December 19, 2019 at House of Blues
Boston’s House of Blues was the 31st stop on A$AP Ferg’s lengthy Floor Seats Tour in support of his new EP of the same name. I arrived at the venue right as the first act started, so I rushed inside and found a spot in the back, still wearing my winter coat after escaping the coldest night of the season so far. Rapper and singer, Heater IV performed a very brief set, but still managed to tell the audience a lot about himself. Apparently, he once went to Japan to study Buddhism and he’s a very big fan of glitter. While definitely an interesting guy, he’s an average rapper and a terrible singer, so the brevity of his set was welcome.
Next up was MadeinTYO, but we had to wait until after his DJ played a bunch of songs to get the crowd hyped up. One of them was Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE,” which was played at the show at least three times. His set wasn’t super impressive — he’s one of those rappers whose live vocals are always overshadowed by those in the backing track — but he brought a lot of energy to the stage and successfully got the crowd ready for the rest of the show. “Uber Everywhere” in particular went off with a bang and was definitely a highlight.
Murda Beatz easily had the most wack set of the night. The only thing that made it more worthwhile than just turning on any mainstream hip-hop radio station was the lack of commercials. He looked like a hip-hop Theon Greyjoy and had an awkward stage presence, but at least his DJing was good from a technique perspective; all the transitions were smooth. The goofiness of his set was brought to a climax at the very end when he closed with “SICKO MODE” followed by Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba,” the two most memed rap songs of last year. It ended up being around the same length as MadeinTYO’s set but it felt twice as long.
After a short wait and more songs from the DJ, A$AP Ferg finally burst on to the stage with his green hair and patch-covered jumpsuit. He kicked it off with “Floor Seats,” the title track off his new EP. Its Prodigy sample, distorted chorus, booming beat, and boisterous ad-libs make it the best song on the EP and a very fitting opener. He followed that up with a couple more forgettable songs until it was time for MadeinTYO to make his return. Unlike his opener, Ferg actually raps into the mic and doesn’t just let the backing track do all the work. So when MadeinTYO came back out to perform “WAM,” his collaborative track with Ferg from Floor Seats, it was truly bizarre to hear Ferg’s live vocals clear as day together with MadeinTYO’s still buried under the backing track.
After “Jet Lag,” another one of the better songs from his new EP, he brought a girl from the crowd up on stage to dance with him after she crowd surfed to the front while wearing high heels. After that, Ferg brought out his mic stand which was adorned with all the bras he’s collected on the tour so far. Boston was one of the last stops on the tour, so there were a lot of them. It was a little weird, to say the least.
Apparently, the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown was at the show. Ferg tried to bring him on stage, but he refused because his “leg hurt.” Anyhow, Ferg really started to turn up the heat at the end of his set with “Yamborghini High,” “Shabba,” and “New Level.” During the latter, he brought out a kid named Antonio who is apparently really good on a bike. That song was one of the craziest of the night, with the lights going haywire and the smoke jets firing for the first time while Ferg and Antonio jumped across the stage. It was mind-blowing. Naturally, he closed the show with his biggest hit “Plain Jane,” which was also insane. Then, he walked off stage and everybody immediately started clearing out as if an encore was never an option. The show was mostly underwhelming but definitely had some great highlights, so it met the expectations set by Ferg’s new EP.