Print Edition: October 22, 2014
When I heard that Joey Bada$$ was going to be stopping at the Vogue Theatre during his tour promoting his upcoming debut album, B4.DA.$$, I immediately bought tickets, which, at a $30 price tag, seemed more than reasonable.
I had an early dinner with three friends who accompanied me to the concert, and headed down to the Vogue in Vancouver, getting in around the 10 p.m. start time and making my way through the crowd, which grew to about 300 people.
Accompanied by fellow Pro Era members Nyck Caution, CJ Fly, and A La Sole, among others, Joey performed tracks off of his personal catalogue as well as songs recorded as the Pro Era collective and individual songs by his guest performers.
Early on, Joey performed several tracks off 1999, including “World Domination” and “Survival Tactics,” to which the crowd responded appropriately by freaking the hell out. “World Domination” was the first song performed that evening, which the crowd enthusiastically received, rapping along to virtually the entire track. The mood was set immediately with the opening phrase: “Who the fuck passed you the mic / and said that you could flow? / Point them out, bitch, I want to know,” which was belted out by the crowd with a ridiculous amount of energy.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the concert was that although Joey was the main reason most people were there, he shifted between performing songs off his individual mixtapes and songs that other artists in Pro Era had recorded individually or with interchanging feature verses. A couple of songs were performed from CJ Fly’s Thee Way Eye See It mixtape, one of which, “Sup Preme,” had some of the most positive reactions from the crowd, probably due to the fact that Joey delivered his amazing verse live with a tenacity that had every person in the crowd going crazy.
One of the more calm moments came when the performers asked for a minute of silence from the crowd in honour of Capital Steez, who passed away in late 2012. The crowd, however, was apparently too excited, as they only achieved at best 70 per cent silence, which Joey addressed jokingly by saying, “I guess ya’ll are just too turnt up.”
Other songs which were met by overflowing approval from the crowd included “Big Dusty,” the first single off of B4.DA.$$, and “School High,” which resulted in just about everybody in the crowd rapping along with as much vigour and enthusiasm as I’ve ever seen from any crowd.
Overall, the performance put on by Joey and the present members of Pro Era was probably one of the most enjoyable concerts I’ve ever been to.