I attended a concert in Portland on 10-24-14. It was put on by radio station Jam’n 107.5 and they called it the “Boo Bomb”. It was a hip hop showcase featuring multiple well established and oldschool artists. It took place at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum right next to the Trailblazers Moda Center.
The opener to the show was Sir Mix-a-Lot, best known for his song Baby Got Back. I was not looking forward to seeing him ever since hearing he was part of the show. When I got to the event I could already hear someone was performing. Going through the doors I could see it was Sir Mix-A-Lot. I went back through the doors and used this time to get some water.
Once hydrated and ready to see the show, I entered the main part of the coliseum. Seats were assigned and mine was close to the stage, only six rows back. Great close view and center stage. Not long after I found my spot, they announced the next artist to perform, New Orleans rapper Juvenile, was about to get on stage. Juvenile has been one of my favorite hip hop artists and it was good news to hear I was just in time, perfect way to start the show.
Juvenile’s performance was great. He performed many classic songs from his multiplatinum album 400 Degreez. He also did hit songs like “Slow Motion” and “Set It Off”. He talked to the crowd saying things like Trailblazer Damian Lillard is his favorite basketball player, and he would have been there with him if he wasn’t playing a game in the building next door.
Next was LA rapper DJ Quik. He was a big name in the 90’s, but he has still been steadily making music since. He performed old classic songs, some of which I knew, others I didn’t. Overall, he was good. After him was E-40, a big name from the Bay. His set was a mix of old and new songs. Some of his songs were high energy and at times people around me were going “hyphy”. Overall, I thought he was good.
The next artist to perform was Ja Rule. He was a big name in hip hop and pop culture in general in the early 2000s. The radio personality announcing him commented on how they haven’t seen him perform in years. When Ja got on stage people around me went crazy. People knew all the songs, and his unique style of mixing rapping with singing had parts for both the guys and girls to enjoy. Even he looked surprised everyone still knew all of his songs and said to the crowd, “You know these songs are like 10 years old, right?”
Next to perform was Bong Thugs-n-Harmony, a highly successful group from Cleveland. They are known for their style of mixing fast rapping with harmonic elements. I have seen them perform two times prior, both times in Eugene. Seeing them perform in smaller venues like the WOW Hall vs seeing them in a large coliseum had a slightly different feel. I think they performed better and were more on point during this event. The biggest difference than the prior shows was the lacking of one member. It was a little strange with him not there, as the group would either have to rap his parts for him or stop the song when it cam to his part. Even had already seeing them before I thought their performance was great.
Last to hit the stage was T.I. He has been around the music scene since the early 2000s, but recently has grown to celebrity status, even getting his own reality show on VH1. With this current popularity, the show organized him sort of like a headliner. A lot of people were waiting to see him and the place immediately got louder when they announced he was about to perform. He got on stage and performed a few older songs, which I liked. He also talked to the crowd a little saying don’t believe all the bad talk about him and that he’s a real stand up dude. Then he started to perform some of his newer songs which most of the crowd enjoyed. I didn’t care for his new songs too much, but still thought his performance was good. He was very active, constantly moving around the stage while he performed, giving a high energy feel to the crowd. The entire show overall was solid and by the time in ended I was satisfied. My legs were just started to get tired and I thought the length of the show was just right.
I am pleased to say the show was a very positive experience. I got to see some of my favorite hip hop artists perform live. It is always interesting to hear how a live version differs from the recording. No two performances of a song are exactly the same, so each new performance is a new listening experience. I also observed and took in a few things like performing skills such as moving around and ways of interacting with the crowd. Also seeing what songs connected best with the crowd. I also observed technical things like lighting, microphone levels and voice clarity, bass levels, speaker placement, and more. This was the first Boo Bash to take place, but they made it sound like it was the first of more to come. I hope so as I would definitely go to another show like this.