Monday, March 17, 2008
LIL WAYNE live in London:
Maaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!! What a night!
So those of you that read the blog regularly might recall that i said in an earlier post that "The London show is gonna be off the chain!". Well... i just got back to the hotel and to keep it strictly real, crazy was a slight underestimation.
First things first... anyone that knows me knows that i have only ever been caught in the middle of two shootings in my life, and both were in London. The first time was when i was on the road with Xzibit on the Anger Management tour and i got caught up in some shit outside a club where the security guy got shot up by an angry punter. The second time was during the filming of the international version of Akon's "Ghetto" video shoot in Peckham. So that shit always lurks in the back of my mind when i go to any hood-related-shit in London.
It all began rather nicely. After arriving in London this morning, my only duties for the day were to ensure that Wayne spoke with two very important media folks. He did Westwood last night, so i missed all that. Oh... one sec... I should really preface this story by telling you that Wayne can be a little difficult at times when it comes to performing promotional duties. So... so far so good. Westwoods show last night was a complete success and here i was at his hotel with Hattie Collins and DJ Semtex, who have both been very eager to get some time with Weezy for a long time, and I am happy to report that both interviews went off without any hitches. So with 3/3 interviews in the can, we were whisked of to the venue for Waynes first London show proper.
We arrived at the Stratford Rex and Waynes folks were already there. We met them around of the back of the venue to get our backstage credentials and thats where things start going wrong. Firstly, i saw my man outside and he says to me "yo, this is a fuckin' drug dealers convention, it's going to kick off fuckin proper tonight, be careful". Secondly, the road manager and the club security got heated at each other because they weren't up for letting us in. Oh... by the way, i was with three label reps and two media folks. All of whom are kind of important.
We got side stage, some UK rappers were performing and mad people started coming to stand next to us. Weezy's security eventually turned up and they threw a bunch of people out of the side stage area, except for us and some groupie chicks. But that only lasted so long and eventually they all eventually filtered back in to our area. By the time Weezy F. hit the stage, the side stage area is so full that people are spilling out on to the stage.
Wayne came out playing his electric guitar along to "Party Like A Rockstar" and the crowd goes bonkers! Like really bonkers!! We are moved on to the stage behind the DJ riser because it started getting hectic side stage and i guess Waynes people wanted me to get a good view of the show. I gotta tell you, the view was incredible! But then it all went horribly wrong, two guys sidestage started going at it, pandemonium erupts and all the groupie girls on stage started running off the stage to the artist entrance/exit area looking mad scared. These two guys were going hard and i saw a few others run in and grab one dude and start stomping his face right next to me. Wayne continued performing amongst all of this, despite the fact that all of the groupie chicks are running past him to get off the stage.
Waynes security tryed to do their best to nip it all in the bud, but it only got crazier. The security guys dragged one guy off stage with Wayne being none the wiser about anything.
Then... a champagne glass or bottle lands on Wayne or on the stage next to him, it was hard to see exactly what it was from where i was standing...
...and the geezer who threw it is dragged out of the crowd by the promoters security guys and he got given a right royal pummeling at the back of the stage. Shit explodes, we were all told to vacate the stage and we all head to the artist exit/entrance to leave the club. But.. the promoters had locked the exits and had pulled down the rollers doors in front of all exits!!! WTF??? We were trapped! Not a good situation, especially when you've got promoters screaming at Waynes people to get back on stage and we were all squashed up against each other in the hallway. Girls were flipping out because there had been four major brawls on stage and all of us had nowhere to go. There was no way out except for stagediving in to the audience. We are all trapped in a crowded hallway full of people screaming at each other for various reasons and the shit was really intense. Some girls were so scared that they were crying and shaking with fear. I saw Wayne coming towards me through the people and he just thumped me on the chest as a sign of acknowledgement as he walked by me. He looked kinda confused but unfazed too.
Wayne eventually went back on stage for a few more songs.
Two more fights broke out on stage again and his security guys whisked him away once more, and luckily the door was now open. He jetted off to the comforts of his tour bus and we jumped in a cab and got the fuck-outta-dodge. It's amazing that nothing serious happened! London is plagued with gun violence at the minute, and the fact that something didn't kick off in a major way is a blessing. I could see it in the way that people were acting when the fighting started that they were totally expecting some shots to ring out. People were genuinely scared.
And so it goes... my Sunday night in London. Fuckin' London!
** Youtube footage courtesy of soloqd