Winter is coming, or so we've been told in the Tampa Bay area.
With last week's cold front and the looming Fall Back (don't forget to set your clocks back on Sunday,) winter's chill is beginning to be felt in our Bay Area. If you were looking for a place to warm up Friday night, you could've done worse than holing up in Amalie Arena, where Wild 94.1's Last Damn Show made its return after a five-year hiatus.
While it hasn't been held annually since 2012, LDS' 13 year run earned it the distinction as the biggest hip-hop show in the Tampa Bay area. When the lineup dropped in mid-August, it seemed as though its return would live up to its name, with Chance the Rapper, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, and Ludacris set to perform.
As the show drew closer however, Lil Uzi's name was mysteriously scratched from the lineup, a move that shouldn't shock most given the Philadelphia-rapper's penchant for calling off dates and tours. Yet, many fans were left unaware and disappointed, with many venting those frustrations on social media.
I bought Last Damn Show tickets just to look at the line up the next day and see you're not on it. You have to come!!Only reason I was going— Andre Garboza (@Acgarboza) November 2, 2017
Alas, the Show went on as planned Friday night, with openers 24HRS, Jessie Reyez, and Lecrae teasing up a crowd of 9,000-plus that began making its way into the arena after another early winter sunset.
After the openers, the first notable performer of the night was a bit of a throwback, with Atlanta's own Ludacris set to perform. While the Fast and Furious star has spent most of the last decade focusing on Hollywood as opposed to music, he showed little stage rust when he made his way to the stage at 8:05 p.m.
Fitted in compression pants and basketball shorts, Ludacris, with the help of his hype man, spent most of his set drifting from stage end to stage end in an effort to hype up the crowd.
After getting most of the crowd to its feet in a spirited "this side vs. that side" routine, he kept the energy up with his bevy of throwback hits that were probably still being mixed in by DJs at the last Last Damn Show in 2012. Fans were treated to his solo hits like "Southern Hospitality" and "Money Maker," while he even dropped in for his featured verses on songs like Fergie's "Glamorous" and Usher's "Yeah!"
If you thought his running off the stage post-set was an indication of a quick turnaround for Migos, however, you were in for a surprise.
The oft-troubled yet viral Atlanta trio have had a hell of a year, with its album Culture going platinum and group mate Offset recently proposing to the equally-viral Cardi B only a week ago.
This helped lend to its justified billing behind Chance and above Ludacris, yet Migos arrival showed they shared little of the fans excitement.
The group took the stage 45 minutes late, a practice not too uncommon in the rap industry but still frustrating. Fueling the fire, its long awaited opening track ("Slippery") was marred with technical difficulties. After fans began to warm back up the trio after they dusted off hits like "T-Shirt" and "Bad and Boujee," the group quickly exited after a roughly fifteen minute performance.
If you came for Uzi and/or Migos Friday night, 2017's LDS probably didn't win you over.
Alas, most of crowd remained in the seats for the main attraction Chance the Rapper, who returned to Amalie for a second time after a sold out show in June.
If you attended the first show, last night's Chance set may have seemed a little familiar to you.
The tirelessly joyous and energetic star arrived on stage via mini-bike, just as he did in his first appearance to Amalie earlier in June of 2017. Opening with Coloring Book track "Mixtape," the 24-year old showed little signs of wear or tear after a year of touring the world, clinching Grammys (he won three) and readying himself for his first time as host for SNL.
"We're having a lot of fun, if you can't tell."
While it would be hard to ignore his charming grin and exuberant stage presence, it may have been lost on some fans who were focused on dancing and/or scream-singing the lyrics to hits like "No Problems," "All We Got," and "Sunday Candy."
While Last Damn Show's return in 2017 had its share of snags, it's hard not to be excited for its return to the Tampa Bay area and budding future in reclaiming its title as the biggest and baddest rap show in our Tampa Bay.
If they keep up the practice of booking exciting, high profile acts like Chance, it's hard to believe we've seen the Last of the popular rap event.