after Nelly’s sister Jackie Donahue was diagnosed with leukemia back in 2003. The campaign attempts to educate African-Americans and other minorities about the need for bone marrow transplants, and to register more donors.
Okay, now to the concert. I wasn’t sure what kind of crowd to expect when I arrived at the PNE Forum. I wasn’t sure because I didn’t know who was still into Nelly and who other than myself had heard that the concert was happening. But apparently the show sold out (via Nelly’s Twitter). It’s hard to tell at PNE since half the crowd spends most of their time in the drinking area while the other half is watching the show.
The opening act was Lost Soulz, a local rap/R&B trio. While they did have good energy on stage, I couldn’t quite hear their rhymes very well, though I did hear one rhyme about the B.C. Lions in there somewhere. The singer was hitting the notes a little flat. I’m not saying that they were bad, but I think that hearing them in a smaller venue would give me a better idea of what they’re about.
Cali Swag District was next up. I’ll rephrase that so you know who I’m talking about. Next up were the guys who have that song called “Teach Me How to Dougie”. Still not sure? Here’s the YouTube video to catch you up to speed.
I like that song. The beat is melodic and it’s about a ridiculous dance, which I love. They sounded pretty good and they had choreographed struts across the stage and booty shaking/dancing girls. I wasn’t familiar with the rest of their songs, but hearing them live made me want to get the album to be more familiar with it. Sad thing is, when I left the show, a couple of members of Cali Swag were standing there kind of near their merch table and no one was bothering them. You’d think there would be some fans seeking a little bit of Cali Swag’s swag. So, I gave them a nod as I passed as to say, “Hey, good set.”
Finally, Nelly came on stage and he wasn’t alone. He was accompanied by his group, St. Lunatics. I honestly really only know who Murphy Lee is out of that group. He let Murphy Lee perform one of his songs from his upcoming album and the song sounded good. I didn’t catch the name of it though.
I was thinking that Nelly was going to play mostly new stuff but he came out the gates with some old classics. Most of which I had forgotten about. Me and my friends would look at each other at every song and say, “Oh, yeah! I forgot this was a Nelly song!” From “Country Grammar” to “Ride With Me” to “Air Force Ones”, he played all the songs we wanted to hear. Nelly is a charismatic performer and you could tell he loves to perform. The sound was good and the singing and rapping were clear, which is hard to accomplish at the PNE Forum. People were dancing everywhere. It was really a lot of fun.
Things did slow down though when he invited a few girls on stage to compete in a catwalk competition to decide who was going to participate in walking back and forth across the stage while Nelly sang and walked behind the winner and checked out her ass. Then he did, “Over and Over” and invited a couple on stage who were having “relationship problems” and he sang to the girl as her boyfriend sang the chorus. Nice gesture but it kind of fell flat with me and the pace of the show was squashed a bit. But then he performed “Hot in Herre” and that got the party jumping again. We were about done and left pretty quickly after “Hot in Herre” was finished.
Overall, the concert was really fun and way better than I expected. I mean, “Hot in Herre” is still stuck in my head this morning. That’s a good sign—right?