The torrential storm that hit the Bay Area this week was no match for the fans who had tickets to see G-Eazy’s sold-out shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, and the Fox Theater in Oakland.
His Bay Area shows are always memorable, in 2016, the rap crooner sold out the Oracle Arena — a dream come true for any Bay Area artist, with now four albums under his belt, G-Eazy returned to his home base in support of his latest, The Beautiful & Damned. Unlike his previous arena tour, this time around, it was the beautiful and historical Fox Theater that hosted the rapper.
Gone are the days when a young Gerald would sell his mixtapes out of a backpack steps away from the venue where he was now playing a sold-out show. “I’ve been dreaming about this all of my life,” G-Eazy told the screaming fans, “I feel incredible.”
Concert-goers reciprocated the love, and it did not matter that shortly before entering the venue, they were rained on. It did not matter that the line to get into the Fox Theater stretched around several blocks. G-Eazy was home.
“Are you ready to have the best time of your life? Are you ready to get turn up tonight?” G-Eazy swayed his way onto the stage wearing all black, with his signature leather jacket, and slick back hair.
His fourth album, The Beautiful & Damned talks about his musical journey, one that always circles back to the Bay. G-Eazy is proud to be from the mecca where some of the best hip-hop and rap artists came from, the home of the hyphy movement. Tracks like “Sober” and “Pray For Me” reflect what G-Eazy has been going through since breaking into the music scene. A journey of ups, downs, paparazzi, love, heartbreak, binge drinking, and the ultimate success. An exploration that included finding a name for himself without being compared to Eminem, or his talent as a lyricist being a white rapper.
No Bay Area G-Eazy show is complete without some local talent joining him on stage, and that is true for every stop he makes. During his sting in LA, Travis Scott, and Marc E. Bassy were two of the stars on site. Back at the Bill Graham, P Lo and SOBxRBE accompanied him.
At the Oakland show, Nef The Pharaoh, the rapper from Vallejo was the first surprise of the night jumping on stage to perform his hit “Bling Blaow” alongside G-Eazy. Yung Pinch, a rapper from Huntington Beach also shared the stage. The crowd favorite from the night was when Mistah F.A.B joined G-Eazy on stage to perform “N.E.W Oakland.” This track, a Bay Area rap classic that absolutely everyone sang along to word for word. The moment between the two superstars also served as an opportunity for G-Eazy to profess his love and admiration for Mistah F.A.B, “he’s one of the greatest rappers ever,” G-Eazy told the audience. Marty Grimes was also part of the guests on stage. How could he not be? Grimes is G-Eazy’s schoolmate from Berkeley High; both broke into the music scene around the same time.
To the dismay of many who were hoping to see his girlfriend, American singer-songwriter Halsey jump on stage to perform their song “Him & I,” the singer who had been on stage during the stop in San Francisco was at USC receiving the Inspire Award while the Oakland show was taking place.
From G-Eazy’s early days or selling his mixtape on Telegraph Ave. in Oakland, playing small venues like La Peña in Berkeley, or The New Parish in Oakland, the first venue to ever book him —one thing remains, no matter the worldwide success, he will always be Young Gerald from Oakland. His song “But a Dream” says it best: I really put the work in, don’t you ever try to play me.