Standing in front of First Avenue on Monday night, a passerby would think there was a puppy adoption going on inside. As flurries of snow danced on the street, bass blasted within the venue.
With smiling faces, laughs and genuine care, both staff and concert-goers were in the best of moods as they waited for the headliner to take center stage. Rarely do hip-hop artists practice what they preach these days. Aminé, however, does so to the fullest.
As the lights fell, a cheer that reflected the “under 21” crowd erupted and laser lights began to shine.
Bass instantly bombarded through the speakers, and Aminé was off to the races.
Performing banger after banger, the artist went strong for a few songs before introducing himself to his loving fans — as if this was necessary.
“I want you to do something for me during the show, all right?” the Portland emcee commanded between hits off his summer album, “ONEPOINTFIVE." “Every time I say, 'you’re beautiful,' you say, ‘I know!' Can you do that? Because it’s true, you're all pretty as fuck.”
Sure enough, after almost every song the rapper would belt “you’re beautiful” into the mic about five times. The crowd always gave an affirming response.
The backdrop to all of this zealousness was atypical for the main room. A huge LCD screen that reached the length of the stage and stood about six-feet-tall projected graphics ranging from tropical island landscapes to Jack Black in “School of Rock.”
Feeling half EDM show and half Rolling Loud, this scenery bolstered the show's epic-ness even further.
During a short but joyful intermission, the audience was entertained by the one and only Rickey Thompson projected on the screen. Then it was pretty much bangers for the rest of the set.
As if Aminé hadn’t dropped enough of his positivity over the venue already, about three-fourths of the way into the show, he called a fan onstage to sign his tour pants. Decorated with license plates, the pants were to be signed by “the most lit fan in the crowd.”
“I want you to write your name on the Minnesota plate, and then also what you want to become,” Aminé said to the chosen fan, who bunny-hopped in place with excitement.
From classics like “REDMERCEDES” to a remixed and incredibly groovy rendition of “Wannabe," the music accented the night with choruses felt to the bone. This fact shouldn't be overshadowed.
But the energy from Aminé and his crew was a rare sort. An energy often projected in rap shows, but seldom captured.
Illuminated by neon lasers, the feel-good artist ended the night with his hit single “REEL IT IN." The smiling crowd seemed to ask why he couldn't stay on a bit longer.
I was asking the same thing.