Forgive me if I write this review while digging a large hole into a giant bag of Doritos.
See, the thing is, I’ve just returned home from a show at PNC Music Pavilion, where the smell of marijuana smoke lingered everywhere I found myself: in front of the stage, from which I shot photos; in the VIP Club’s men’s room; at my seat in Section 2.
And if we’re assigning blame, this is an easy one. Over the course of Wiz Khalifa’s 75-minute set – which teed up Sunday night’s concert for rock band Fall Out Boy – he made 438 references to pot.
OK, that’s just a wild guess. But you catch my drift, right?
Wiz: “Y’all smokin’ out there tonight?” (Crowd cheers.) “That’s gooood.”
Wiz: “Y’all gonna light one up for your boy Wiz Khalifa?” (Crowd cheers.) “I see that smoke!”
Wiz: “MY NAME IS WIZ KHALIFA, AND I (expletive deleted) LOVE WEED!!” (Crowd cheers.)
While performing 2011 hit “Young, Wild & Free” – which Khalifa originally recorded with fellow reefer lover Snoop Dogg – two 13-foot-long doobies were puff-puff-passed into the sections closest to the stage and batted around by head-bobbing fans.
(The event staff at PNC didn’t have quite as laissez-faire an attitude about all the smoke; on my way into the venue, I saw a security guard summon a police officer to examine something suspicious inside one young man’s pack of Marlboro Lights.)
Cannabis aside, though, Khalifa proved an affable and able performer. He breezed through 16 songs that felt as much like songs as they did raps, thanks to his tendency toward softer melodies that mostly steer clear of harder edges.
The 27-year-old hip-hopper garnered the biggest cheers when he left the main stage to set up camp in front of the lawn for “Taylor Gang”; when Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz wandered out to shred the bass during “You and Your Friends”; and when Khalifa closed with Summer-of-2015 anthem “See You Again.”
That bittersweet track – the ode to late actor Paul Walker in the movie “Furious 7” – seemed to sober everyone up.
Then Fall Out Boy hit the stage, and the place went berserk.
Now, from the moment the “Boys of Zummer” tour was announced, this has appeared to be an odd pairing. Rock and rap aren’t complete strangers (think Aerosmith and Run DMC, or Linkin Park and Jay-Z). But they’re not exactly peas and carrots, either.
On top of that, Khalifa’s raps – while fun-loving and catchy – tend to be rather shallow, while Fall Out Boy’s lyrics can be awfully deep if you look hard for meaning. Khalifa is a marijuana junkie, and Wentz is a recovering drug addict.
Oh well. Somehow, it all worked Sunday night. Khalifa got the crowd buzzing, then Fall Out Boy got it hammered. Or, rather, hammered it.
Wentz (the frontman), lead singer Patrick Stump, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley don’t do much on stage except play. In fact, I’m not sure Trohman moved a step in either direction or made a facial expression all night. But when you play as fantastically as these guys do live, and when you have as many deliriously kick-butt songs as they have in their pockets, that’s enough.
“Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down,” “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” “Dance, Dance,” “Uma Thurman,” “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” “I Don’t Care,” “Centuries,” “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” – they came at us like bullets.
After it was over, we staggered back to our cars thinking two things. One: That was awesome. And two: I hope I don’t get don’t get drug-tested anytime soon, because I’m pretty sure I still have a contact high.