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Concert Review : T-Pain @ The Anthem

The Nappy Boy himself, T-Pain, brought his musical talents to the Nation's Capital for a sold-out performance at The Anthem on Saturday, July 8th. Despite the singer releasing seven albums over almost two decades, this was my first time seeing him live.

Although I never considered myself a big T-Pain enthusiast, his contributions to music are evident. He was pivotal in popularizing the Auto-Tune pitch correction effect, using it in innovative ways to create one-of-a-kind vocal sounds. He also deserves recognition for his impressive 2006-2010 run, during which he had features on over 50 chart-topping singles. His appearance on NPR'S Tiny Desk Concert in 2014 highlighted his singing abilities, so I decided to check out his live game.

Tobi Lou and Nando STL artists signed to T-Pain label's Nappy Boy, Entertainment, opened up the show. I was not acquainted with either artist's work, and due to the excessive bass in their performance, it was challenging to discern their words. While I had seats viewing the standing-room-only crowd's reaction to the two artists' music, they had a fan base.

T-Pain took the stage close to 9:30 PM with only a DJ to support him. The theme of his stage show was a musical alien visiting Earth. Despite lacking a band, T-Pain was on a mission to set the stage on fire. Dressed in a green short set, the singer opened the show with "Church."

Over the next ninety minutes, the singer delivered an energetic set highlighting his solo catalog and numerous collaborations with Hip Hop and R&B superstars. The strength of the show was the mixture of the songs T-Pain performed.

"I'm Sprung," "I'm In Luv Wit A Stripper," "Bartender," "Can't Believe It," and "Take Your Shirt Off" were just some of the solo hits that turned the venue into a full-on party reminiscent of my clubbing days. T-Pain's performance left the audience exhilarated as he gracefully moved across the stage, delivering one hit after another with his captivating cadence.

The crowd's response was also extremely enthusiastic when Pain performed a feature. His songs, such as "Good Life," "Kiss Kiss," "Shots," "Blame It," and popular hits like "All I Do Is Win" & "I'm So Hood" by DJ Khaled, had everyone on their feet. Additionally, Pain impressed the audience with his rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and Chris Stapleton's "Tennessee Whiskey," showcasing his natural singing voice.

The show's only misstep was the closing number, a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs."While I appreciate anti-war protest songs, many audience members seemed unfamiliar with the track. Since the show occurred in the DMV, I believe a cover of a Go-Go classic such as "Sardines" or "Run Joe" may have been better received.

T-Pain may not be as popular on the airwaves as he once was, but he still has a great catalog and an engaging stage presence that will keep him touring for years.

Final Grade: A-


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