Last Night: Asher Roth and Kid Cudi at House of Blues

Asher Roth, Kid Cudi
House of Blues
July 30, 2009

Better than: Catching up on recorded TV, like you'd originally planned.

Asher Roth and Kid Cudi

​Last night was an absolute testament of the following truth: Radio is irrelevant if artists can otherwise reach their listeners. Because, despite Asher Roth's being all but absent from the local airwaves and Kid Cudi's seeminging being restricted to the late night shows and the club scene, this concert was completely sold out.

But the crowd got a show worth its while last night.

Considering that he was billed as the headliner, it was a surprise when Roth took the stage first, zipping out on a miniature, tricked out golf cart. Unassuming in a plain blue t-shirt and faded, black skinny jeans, the mop-topped rapper immediately burst into his set without delay. That was just his manner of introducing himself.

Cutting to the chase of what "The Great Hangover" tour was really about, he pulled out a cartoonishly-large stuffed blunt, took a "hit" and then turned it to the audience for them to partake as "Pass the Dutchie" blared in the background.

In between his own catalog, Roth and crew busted out into a pantomime of Soul 4 Real's "Candy Rain." It was out of place, sure, but people still seemed to dig it.

And, of course, he closed his set with his super-smash "I Love College"--but not before his DJ showed off some true turntable acrobatics.

Later, though, was when the real spectacle came. As soon as the house lights dimmed, signaling the other draw on this bill's arrival, the crowd began chanting "Cudi, Cudi, Cudi" in anticipation of the rapper's set. Then, a larger-than-life LCD screen illuminated the stage in a psychedelic, Technicolor display, casting Cudi as a mic-holding, crouching shadow.

And even though the bass was way too heavy in the room's mix to be able to clearly hear the lyrics of most of Cudi's songs, most of the room still seemed to know enough of his tracks to sing along. This despite his debut album's September 15 release date.

Still, Cudi's set was an electric circus--a mash up of hip-hop, house, drum and bass, and techno.

All in all, the night was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Especially for someone skeptical about these musicians from the very beginning.

Critic's Notebook
Personal bias:
I was navigated through the Kid Cudi experience by an extra-friendly off-duty bartender from the Addison Improv.

Random note: Asher Roth did some crowd surfing and two guys dressed in Uncle Sam hats threw money into the audience at one point during his set..

By the way: To say that everyone pretty much went apeshit when Cudi performed the Crooker's remix of "Day N Nite" is a severe understatement.

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