As the line-ups died down outside the venue, DJ Kemo of The Rascalz kept the crowd entertained before the show began. Vancouver's Jaykin and Usual Suspecs came out, performing some familiar songs to their local crowd before leaving the stage for information to be presented on upcoming shows. As the MC spoke of what Vancouver had to look foward to in upcoming months he was interupted by chants for Common. Kemo even received boo's when the crowd were informed his sets would be continuing, not out of criticism, but because the overly excited audience were getting restless in anticipation of the chi-town emcee.
Chatter of how Common would enter the stage circled, and about ten minutes after being scheduled to begin (an hour or so after the wait in between acts), he entered with the intro to "Be," greeted by the audience's roaring delight.
What shocked everyone was Common's energy. He'd told me to expect "Good music, with energy and soul" when I interviewed him about a month prior, but my expectations were nowhere near what he achieved. Running back and forth constantly, speaking intricately with his hands and managing his breath control propelled the weight of his songs, making his performance a marvel to watch.
Common's command of the stage was exceptional, wowing the crowd with breakdancing and such. At one point though, it became a little shocking. People don't tend to expect a more sexual Common, but he brought up a woman on stage, provocatively dancing and playing with her. It felt odd to watch, and the response from other females I knew at the show said they also felt awkward with it happening.
The set covered most of his hits, and almost all of "Be." "I Used To Love H.E.R." was of course present, as well as "The Light." He also had no choice but to provide his extremely popular verse from Kanye's "Get 'Em High." There were a couple of interludes with Common acting which were quite amusing, one of which featured a cell phone sound effect echoing through the speakers before Common "answered." He alledged (to the crowd's amusement) that Kweli was on the line with a back and forth response for cheers. He then proceeded to state Mos Def was also on the line in a conference call as a bridge for him to get into his contribution to Black Star's "Respiration."
The show closed with Common providing an encore using "The Sixth Sense" and "It's Your World." The night ended with everyone in attendance feeling their money was well spent.
* All photos taken by MVRemix Media. Not to be reproduced without consent.