Kid Cudi Rages Onstage at Houston’s Reliant Arena [Photo Gallery]
Photos courtesy of Xphaqtor.
A day after his G.O.O.D. Music cohorts Cyhi The Prince and Pusha T rocked mics for the Heineken Red Star series, Kid Cudi put the icing on the cake when his Cud Life tour hit Houston’s Reliant Arena on Tuesday (July 19).
Backed by a live three-piece band (drums, guitar and keyboard) and DJ, the Cudder hit the stage just before 9 p.m. dressed like a grunge rocker in skinny blue jeans, grey hoodie, red fitted, sunglasses and skater kicks. The crowd, already warmed up to a lather after chanting “Cud-die, Cud-die,” sprung into sing-along on the opening cut “REVOFEV” from the 2009 XXL Freshman alum’s sophomore opus, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.
Cudi then lit into his already impressive catalogue, jumping from “GHOST!” and “Mojo So Dope” to “We Aite (Wake Up Your Mind) with the ease of an experienced pop star spliced with hip-hop DNA.
“I knew I had some stoners in the house,” Cudi said before easing into the ode to chronic, ‘Marijuana.’ “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”
For his core fans, the Cleveland-born rapper offered up “Man on the Moon,” “Maui Wowie” and “The Prayer” acapella-style from the critically acclaimed mixtape that started it all, A Kid Name Cudi. KC brought out his opening act, Chip tha Ripper, for his assistance in running through “All Talk,” “Hyyer” and “Ask About Me.”
The energy began to wane, however, when Cudi acquiesced the stage to underground rapper Cage. His song, “Captain Bumont,” lulled the crowd to near silence. Cudi re-energized the crowd, though, with his Jimi Hendrix cover “Hey Joe” and his recital of Kanye’s verse on “All of the Lights.”
The thousands of attendees on hand broke into a handclap before Cudi took things to another level with one of his biggest hits to date “Mr. Rager.” The G.O.O.D. Music rep and his devotees alike were bouncing up and down as if they were on pogo sticks. Some teenyboppers were even crowd surfing at his point.
Cudi took time out of his nearly 90-minute set to thank his fans for coming out and supporting him through the rough patches before jumping into the monster collab with producer David Guetta, “Memories.”
And though he steered clear of fan faves “Day n Nite” and “Make Her Say,” Cudi’s legion of teenage fans—with cell phones lighted and aloft—drank in the set’s closing number, “Pursuit of Happiness,” from his debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, like it was an ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. —Maurice Bobb