Entertainment

Review: Wiz Khalifa and crew hit ‘high’ notes as they bring timeless hits to Charlotte

Wiz Khalifa performs at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC, July 10, 2019, for the Decent Exposure Tour.
Wiz Khalifa performs at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC, July 10, 2019, for the Decent Exposure Tour.

Just before throwing out pre-rolled joints to fans in the pit, DJ Drama shouted, “I feel like this will be the best show on the tour.” He might’ve been right.

Wednesday night at PNC Music Pavilion marked the second stop of the “Decent Exposure Tour.” Even though Wiz Khalifa was the headliner, his guests brought the heat, too, keeping the energy — and the crowd — high through the four hour concert.

Moneybagg Yo got fans out of their seats and off the lawn with hits like “Doin 2 Much” and “Bigg Facts,” but the audience roared when he declared that he wanted to get “real personal with his fans.” He walked toward the ramp leading to the pit, flanked by two security guards, and waded into the sea of bandannas and Snapback hats. He took over Instagram and Snapchat stories while rapping “Rolls Royce.”

He stayed there until the end of his set and then pulled out his own phone.

“I want to let the whole world know I love Charlotte,” he told the crowd.

Playboi Carti followed with fan favorites “wokeuplikethis*” and “Magnolia,” but you might have thought French Montana headlined the tour by the screams that filled the amphitheater at his entrance.

Wearing blue and neon pink beach shorts, the Bronx native’s set never slowed down. Chart-toppers like “Unforgettable,” “Ain’t Worried About Nothin” and “All The Way Up” made him pull out his sweat towel a few times. When he stopped to give his dancers a spotlight — one of them dropped into a split during “Pop That” — fans from the pit threw lingerie at him in appreciation. French tossed them back with a smile, calling North Carolina his “second home.”

After about a 20-minute recess, the Pavilion lights went black, signaling the final set of the night. The screams from the audience were deafening, but the marijuana they lit in celebration was even louder.

A single spotlight revealed Wiz at the top of a staircase dressed in all white. As bass from the speakers shook the amphitheater, he took a long drag from his joint before bounding down the stairs. Once he started rapping, he threw it into the crowd.

The rest of the show was characterized by Wiz’s signature contagious laugh. Although he performed a couple of songs from his latest mixtape, “Fly Times Vol. 1: The Good Fly Young,” most of the night featured timeless hits like “Black and Yellow” and “Roll Up.”

It was clear that the 31-year-old had just as much fun as his fans. “You and Your Friends” and “No Sleep” prompted him to jump around, stopping periodically to do a two-step with his tongue out. He called French back out for Blueface’s “Slide,” sliding up and down the stage with a huge grin as French rapped his verse.

Wiz checked on the audience every now and then, asking if everyone was still smoking. During “Young, Wild & Free,” he tossed out giant, inflatable joints to the pit that made their way past the ticketed seats.

“We Dem Boyz” and “23” kept fans jumping, but Wiz brought out a few surprises, too, including singing a cappella to Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” and a freestyle to Charlotte-native DaBaby’s “Suge.”

He also slowed it down with “Promises” and “See You Again,” telling the crowd to put their phone flashlights up. Thousands of voices echoed through the Pavilion, replacing Charlie Puth’s vocals, and confetti fell from the sky at the bridge.

Was Charlotte the best show on the tour? DJ Drama will have to update everyone after it wraps up on Aug. 15. Until then, the rest of the stops have a lot to live up to.

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Brooklynn Cooper is a bilingual metro reporting intern interested in covering race and immigration. She has done journalistic work in Spain and produced a multimedia documentary in Colombia.
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