Review: ‘Budweiser Superfest’

Flashy pyrotechnics, elaborate choreography and props bolster four hours of solid performances by five R&B/hip-hop heavyweights at the Budweiser Superfest, nearing the end of its 30-city tour.

Flashy pyrotechnics, elaborate choreography and props bolster four hours of solid performances by five R&B/hip-hop heavyweights at the Budweiser Superfest, nearing the end of its 30-city tour.

Backed by a live band and a battalion of shirtless male dancers, and armed with the muscular, raw yet resonant vocals and the streetwise attitude that has snagged her the title “queen of hip-hop-soul,” headliner Mary J Blige had the crowd bouncing immediately to tunes from her three albums, including her latest release, “Share My World” (MCA). Faring best on ballads, she hit full stride during her closer, “Not Gonna Cry” from the “Waiting to Exhale” soundtrack as fireworks burst overheard.

Co-headliners Bone Thugs-N-Harmony dispensed with between-song patter and poured 110% into 60 minutes of their patented rapping in synch — at once rugged, haunting and beautiful — faithfully re-creating the complex harmonies and rapid-fire solo raps of the recorded material onstage. Fans bobbed their heads furiously to songs like the gunfire-riddled “Thug Luv,” and swayed gently and fired up their lighters to the peace-minded radio hit “If I Could Teach the World.” Dancers in grim-reaper garb and a giant chomping skull reflected the life-death imagery of the multiplatinum quartet’s new double album, “The Art Of War” (Ruthless/Relativity). Even as the crowd thinned and the house lights went on, the band members continued to rap their hearts out.

Opening-act highlights included Ginuwine the Bachelor’s perf of his slow-grind smash, “Pony.” Midsong, the R&B heartthrob took of his shirt, jumped in the crowd and let the girls pant and paw, as towels used to wipe his sweat were tossed off the stage to anxious, outstretched hands

Budweiser Superfest

Great Western Forum; 17,000 capacity; $47.50 Reviewed Oct. 4, 1997.

Production

Produced by Haymon Entertainment

Cast

Featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Mary J Blige, Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Kid Capri.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Music News from Variety

Loading