Lil Baby brought the entire city of Charlotte back outside for one night. With special guest Lil Durk, The Back Outside Tour set pace for the Queen City and delivered on all counts. Patrons were treated to special guest appearances and the singsong voices of their favorite artists, performing many of the chart-topping singles that have helped make the pandemic a little more tolerable.
QC signee Bankroll Freddie was the opening act for Saturday’s show at the PNC Music Pavilion. Confidently, he paced up and down the stage while reciting lyrics to songs from his Big Bank album, including the Megan Thee Stallion-assisted “Pop It.” Pivoting into more uptempo music, Freddie wasted no time in keeping momentum alive with a surprise guest appearance by labelmate Renni Rucci (“Lil Mama”).
After a brief intermission – where I spent many failed attempts trying to reconnect my phone’s WiFi – “No More Parties” composer Coi Leray rushed onto the stage donning a Carolina Blue one-piece jumpsuit. Laced with her signature braids and lively demeanor, Coi’s performance was championed by a group of backup dancers that thoroughly enjoyed their assignment. With a spliff in hand and scooter at her feet, it became apparent to me that rules don’t apply in Coi Leray’s world: she loves to go against the grain. Her music invites you to dance, seducing fans with little to no effort in part of her flair for showmanship – all while displaying a youthful burst of energy behind her warm smile.
Next up was Lil Durk, whose long-awaited set had fans ready to risk it all for a seat closer to the action. Naturally, females were flocking towards the stage’s barricade, stepping on (and over) G-Fazos and open-toed sandals in hopes of capturing the OTF frontman’s attention. And he didn’t disappoint, Smurkio came bearing gifts, including a surprise performance by South Coast Music Group’s Toosii (“Love Cycle”). Lil Durk’s co-headlining set featured a blend of his most noteworthy verses (“Hellcats & Trackhawks,” “Laugh Now Cry Later”) and a special tribute to his beloved brother, King Von.
In superstar fashion, Lil Baby steals the show to end the night. After descending from the top of his prism shaped centerpiece, the Grammy-nominated artist proceeds with a memorable performance that supports his reign as Apple Music’s ‘Artist of the Year’ (2020). Lil Baby’s music is meant to be performed out loud. Stylistically, his lyrics fall into a pocket that’s both uplifting and entertaining. His art form sees no color, as evident by the outpouring of support received from fans of all ages and walks of life. Mid-performance, without warning, DaBaby appeared from a cloud of smoke to the tune of his charting single “Masterpiece,” and the amphitheater broke into a frenzy.
Throughout the night, there was a noticeable feeling of excitement shared amongst everyone. The world was ready to be back outside. Without a doubt, DaBaby’s impromptu appearance has accentuated his return to the limelight. And yet, it’s Lil Baby’s attention to detail that was his biggest flex that evening. His prowess as an artist is rooted in performance, taking charge to deliver more than your average show.
For tickets and more information about The Back Outside Tour click here.