If I sat here and tried to list the number of guests that rapper Gerald Gillum (aka G-Eazy) brought out to his massively sold-out homecoming show in San Francisco last week at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, we'd be sitting here all night. Off the top of my head, I can tell you that Logic, Bebe Rhexa, and a rare appearance from Lil' B were some of the major highlights of guest stars that graced the stage with G-Eazy that evening. But the most memorable thing about this particular show is that G-Eazy proved that he is a true rap star that can carry a show entirely on his own.
To be completely honest, I didn't find myself coming across a dull moment at any point in the evening. By the time G-Eazy takes the stage, the crowd is more than warmed up and can't wait any longer, the curtain drops as the opening synth notes to "Random", the first track from G's newest album When It's Dark Out pulsate throughout the crowd. He runs out, and owns the crowd from that moment on. Running around a stage decked out to recreate the shadier areas of the native rapper's Oakland, California (located only a twenty minute drive away from SF), G-Eazy commands the crowd as he performs a large selection of material from his two biggest studio albums to date, When It's Dark Out and 2014's These Things Happen.
Easily the most powerful moment of the evening comes when "Everything Will Be Okay", a track from Dark that reflects on the death of a loved one, is performed. As it nears the end of the song, G fights his way to finish the verse at the end before breaking down. The crowd understands and a roar of applause fills the arena walls. We sympathize with him.
At this point, the vibe in the room changes. It's no longer just excitement for G-Eazy. It's an appreciation and a feeling of accomplishment. It's common to see artists from a local area perform and eventually sell out some kind of venue. I've seen G-Eazy's name around the Bay Area for years now, and every time it appears, two things occur: the venue he's headlining is bigger than the last, and the words "Sold Out" are emblazoned across the flyer for the show.
"I will sell out that motherfuckin' Oracle Arena," referring to the nearly 18,000 capacity arena that looms over highway 880, home to the Warriors basketball team. I think by the end of next year, this proclamation will come true. Just you wait and see.
For more information and music from G-Eazy, visit www.facebook.com/g.eazy
This has been another Shameless Promotion.