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Show Review: Wale @ Bowery Ballroom

  • Artist(s): Wale, Black Cobain
  • Venue: Bowery Ballroom
  • Date: 2012-01-07 20:00:00
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Wale’s latest New York City stop at the Bowery Ballroom in Downtown, Manhattan was eventful and meaningful for so many different reasons. Although the standing room only Bowery event room holds far less than Wale is capable of selling on any given night in New York, it was an opportunity for the MMG star to re-assert himself as an individual. Meek Mill and Rick Ross’ were not present for the show, but this may have been more by design than inaccessibility. Wale performed a plethora of his relationship records, which have shown to be his bread and butter while peppering in his superficial club hits, which put his range as an artist in perfect perspective for the evening.

Wale’s Virginian counterpart Black Cobain opened up the show after a intricate DJ set by Clark Kent who played classic samples in juxtaposition to their hip hop follow ups, including T.I.s What You Know, Jay-z’s D’Evils, Nas’ The World Is Yours and more. Many walked into the Bowery Ballroom looking at Black Cobain’s opening set as dead time in the evening but he won the crowd over early and may have gained a few more fans.

Clark Kent, who hosted the recently released Folarin mixtape, took the stage once again to formally introduce Wale to the now over-anxious sold out crowd. “Most of yall listen to Wale’s music and you just think ‘oh my gosh, great songs.’ The reason I worked with Wale is because Wale is one of the best rhyme-sayers, right now.” Kent went on to compare working with Jay-z and Biggie to the still rising Wale before the instrumental to Change Up sounded off ushering the MC to the stage. Wale emerged on stage with his usual beanie, a camouflage print jacket, and numerous gold chains with the most noticeable being a jeweled out Washington Redskins logo. Wale then cut directly into GetMeDoe sans 2 Chainz, which caused frenzy early into the show. Wale followed this up with lyrical cuts off his debut album such as Legendary and Ambition before slowing the show down and getting into more of his signature sound.

Wale was able to string together records such as Diced Pineapples, Break-Up Song, Sabotage, and That Way which got the ladies singing along word for word and the fellas bopping their heads. One of the highpoints of the entire evening may have come when vocalist Tiara Thomas came on stage with a guitar and serenading the crowd with her and Wale’s latest collaboration Bad, even adding in a pleasing rap verse. Wale and Tiara made a 7-minute mini-show out of the high-powered R&B/Rap tune which will almost surely become his next radio hit.

While the show was a re-introduction of Wale in many ways, he wouldn’t leave the New York City audience without at least one trick from up his sleeve. Wale brought out French Montana who assisted him in MMG’s Actin Up, and their Folarin collaboration Back 2 Balling. Before leaving the stage Montana announced a new March 12th release date for his debut album Excuse My French and then cut into an a capalla snippet of his mixtape favorite Ocho Cinco.

Soon after French Montana’s cameo, Wale abruptly left the stage prompting an encore from the crowd. Wale and Black Cobain then reappeared on stage and closed the show with possibly Wale’s best live record, Bait. While many may have hoped of catching Ross and Meek Mill possibly, Wale gave the crowd more than enough for their buck. 

-Review by Gregory Calvaire

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