Kendrick Lamar shuts down Austin with immaculate ‘The Big Steppers Tour’

Photo courtesy of @daninatx

Amid quenching his “1,855 day” hiatus — specified in “United In Grief” off Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers — live performances from Kendrick Lamar have been sparse over the past five years. Most notably, his 2021 Day N Vegas and 2022 Super Bowl LVI appearances were instrumental in inspiring hope for his comeback, which arrived in the form of his fifth studio album that kicked off his dominant summer run.

To contribute to the excitement surrounding Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, Kendrick hit the road for “The Big Steppers Tour” on July 19 — which includes a whopping 77 dates in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Three of the dates included were festival performances, such as this past weekend’s Rolling Loud Miami set and back-to-back sets he performed in both Milan and Glastonbury last month.

Joining him on tour are his two pgLang running mates and signees Baby Keem and Tanna Leone, both of whom landed features on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Both Keem and Tanna are brought out on tour to assist Kendrick during his set as well, specifically for when he performs songs they’re featured on like “Mr. Morale” and “Family Ties.”

Overall, “The Big Steppers Tour” is not only a triumphant victory lap for pgLang, as all three of their members have released stunning studio albums in the last calendar year, but is also a cathartic experience for K. Dot “Die Hards.” After opening sets from Tanna and Keem, where they both perform mostly tracks from their recent LPs Sleepy Soldier and The Melodic Blue respectively, Kendrick Lamar’s headlining performance is a theatric, all-encompassing escapade through his entire legendary career up until this point.

The set list Kendrick employs for the nearly hour-and-a-half production consists of good kid, m.A.A.d city hits like “B*tch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Backseat Freestyle,” nostalgic DAMN. tracks like “LOVE” and “LOYALTY” and, of course, an impassioned climactic performance of 2015’s magnum opus smash-hit “Alright.”

Along with these fan-favorites, Kendrick leaves more than enough time to run through the majority of MM&TBS‘ track list, which sees him employ fascinating entertainment tactics such as his ventriloquist act with a mini Mr. Morale puppet during “United in Grief,” extravagant backup dancers for songs like “Silent Hill” and “Mr. Morale” as well as wearing his shiny Michael Jackson-inspired glove on his left hand.

If you plan on spending any money on a concert this year, I’d highly suggest that you catch Kendrick’s show from wherever you are. Kendrick concerts come around less often than solar eclipses, and when he’s on that stage, nobody can block his shine.

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