21 Savage: Issa Recap
Tuesday 4/11 @ The House of Blues San Diego - The fans really showed up for the San Diego leg of the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour headlined by 21 savage, with opening acts Young M.A., Tee Grizzley, and Young Nudy. It was a packed house and a very young crowd. 15/16/17 year olds dominated the space and were lined up around the block 2 hours before doors on a week night.
The hits were the highlight of the evening. Atlantic/300's Tee Grizzley (Detroit) has a real one on his hands with "First Day Out" and he kicked the show off with it. His initial effort fueled the performance and he never lost momentum for the half hour he held the stage. His newest heater "From the D to the A feat. Lil Yachty" closed out the set with emphasis.
Young M.A. (New York) was the next up and her hit "Ooouuu" is an international success in the hip hop world (albeit extremely reminiscent of Bobby Shmurda's 2014 smash "Hot Nigga.") As the leading young female MC and one of the few at any age that has real bars she is completely in her own lane right now and demonstrated a command of the stage well beyond her years. She informed us that this was her first time in San Diego and she was very surprised by the energy of the crowd. This IS her first time in San Diego - I'm told she cancelled her previous performance here at AD this past December when her record initially went viral on youtube.
21 Savage was everyone's highlight of the evening and was worth waiting through the openers and various Dj sets. The crowd was anxious to get their taste of his Atlanta Zone 6 mentality - looking at their fashion it was clear they are familiar with his viral interview clip about the tattoo on his face, "issa knife" and he's since fashioned a genius marketing campaign by donning this whole thing Issa Tour. Jumping forward to the performance - 21 did his best to reinforce the Savage moniker, he entered the stage sporting a large machete and Jason Voorhees mask while stepping through a giant log-cabin stage installation straight out of Friday the 13th. He got the show moving performing selections from his Metro Boomin produced EP Savage Mode. There was a small hiccup when, after just a few songs he took a break to meet fans, but no one could fault him for that. After a short break he came back and pushed the show to it's climax where he performed the biggest records everyone was waiting for - "No Advance," "No Heart," and his giant Future collaboration "X."
The show was packed, it rarely dragged, and the crowd's reciprocated every bit of the excitement that Monster Energy brought to the house. 2017 has seen the city rise significantly in stature and now the hottest national touring acts are now making the trip here when they come to the southwest. Southern California is no longer just LA, and the Honda Center (Anaheim) has never had a weaker summer calendar. Let's hope we can keep this momentum going and create a real music scene here.
We so appreciate House Of Blues (HOBsandiego) for having us again, s/o to our stellar photographer Clay Westcott (@claywestcott) for capturing the experience and Monster Energy for bringing the tour to our town.