Normally, standing in a crowd so packed that you can’t lift your arms without giving someone an unsolicited jab in the ribs is an unenjoyable experience, but for the audience gathered to see Anderson .Paak at the Fillmore on Tuesday night, the claustrophobia was worth it.
For those who don’t know, .Paak is a multi-instrumentalist, and often works drumming into his live shows. That’s how he opened his set on Tuesday, with fierce drum accompaniment to “The Chase,” teasing the audience with just his silhouette behind a thin white curtain before stepping onto the stage with the Free Nationals.
.Paak played a high-energy 18-song set, bouncing back and forth between slow sultry jams like “Suede,” and crowd favorites like “Glowed Up” and “Tints.” The Free Nationals managed to squeeze in their funky, soulful jam “Beauty and Essex,” with .Paak taking a step back from center stage to step in on a second drum set.
.Paak rode the wave of momentum from his Grammy win earlier in the month, and if anyone doubted that he deserved that award, his drumming skills drowned those sentiments out pretty quick.
.Paak’s breezy personality was on full display as he jumped around on stage, giving his audience a chance to enthusiastically sing lines from his songs. The experience felt like an intimate jam session — more like a living room set than a packed club — with the music casting a hypnosis over the crowd that made it impossible not to move some part of your body to the beat.
The energy was driven forward with a few strategic blasts from a smoke cannon throughout the set, and topped off with a burst of confetti at the end of the show. The lights went out onstage for only a few seconds before .Paak came out to perform three more encore songs. He ended with, “Dang!” a touching tribute to recently deceased friend Mac Miller. .Paak held the microphone out to the crowd, ordering them to scream “We love you Mac, we miss you Mac”.
.Paak’s performance proved that the breakout artist deserves his cult-like following. His songs highlight his unique ability to hype the crowd into synchronized jumps one minute and make you miss your significant other — regardless of whether or not you have one — in the next.
Who R U
Milk n’ Honey
Heart Don’t Stand A Chance
Beauty and Essex
Put Me Thru
Am I Wrong