On Friday night on August 14, 2015 Nicki Minaj and her Pinkprint tour cruised through Concord, Calif. Bringing a host of her friends and collaborators in the form of Dej Loaf, Tinashe, Rae Srerrumurd, and Meek Mill, the Pinkprint tour was sure to attract the baddest of the bay.
With a very early start time, a venue out in the middle of the East Bay and a security line that stretched down the hill, many of the audience missed the first opener Dej Loaf. As people hiked up the second hill, grabbed food and drinks and made their way to their seats, they probably caught the back half of Tinashe’s set.
After working the crowd over with her shimmery jacket and equally shimmery vocals, Tinashe relinquished the stage to the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd. Keeping the show energy up with their banging track “No Flex Zone” Rae released a half dozen Red and Yellow beach balls, which bounced around for about 15 seconds before fans quickly snatched them out of the air and kept for souveniers. With tracks like ‘My X’ and ‘Lit Like Bic’ Rae Sremmurd even had the stage security throwing their arms up at the end of their set.
Having recently gotten into a beef with Drake, over accusing him of not writing his lyrics Meek Mill had drawn a lot of press lately. The question on everyone’s mind was how would Nicki Minaj (who has had Drake guest on many of her tracks) deal with this less than positive press around her current beau. Originally slated for a 30 min set after Sremmurd, Meek Mill was no-where to be found. In his stead, a DJ who claimed to represent Nicki tried to keep the crowd at bay with a 50 min long set of old school hip hop tracks including some of the Bay’s own Mac Dre (RIP).
As the clock rolled past 9 and Meek nor Nicki were anywhere to be found, the crowd started to wonder what the problem was. Whispers of Nicki being stuck in traffic could be heard from the seats, and although the DJ finally left, the crowd was still waiting in anticipation of Nicki. For some the long wait was too much to bare, and several fans got into a heated brawl and were eventually escorted out by security.
Finally after all the waiting (and fighting) the lights go low and the crowd erupts in cheer. As thousands of cellphone lights illuminate the stands, Nicki emerges from the floor and is immediately bathed in pink lights. As her fans continued to go crazy the Pinkprint Queen effortlessly rolled through hits like ‘Feeling Myself’ and ‘Truffle Butter’ all while shaking her booty alongside a group of backup dancers. At one point before ‘Anaconda’ Nicki Minaj took time to preach to the girls in the audience about how they need to go to school, get a good job and make sure that they don’t have to rely on a man for support.
Around half way through her set, Nicki’s less than better half Meek Mill finally shows his face. Quickly running through a truncated set of his own hits, Meek Mill, panders to the audience and again brings up Mac Dre, giving his Girl Friend time to change into a new outfit. Although the Bay could have handled a Meek Mill performance before their beloved Nicki, the crowd was not feeling the questionable interruption.
After about 10 minutes of Meek Mill, Nicki once again emerges from the shadows and proceeds to run through the back half of her set including a crazy melody of tracks from her first official album and her mixtapes. Although their were hiccups throughout the night before Minaj showed up, it was clear by the lack of empty chairs at the end of her show that Nicki did not disappoint.