The Bomb Factory, Dallas
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
You know you’re in for a special concert when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the one making the introductions. Cuban didn't personally organize Tuesday night's Ludacris concert at The Bomb Factory, but everything about the show — the first for his team's event company, Another Mavericks Production — had the feel of a truly star-studded affair.
The Mavericks' presence was everywhere in the building, from the Dirk Nowitzki documentary that played before the first performers took the stage, to the Mavs Maniacs tossing out memorabilia from the balcony and the Mavs Dancers’ quick performances on stage. It all created the same energy that you’d feel before a Mavericks game at the American Airlines Center and helped avoid the awkward lull that usually takes place in a room of 4,000 people waiting for the headliner. Even Jeff “Skin” Wade, an analyst for the Dallas Mavericks’ television broadcasts, was on hand to add to that pregame vibe as he emceed the night’s festivities alongside Boom 94.5’s DJ Menace.
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Ludacris did his part to make the night a success. The Atlanta rapper effortlessly worked through his deep catalog of hit songs in rapid succession, pausing only for occasional banter. While Luda may be more recognizable to a younger generation as an actor — he's made appearances in over 20 films including the Fast and the Furious series — he hasn’t lost his dexterous and over-enunciated flow.
“It’s so many hit songs, I don’t even know what else to do,” the rapper bragged halfway through the set. There was “Area Codes,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Rollout,” “Pimpin’ All Over the World,” “What’s Your Fantasy,” and of course “Move Bitch,” which he jokingly warned may cause some riots.
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For all the hits that Luda had to offer, it was also refreshing to see the shine given to local opening acts Cure For Paranoia, Bobby Sessions and -topic. Not only were each of those local artists awarded legitimate, lengthy opening sets beyond the standard 10-minute affair, the Mavs team went as far as to share photos and videos of the performances in real-time on their popular social media accounts that each boast followers in the hundreds of thousands. -topic stole the show for the openers. Before long he was shirtless and doing kickflips on his skateboard. Oh, and he brought out Leon Bridges for a brief moment.
On a night like last night, however, it made sense that even a local opener would have a big name guest to bring out. If the Mavericks can continue to deliver a perfect balance of team spirit, championing local music and high-profile headlining performers, then they could be onto something good.