South Side Ballroom, Dallas
Saturday, March 18, 2017
The work of fog machines blended with marijuana smoke to blanket the sold-out South Side Ballroom Saturday as fans awaited the arrival of the evening's performer, Big Sean.
The rapper, born Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, stopped in Dallas on the second night of his I Decided Tour, which kicked off in Houston on Friday. The tour is in support of his fourth studio album of the same name, which dropped early February.
Malcolm Jamaal Davis, aka MadeInTYO, opened the evening around 8 p.m. and the Honolulu-born, Atlanta-raised rapper fulfilled his job of hyping the crowd for Big Sean. By the time the house lights dimmed for his entrance an hour later, the crowd was steadily chanting, "Sean, Sean, Sean, Sean.”
Big Sean started the show with a video that he said represented the voices inside his head, a tie-in to a track on I Decided called “Voices In My Head/Stick to the Plan."
He's been churning out albums every other year since releasing his debut Finally Famous in 2011, and Saturday he played a few songs from older albums, such as “Blessings” from Dark Sky Paradise. But he mainly stuck to songs from his new album.
Big Sean's voice sounded nasally at times, and he admitted he's been fighting a "crazy ass cold." But he made up the difference with enthusiasm. The requests for audience participation came early and often.
Throughout the show, Big Sean asked fans to throw their hands in the air, jump and "Make some noise if you love Sean Don the way Sean Don loves you."
Fans at South Side Ballroom sung along to every track. Others stood still holding their phones up in the air to record Snapchats, Instagram live videos and pictures. A few times, Big Sean grabbed a fan's phone and recorded a video himself.
Big Sean, who is from Detroit, told concertgoers that though he’s from another "D" city, and that Dallas feels like a second home to him. In the process of planning his tour, he knew he “had to start that shit in Texas.”
About 45 minutes into his set, opener MadeInTYO reappeared to join in on a song. Big Sean's showmanship and gratitude for his fans were on point Saturday, even though it was clear he wasn't feeling his best.
At one point, he said that performing was helping him to feel better: "You have given me so much energy I don't even have a cold anymore."
Big Sean ended the main part of his set with a motivational pep talk, saying he could sense the crowd was full of "future millionaires." He attributed his success to surrounding himself with the right people and encouraged those in the audience to choose their inner circles with care.
Just as some fans began to head for the doors thinking Big Sean was done for the night, he jumped into his encore: the fan-favorite “I Don’t Fuck With You," followed by “Bounce Back.”
Though most concertgoers seemed generally pleased with the evening’s show, others were a bit disappointed that he played less than an hour and half and also that there was no special guest. Those who saw Big Sean's show in Houston were treated to a surprise from Travis Scott.
Big Sean now heads to the West Coast where he will continue his tour with four stops in California before zig-zagging across the U.S.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.