June 3, 2010
Better than: Any sideshow in the Bay Area
Hanging behind the stage at 50 Cent's show last night at the Warfield was a monstrous self-portrait of 50 emerging from a cityscape, with lava pouring out of his mouth and eyes. This apocalyptic stage setup mirrored the testosterone-fueled music that 50 Cent is all about.
But before the scrim was raised, a silhouette of the 34-year-old holding a laser-pointing gun stood center stage for a while, which caused the audience to fall to pieces, screaming.
The hot-rod rapper finally appeared last night in excellent form, smiling from ear to ear. "I have one question for you," 50 asked the exuberant audience: "Where the ladies at?"
50 ran through his massive list of hits slowly over the course of the evening, saving favorites such as "Candy Shop" and "Magic Stick" until the bitter end. This left the audience in screaming shambles.
At one point, the hulking rapper flashed a knowing grin. "I know you all love 50," he said, "but I know you all love 40!" All of a sudden, the Bay Area's own E-40 stepped onstage and busted out a version of "Tell Me When To Go" that probably would've made Mac Dre turn over in his grave. The audience sang along and couldn't have been more enthusiastic.
Later on in his set, 50 showed off another special guest. Too Short sprung out from the curtains and gave a whirlwind performance of his hit "Blow the Whistle" that sent everyone for a loop. Then the Oakland rapper disappeared almost as suddenly as he arrived.
50 Cent changed outfits a handful of times during his set, and each time he came out wearing something new he threw at least one article of clothing into the crowd. In turn, women in the audience started throwing lingerie and brassieres onstage, which 50 put in the back pocket of his jeans.
The shared respect and love between 50 cent and the audience was astounding. To a lot of fans, 50 Cent is a godlike figure, having overcome a rough adolescence on the streets of Queens to become a multimillionaire and celebrity. Some kids in front even brought copies of 50's new self-help book The 50th Law, hoping they could score his signature.
The good vibes in the Warfield last night were infectious, with star-struck fans singing along to every word coming out of the rapper's mouth. But it was clear to everyone who was having the most fun -- 50 himself.