From their beginning, rap and hip-hop have been under scrutiny for their underlying tones of drugs, sex, and violence. And while there are many rappers in the industry today speaking on heavy topics like racism, police brutality, politics, and other social/economical injustices, they are often ignored or put under a microscope to find the one line in a song that could be taken the wrong way out of context (most notably Kendrick Lamar with his most recent release HUMBLE). Logic chooses to follow neither of these routes with his music. A breath of fresh air in rap music, Logic promotes his motto of “peace, love and positivity” throughout his music. This motto is amplified through the live performances of his songs. With the release of his third studio album Everybody, Logic set out on a full U.S. tour promoting the album, bringing along Big Lenbo and Joey Bada$$.
Big Lenbo was first to take the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The lights dimmed and his hype-man took the stage, setting the scene for what seemed like an exciting set. But as soon as Big Lenbo appeared, the excitement slowly died. Performing songs from his studio album Strange Days, Big Lenbo showed very little energy or stage presence. His hype-man stole the show as he bounced around the back of the stage, flying from one side to another, all the while Lenbo stayed sedentary in the center of the stage for a majority of the show. Although his songs were decent, Big Lenbo lacked the zest one comes to expect from an artist performing to crowds of this size, even as an opener.
As the crowd became less patient and more anxious for Logic’s performance, the lights dimmed once again and Joey Bada$$ began his set. His DJ started with samples from popular hip-hop songs. The energy in the crowd certainly seemed to boost up as they bounced along with songs they recognized. Joey took the stage to a properly warmed-up and eager crowd. Beginning his set with “Land of the Free” from his most recent release All-Amerikkan Bada$$, it was clear from the start that his set was going to be politically charged, even sporting an American flag printed scarf. It was clear that there were people in the audience that did not appreciate his music, but it seemed as if a majority of the crowd resonated with the themes of his music: systemic racism, police brutality, and economic injustice. These themes resonate in his album, and the performances of songs like “Amerikkkan Idol” and “For My People” made the messages even clearer. By the end of his set, the entire crowd was on their feet for the lead single off of All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, “Devastated”.
Joey’s served up a proper opening set, and the crowd began the wait for Logic’s set. Although only 30 minutes, the room filled with anticipation and excitement, making the wait seem like hours. Eventually the house lights dimmed for the third and final time, and the crowd erupted into thunderous applause and screams. A black curtain dropped, revealing Logic’s backing band and large light boards, projecting dim images of a clouded sky behind the band. The music started soft and mellow, and rose slowly until the bass was booming and Logic appeared, to an even louder cheer than before. Beginning with “Hallelujah” from Everybody, Logic set a fast-paced, fun, and energetic tone for the night to come. He followed with “Everybody” and “Killing Spree”. The set was heavy on Everybody but as the name of the tour implies, it was to be expected.
The energy only continued to grow after the first three songs. During “Fade Away”, Logic had his bodyguard hold his microphone as he completed a Rubix cube behind his back in a matter of seconds. Later in the set, Logic stopped his band to offer help to a fan in need. It seemed like the girl needed water, but after investigating Logic kicked out the drunk fan next to the girl and offered her and her sister a spot on the stage to watch the rest of the show. He said he was very happy that everyone had showed up to see him, but the drunk man did not promote his motto of “peace, love, and positivity” so he had to go.
Logic continued on with his set, eventually bringing Big Lenbo back to the stage to perform three songs together. The addition of Logic made Big Lenbo slightly more entertaining, but her still lacked a certain spark that one needs to entertain massive crowds like the one at Mohegan Sun. Logic wrapped up his set with arguably his most popular songs “Flexicution”, “1-800-273-8255” (which originally features Alessia Cara and Khalid) and “Confess”. As Logic left the stage, the room swelled with noise as the crowd beckoned him to come back for more songs. He returned for an encore performance of “AfricAryaN” and “Gang Related”.
“The Motto” was in full effect the whole night. The crowd was receptive to the energy Logic was putting out on stage, and he definitely fed off of the high energy of the crowd. Being a solo act and entertaining thousands of people is a scary and difficult feat, but with his quirky and slightly nerdy persona, Logic radiates happiness and positivity that even the person sitting in the last row can feel. His fans could leave happy, knowing the received a quality performance that was not overshadowed by any gimmicks or extreme production stunts. His talent and stage presence are what carried the whole show, and Logic will only continue to foster success with the brand he has built around himself.
Editor's Note: Logic is performing in Boston, MA at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion TONIGHT (August 9th) tickets are available for the show via LiveNation
Photos - Logic, Joey Bada$$, Big Lenbo - Mohegan Sun Arena - 8-3-17: