If you follow XXL on Twitter, then you may have noticed that a few of us took a weekend trip down to Atlanta to partake in the festivities surrounding Hot 107.9’s annual Birthday Bash concert. As a native New Yorker I’ve seen countless Hot 97 Summer Jams, but haven’t gotten the opportunity to see how other cities get down with their big radio concerts, so the pilgrimage to the ATL was a must. Luckily Birthday Bash 15 did not disappoint. Shouts to Hot 107.9!
The concert featured R&B songbird Monica, F.L.Y., Roscoe Dash, Travis Porter, Pastor Troy, Rick Ross, Plies, Ludacris and headliner Gucci Mane. What I appreciated most about the show, which took place on Saturday June 19 at Phillips Arena, was the overwhelming sense of hometown pride that was exhibited. The energy was great and the “A” got down for theirs without a doubt. Amongst the standouts were Travis Porter who impressively jumped in the crowd and performed from the 100 Section. I commended the effort and even tweeted about it. Now they have their 53,000 followers hitting me up on Twitter demanding an XXL cover. Gotta respect ambition. LOL.
The crowd went ape shit when Pastor Troy came out rockin’ his belt! Rick Ross entertained and Plies had the female portion of the arena eating out of the palm of his hand. The Goon started his set off wearing a white robe, while the DJ played the “Mister Rogers” theme song. After performing his verse on Usher’s “Daddy’s Home,” Plies ran through his set doing songs like “Plenty Money,” “Becky” and “Bruh, Bruh.” To close, the Miami-native brought out hometown hero Young Jeezy and rocked “Lose My Mind.” Needless to say it went over very well, thanks to teh Snowman’s surprise appearance.
With the bar raised, Ludacris took to the stage and absolutely stole the show at Phillips Arena. ’Cris performed everything from “What’s Your Fantasy” to “Southern Hospitality” to “Move Bitch” to “My Chick Bad.” After doing the stripper-friendly “How Low,” Luda brought out Luther Campbell and let the former 2 Live Crew frontman (and the strippers he brought with him) rock-out. It’s kind of crazy, but I sometimes forget just how many HITS Ludacris has. Dude is a dope performer and has excellent stage presence; he doesn’t get enough credit. You can check a good chunk of his performance here.
To end the night, Gucci Mane closed things out with his protégé Waka Flocka Flame (and about 10 other of Waka’s unrecognizable associates). You know Atlanta’s loves some Gucci! Here’s a clip of “O Let’s Do It” live.
Now, all of my ATL folk were quick to let me know that I have missed some of the more memorable Birthday Bashes in past years. In terms of notable moments, maybe BB 15 was a bit thin, but I had a good time any way. It was just nice to see the “A” excited about their hometown artists.
What are the big summer concerts in y’all cities like? Which city should I hit next? — Rob Markman, XXL Deputy Editor
P.S. This week you can catch me tweetin’ from XXL’s twitter account: @XXLStaff. Come kick it with me.