March 5th, 2014

G-Eazy asks himself, “how long does famous last?” If his March 5th concert at The Fillmore is any indication, then fame is alive and well for the Oakland-born rapper. Gerald Gillum, known to thousands of fans as G-Eazy, played a sold-out show earlier this month as a part of his These Things Happen Tour, named after his upcoming album.

The show began with two opening acts, KYLE and Rockie Fresh, fellow rappers who are featured on his next album. KYLE went on first and got the crowd good and riled up with self-proclaimed sing-along songs like “Sex and Super Smash Bros” and a hype crew armed with water guns. After some crowd surfing — with a real surfboard — and a few more songs, Rockie Fresh took his turn.

A couple of fog machines and a crowd full of potheads helped to saturate the venue with a thick smoke. Rockie Fresh took the stage, his hazy silhouette illuminated in smoky mystique by a purple light. After about 15 minutes, the power cut out. The fire alarm rang, set off by the copious amount of marijuana smoke inside the venue, just moments after Rockie Fresh had called out to the audience “Where are my smokers at?” Following a guest appearance by the San Francisco Fire Department, the power came back on and the show continued.

Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for: G-Eazy came onstage as the music to “Far Alone” played. He performed a few fan favorites from previous albums, including “Lady Killers,” and then asked the audience if they wanted to hear a few new tracks. They agreed, so he launched into several newer songs with G-Eazy-esque lyrics like “I’m fucking your girlfriend and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Another new one, “Tumblr Girls,” followed, and the crowd loved it.

Then, he got to “Kings.” Before this, the song had been just another track on his album The Outsider. This concert gave the lyrics new meaning, enabling G-Eazy to actually do what he had rapped about years before. "Kings" contains a certain lyric: “But as long as I can catch a flight home to a sold out show full of fans then I’m on.” And that’s exactly what this show was. After the song, Gillum told fans that he had come to the Fillmore when he was a kid to watch great musicians perform on this very stage, and he always wished he could someday take that stage, too. As he began his music career, he asked the Fillmore if he could play there and they told him to come back when he was bigger. So he toured, released albums, gathered a following, and came back. And there he was, onstage, visibly soaking in his accomplishment between songs. Those must have been some powerful moments for him, for even the audience could feel the vibe of victory emanating throughout the historic venue.

The rest of his set consisted of more fan favorites as well as a few more hot-off-the-press singles and samples from his upcoming album. The crowd loved his song-to-song transitions; he cleverly wove his banter and crowd interaction around the title of the next song, which he proceeded to deliver as a kind of punch line. Right before the intro to “Make Up Sex,” G-Eazy called to a girl in the front row of the audience, “I bet I know what you want right now… If we were together, I’d probably want to start some shit with you, just for the make-up sex.” Cue the music. He continued the trend of witty segues, which included one that became a popular hashtag for morning-after Instagram posts referencing the concert: “I swear last night was a movie.”

The show was a huge success. Fans loved it, everyone got a free poster, and Gillum’s mother even showed up, joining him onstage for a moment to smoke a blunt between songs. Somebody in the crowd went home with a cell phone full of selfies taken by the rapper himself. And the show wouldn’t be complete, as G-Eazy put it, without “Loaded,” which he played in his single-song encore. G-Eazy may think himself “Almost Famous,” but based on that sold-out show at the Fillmore, in the Bay Area where he started, he’s made it.

Photos by Ramsey Karim / Staff