Pulitzer Prize and Grammy award winning rapper, Kendrick Lamar, and other Top Dawg Entertainment artists kicked off Memorial Day Weekend 2018 with “The Championship Tour” at the outdoor Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta, GA.The theme of the night was “We are the Champions” and the stage was like an athletic event with banners stating each artist of Top Dawg Entertainment music label’s accomplishments.
The concert started around 7:45pm and opening performances included Top Dawg Entertainment label mates Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab Soul, Zacari, and Isaiah Rashad. Singer, SZA, was originally on the lineup, but due to being put on vocal rest was not able to perform. Many audience members were looking forward to seeing SZA, yet still enjoyed the concert.
Opening artist, Sir, came out in a baseball jersey with the music labels logo on it. Ab-Soul represented archery coming on stage with a bow and arrow. Jay Rock came on stage with a basketball uniform and even the Top Dawg Entertainment mascot came on stage dancing.
Rapper, Schoolboy Q even came on stage in a golf cart and collard golf shirt and performed. However, standout opening performances were School Boy Q’s “Studio”, “That Part”, and “Man of the Year”.
Around 9:45pm the diverse crowd started getting antsy and excited as the screens changed colors, smoke screens filled the stage, and sounds of rumbling and computer beeping started.
At random Kendrick finally appeared on the stage performing his hit song “DNA” from the Grammy award winning “Damn” album. Kendrick performed multiple songs from his earlier albums such as “Section 80”, “Good Kid M.a.a.d. City”, and “To Pimp a Butterfly”. The Compton, California native even performed “X” from “The Black Panther” superhero movie soundtrack and the audience went crazy.
Kendrick and Jay Rock also performed “Money Trees” and “King’s Dead” and Kendrick and Zacari also performed “Love”. You could feel the crowd’s positive energy permeate throughout the outdoor venue. Kendrick even did an encore performance of “Alright” which was another crowd favorite. Kendrick also performed “Element”, “Loyalty”, ”New Freezer”, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, “King Kunta”, “i”, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “m.a.a.d city”.
The last song Kendrick performed was “Humble” and during the song cut the music off and the audience rapped every word A cappella! Kendrick was so in awe he decided to play the song again and all the other artists joined the stage with him and then the show ended.
Overall I enjoyed myself! I really enjoyed the bands live instruments mixed in with the tracks. It was nice to see how music unites people from all ages and walks of life. I also wish I could’ve seen SZA, but I thought it was a pretty good show. At the Lakewood Amphitheatre venue I would recommend driving because at the end of the concert Uber pick up areas were not really organized and hundreds of other people were trying to order rides and the surge price went up and wait times were long. If you ever have a chance to see Kendrick you should most definitely go! Check out the Ticketmaster or Live Nation websites for more ticket information.