G-Eazy wore socks with sandals to rap the night away.
After five openers dragging on, the rapper, also known as Gerald Earl Gillum, finally took the stage at the FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, emerging from smoke at 9:45 p.m. He maintained a high level of energy and passion until his very last note, spending the whole set bopping around the stage and frequently pausing to chat with the audience. Each song of his substantial set list elicited strong reactions from the crowd, and he preserved the enthusiasm throughout this leg of The Endless Summer Tour.
Energy, however, did not fully make up for the lack of a cohesive aesthetic during the show as a whole. G-Eazy’s portion of the show began with “Pray For Me,” featuring a plethora of religious imagery displayed on the three screens, including a glowing cross and hands clutching a rosary. While the dedication to a few of the song’s themes worked well, it was not upheld throughout the show, making the songs that did feature aesthetics that matched their lyrics feel out of place. “But A Dream” featured not only a boat on water, but also a blue sky with clouds and then a black screen with a red smoke effect. Other songs featured sporadic use of pyrotechnics that came off as if only to prove that the set designers could, in fact, use fire.
The oddest set piece by far was the car driven on stage at the beginning of “The Beautiful & Damned.” G-Eazy jumped out of the backseat, having changed out of a black T-shirt and basketball shorts and into a far trendier combination of a white T-shirt with denim overalls. While the immediate impact was intriguing, it remained on stage for far too long, taking up unnecessary space. While it didn’t clutter up the stage, it appeared out of place.
The rapper also took time out of his set to call out audience members. After stating that he wanted to dedicate a song to the girl who felt she was the most beautiful in all of Orange County, he proceeded to point out random girls in the audience. He also gave a special message to one fan who he said had attended over 20 of his shows. In contrast to the trite shoutouts, this moment seemed genuine and personal.
Any somewhat sweet moment was certainly undercut by the most provocative aspect of the concert – the scantily clad backup dancers during “Drop.” Each wore lingerie that left absolutely nothing to the imagination, with the camera not shying away from close-ups on various body parts. Though they danced skillfully, the dancers clearly existed to be decoration for the set’s car and G-Eazy, with the dancers remaining on stage for only a handful of songs. Out of five openers and a multitude of guest performers, the only way women fit into the show was as backup dancers.
“Had to have a couple chicks up my sleeve,” G-Eazy said, referencing the surprise women.
His encore consisted of arguably his biggest hits. Each of the songs originally featured women, including his ex-girlfriend Halsey in “Him & I” and “Me, Myself & I.” Despite his career-defining songs including parts for women, he did not have a single female opener or guest performer.
The rapper kept up his energy until the end, pausing to bask in the crowd, which was chanting his name, before bringing the night to a close with “No Limit.” Despite the passion emanating from both G-Eazy and the audience, the lack of aesthetic cohesion and questionable portrayal of women in the show detracted from an otherwise solid performance.