Kid Cudi (Live! 2013)

Kid Cudi (Live! 2013)
The Cud Life Tour 2013
Music Review
By Jeffrey Kieviet

You Finally Made It To the Moon – Kid Cudi with Tyler, The Creator & Logic

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Part 1 – Russell Brand

So Friday we’re driving down to San Diego (myself and my buddy, Sean) to check out a Kid Cudi concert. Where the freeways meet, traffic jams, so I pull off the freeway to take a wee and maybe get an energy drink. Plowing into the gas station, I notice a line forming outside the bathroom door, so I ask the obvious question, “Is this the line to the bathroom?” The two guys waiting turn around, and the one with the long, black hair tied up into a bun replies with “Yeah, mate.” I pause, not used to this British idiom so close to the Mexico boarder, and that’s when vague recognition crosses my face. The dark, brooding eyes, the unshaven jaw, the pissed-off rock star look: it was none other than star of Get Him to the Greek & FX’s Brand X with Russell Brand:
Russell Brand!

Not my picture, but this is pretty much how he looked. Actually, I think that was the guy he was with. Boyfriend or entourage? You decide.
Not my picture, but this is pretty much how he looked. Actually, I think that’s the same guy he was with. Boyfriend or entourage? You decide.

Now I never actually watched his TV show but I was entertained by his movies and I laughed jovially at his stand-up comedy and even bothered to watch the Arthur remake (not his best work). So I was stoked. Then Sean runs in, also looking to use the “loo” (look at me, I’m already turning British by association) and the similar ripple of recognition runs through his eyes.

SEAN: Is that–?

ME: Yeah—

SEAN: What do we–?

ME: I-on’-no…

And then like the two respectful chaps we are, we didn’t say anything to him. After he used the toilet, Sean gave him a completely casual and totally unawkward “Sup” to which he responded with “Cheers, mate,” and we called it a day. And we totally had to swing by my sister’s place (since she lives in San Diego, as, I’m sure, you’ll remember from my Amanda Palmer review) to say “hey” and tell her of this spectacular meeting of great minds, and, of course, she’s watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Coincidence? I think not!

Part 2 – Logic

Logic1

At the Valley View Casino Center, still running on star-struck fumes of Russell Brand’s flatulence (I used the restroom after Russell Brand! Here’s to hoping I caught Katy Perry’s herpes!), I chug a monster, get frisked by some of the laziest security around, and grab a beer. I wonder if security does a piss-poor job on purpose, simply to let you sneak in booze (or what have you) since they know how ridiculously expensive all that stuff is.

But worse than the overly-priced-beers is that Sean & I are potentially the oldest people in the room. Not literally, I’m sure we were only in the top 40s (percent, not years), but what is up with kids these days? Everyone looked 13 and half of them were buying beer which means the vendors are either as good at carding as security is with frisking, or I’ve officially become my grandfather and I need to start sitting on my porch yelling at youngins to “get off my lawn!” Grumble. Youth wasted on young. Etc.

The show starts and the opening act is a kid (seriously, 4 years younger than I am, I felt like I was at the VMAs) named “Logic.” Not the most original name but not bad for a rap artist, although he used to go by “Psychological” and while cumbersome, it’s a pretty sweet hip-hop name. His lyrics were sick, his style is heavily influenced by Frank Sinatra (of all people), and his a cappella flowed better than a lot of music currently on the radio. The kid has skills and was so grateful to be on stage; it was truly endearing. But after wandering the pit for a bit, Sean & I found ourselves some nice old-men chairs in the stands to sit comfortably and drink our beers.

Part 3 – Tyler, The Creator

This guy is generates hype like his own best hype-man (what a cool job; I just wanna hang out with Russell Brand and be his hype-man, yelling his praise at random passerby’s). I was only peripherally familiar with his music but I want to take it out for a nice dinner and a long drive along the hills, get to know it better. The best way I can describe his style is a mix of Kid Cudi & Eminem (with lyrics like “!@#$ed a pregnant chick and called it a three-way,” he’s got a bit of Slim Shady’s sense of humor) with DMX’s rough & gravelly voice & aggression. But while Logic was just eternally grateful to be sharing a stage with Cudi, Tyler seemed fearful and full of doubt.

It was probably a part of his gig, to try to work up the crowd, get them excited, but after every song he would ask “Was that ok?” or “Did you like that?” This guy reminded me of Jason Biggs in American Pie, questioning his every move while Natalia was already telling him “Yes!” But it got us on our feet (much to our dismay, the entire seated section rose and remained standing. I just realized, the two old guys on the balcony from the Muppets! That’s who I’m turning into. Now to just find out who has their hand up my–) and people were shouting and cheering and feeding every hole in his ego; “Yes, that was, in fact, ok! Yes we did like that! Why don’t you sing another!” It was a very polite crowd of teenyboppers.

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I guess Tyler’s equivalent of his Goody Mob was Wolf Gang which somehow became “Golf Wang” (because Tiger Woods played Golf and he got famous for stuff he did with his Wa-), so his stage was set up with a small mountain in the background, potentially representing an 18th hole or maybe an intense minigolf course, and giant, inflatable “G-O-L-F” letters took up most of the stage. And while he put on a good show and the rap was chill and the vibe was cool, the entire time I kept thinking, “Man, I should have said something to Russell Brand. I mean, sure. Right now I’m watching a semi-famous performer strut on stage while an arena full of screaming fans throw their hands in the air like they just don’t care, but what’s my new best friend, lead singer of fake-band Infant Sorrow, Mr. Aldus Snow, up to at this moment? Probably doing a stand-up special or whatever he’s in San Diego for, but if I had said ‘hello’ or ‘big fan’ or even ‘is it a #1 or #2?” maybe he would have taken me on his tour bus (or I could have ridden in the back seat of his car because there was no tour bus at the gas station) and he would be showing me the world, bright and shimmering magic, I could have been his princess and we would be having an incredible, enchanted, sober time. Because of all his drug problems back in the day. Wait, princess? I meant queen!” But alas, I’ll never know. We justified it as being polite, not wanting to intrude on his ananinomininity, but honestly, I was just kind of being a pussy.

Part 4 – Kid Cudi

The main event: a kid named Cudi. And this guy lives up to his name (whatever “Cudi” means [it’s the 2nd half of his actual last name but let’s leave that alone for now {and always}]). So the set is now a small fortress-of-solitude cave, made out of ice and crystals, and considering Scott Mescudi seems to be a bit of a comic book nerd, I’m assuming the allusion is intended. From the mouth of the cave emerges the man, the myth, the legend, in a full-body silver suit, oddly reminiscent of Will Smith in After Earth (yeah, I didn’t see it either), but with an Iron Man twist. There is armor built into the suit with a small glowing symbol above his heart. Not the Iron Man chest centric electromagnet, but close enough.

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By the time Cudi’s set start, Sean & I have moved into the pit and the aroma of sour skunk is everywhere. People have been smoking this whole show, but whatever they were saving seems to come out now. Earlier, when we were sitting in the stands, we got to watch a live version of Pac Man: a heavy set security guard in his full, round, yellow bouncer shirt would wander the crowd, seeking the ethereal smoke clouds and scolding the user by putting his boot heel to what was left of their joint/blunt/roach. Whatever Mary-Jane lingo kids are using these days. Once one blinking ghost was extinguished, another would rise from the mass of fans only to be sought out by the rotund, golden lemon of a security guard Pac Man. Cudi begins to sing “p-p-p-Pretty green bud, all in my blood, ohhh,” and we can barely see the stage through the haze of smoke.

Next time I'll get a camera with better zoom. But totally fortress of solitude, right?
Next time I’ll get a camera with better zoom. But totally fortress of solitude, right?

He rocks the house. He brings it up, and once it’s about to blow, mellows it out only to return with a vengeance. My personal favorite, Soundtrack 2 My Life, does not disappoint. He is more of a rock star than a rapper, letting his melodic voice resonate and ascend as opposed to bouncing around with a hype-man. Kid Cudi’s music is truly unique, a blend of every genre of music but with the soul of rap. When he sets up a mike stand one can almost imagine Steven Tyler or Mick Jagger about to belt out one of their classics, but Cudi offers so much more in style, variety, and dare I say his lyrics. Cool & confident, he blended Logic’s gratitude with Tyler, The Creator’s “humility.” Between talking about how cool San Diego is and how he’s totally coming back soon (I felt like a girl in a 90s sitcom when the guy says “I’ll call you.” He’s not going to call. Cudi was only using me for my applause. I mean, I’m sure he’ll come back to San Diego, but it’s not like I’m having Kid Cudi & Russell Brand over for dinner & a movie any time soon), he would also check to make sure we liked the track. And of course we did, his songs rock! If you’ve never heard him before, please check out this track:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLJxKKqfhy8

You’re welcome. Now if only I can convert everyone to a Kid Rock fan as well, my musical goals will be complete.

http://youtu.be/voaGM4CMQ9c

4 comments

  1. Derek Nahigyan Reply

    Hahaha, so I take it Kid Cudi made up for being a pussy and not talking more to Russell Brand?

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