Andy Mineo is one of those artists who had been an opener for a ton of people, but the Uncomfortable tour is his first headline tour. I’d seen Andy twice before, so I knew how he worked, but this new album was a change for him, so maybe he changed his performing too. When I heard his tour would be stopping by St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, I knew I had to go. Especially because of St. Andrews Hall being one of the places Eminem got started. Andy was on a big name stage, and he was excited. He referenced the stage’s significance later when joking and saying, “Mom’s spaghetti, Mom’s spaghetti”, in reference to Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself”.
Before Andy hit the stage though, SPZRKT opened after the DJ got the crowd pumped. I’d known SPZRKT’s name but hadn’t heard much from him before. The crowd was full of energy, but his set featured mainly light singing and love songs. There was no turn up, and the everyone seemed to calm down a ton. SPZRKT’s attempts to get people excited again only lasted a few seconds before he began singing again. Apart from the crowd reaction, it wasn’t a bad set. I was impressed by his singing and overall ability. There was just no lights or anything to dance intensely to. For the start of a CHH concert it lacked the excitement. SPZRKT was a great artist when he was on stage, but perhaps he wasn’t the right artist to come right after the DJ got everyone pumped.
One thing SPZRKT did provide was an additional variety to the hip-hop people came to see, and Propaganda continued that trend. Prop is an extremely unique artist that is always an experience in concert. His jumping and dancing around on stage got the crowd back into it with songs like “Crimson Cord” as there was finally lighting to complement the performance. He then took time to talk about some of his experiences and struggles relating to his songs/poetry, providing a solid transition into some of his more serious tracks. Again, there wasn’t much turn up, but I was starting to get the feeling that this is the variety they were going for.
After the short intermission Propaganda came back out as the narrator ahead of Andy’s first song. These little poetry intros were added before a good amount of Andy’s songs, and it worked to get people excited before it actually started, as well as providing some added feeling into the music. Then they utilized the screens jutting out into the center of the stage as “Uncomfortable” started playing and a video appeared on the screen. The buildup began and Andy stormed onto the stage to absolutely kill the opening song. The album in general doesn’t have many turn up tracks, but Andy delivers this new style well in concert. This new style did not prevent him from climbing on top of the screens and rapping half a song from on top though. There was a good mix of serious and fun as there was a more deep feeling in between the songs where the fans went crazy, and it’s amazing to see Andy maturing as both an artist and a performer. He seems to be more comfortable (excuse the pun) doing his own thing and not worrying about what most performers do. The videos on songs throughout the show really added to the experience as he utilized clips from NYC and elsewhere to emphasize the meaning. The crowd really got excited on “Know That’s Right”, “Rat Race”, “Hear My Heart”, and especially “Desperados”. The excitement was there despite most of those tracks not being crowd going crazy songs. The crowd did get pumped for “Desperados”, which was probably the best song of the new album in the performance. Andy was into it and so were all the fans, as he topped the performance off with a stage dive. His older hits “You Can’t Stop Me” and “Never Land” also really drew the crowd at the end of the show to leave a good feeling throughout the audience.
The entire show was very different from what I’ve seen from Reach Records before. There was a large variety of styles from the artists between SPZRKT’s almost R&B feel, Propaganda’s hip-hop/spoken-work poetry, and Andy’s older turn up rap/hip-hop and newer, deeper more straight hip-hop feel. It was unique and prevented the crowd from being overly exhausted by the end, but I could hear people thinking it was way calmer than they were expecting. Andy Mineo has changed his style as an artist, and that’s an important step. The fans might need some time to adjust to this new style though. He’s becoming his own performer, and this unique experience definitely showed that. It was a ton of fun, and Andy is definitely on his way to establishing himself as an individual outside of just being with Lecrae.