Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wayne: The Saga Continues

So someone has written into Allhiphop to present another side of the story. I'm not sure if they're talking about Watford though, because in London, I was home by midnight! He definitely was late though - due on at 10pm, came on just before 11 I think. Anyway, I'm not here to dispute the account otherwise, so over to this person who, I think, might be something to do with the organisers.

Good Morning,

This isn't to say that my night with Weezy went without incident.

- Lil Wayne was scheduled to have soundcheck at 7pm...an hour before the venue opened. He decided not to come to soundcheck, and the venue opened promptly at 8pm as scheduled.

-Lil Wayne showed up to the concert an hour and a half late (1230). The crowd by this time was anxious and booing because Weezy was late.

- So Weezy finally comes on stage after all this time....performs for 5 minutes, then stops performing and starts complaining about the sound. The management then wanted to leave. The sound was per the contract and after expressing that we convinced him to keep performing (thank God)...

- So finally Weezy gets back on and performs for about 40 minutes and bounces immediately afterwards....

Artists and artist management should know that European booking and touring is not like US touring in many ways (I'm American myself). Hotels, food, venues, and living is completely different. The key agents and promotions know each other and reputation is very important here. In short if you're like Weezy's management and make unreasonable demands and act unprofessional, nobody will want to deal with you and you will have a short shelf life here in Europe.

Sorry to launch into this monologue, but all I heard about leading up to Weezy's performance was how difficult his management was to deal with- demanding private lear jets, making a promoter buy him musical equipment to perform though it wasn't in the contract, then keeping the musical equipment.

It’s unfortunate that his tour in Europe had to head in this direction.

I hope that we can have the rumors clarified and corrected immediately. As the largest online publication on the web, I know you would want the news to be as accurate as possible.


David S said...

He can't be talking about the gig at the Rex, that's for sure.

But whatever his gripes, I'm not sure if going so public with so much dirt is a very diplomatic way of operating within the music biz.

If I was an organiser who had Wayne coming to my venue, I'd make sure everything was as perfect as possible. I think he's earned the right to expect a lot from a venue as he definitely doesn't need the tour money.

And who in their right mind would expect Weezy to turn up to a sound check? I'm still shocked anyone got any interview time with him!

Angus Batey said...

That sounds like what happened in Newmarket, though the timings aren't quite accurate. I always take a note of on-stage and off-stage times when I'm reviewing, so I can be as certain as possible (ie, my watch might not be bang on Greenwich Mean Time so I might be a minute out of the precise actual times, but the duration is 100 per cent accurate) that Weezy went on stage in Newmarket at 1.08am and left the stage at 1.39am, a total of 31 minutes. However, that included the time that, as this person says, he stopped performing. I didn't time that, but it was at least seven minutes, possibly as long as ten. Tickets for the show cost £30 and some VIP tickets were apparently on sale for twice that. I've no idea what VIP ticket buyers got in addition to seeing the 20-something minutes of performance - it certainly wasn't a meet-and-greet, as Wayne came on to the stage straight from his tour bus (and, by the way, why did they need a giant tour bus? There was about five guys with him and no equipment that couldn't be carried in a bag over two of 'em's shoulders! An Espace would have done the job just as well. It's not like Newmarket is so far from London he'd have been wanting to sleep en route) and went straight to the bus immediately after the set.

I really feel for the local promoters, who clearly did their best, and the venue staff were as professional and thorough as could have been imagined. And I kind of feel for Wayne, too, as I'm sure he had no idea until arriving on stage quite what he'd been booked into. It's a nice room, but definitely designed to be a club rather than a live venue - there's no way to get on to the stage without walking through the crowd, for instance, so security had to form a human chain to keep people out of the way while he was coming in to the building - and its sound system clearly isn't designed to deal with live music. The fault here, as I suggested in my review, is with whoever booked these dates in the first place - they obviously didn't know the venues and didn't check them out properly. The fact that it didn't all go as wrong as it did in London is testament to the reeasonableness of the people at the gig and the professionalism of the venue staff - and a large helping of good luck.



hattie collins said...

True, true Angus and well put. Any reasonable person would have reacted in the same way they did at Newmarket- disappointed perhaps, but far from basically rioting and thereby endangering everyone around them.

I think also though, what a lot of the crowd didn't see was the 4-odd fights onstage and backstage that led Wayne to start wandering about a bit and losing his focus. I think two attempts were made to rob his chain (*think* being the operative word) and so a mellee ensued out of the crowd's eyeline (it was really quite chaotic), and then the bottle landing on him was just the final straw. In this instance, like you say, you do feel for Wayne as it was a situation out of his control. Plus, the sound didn't appear to affect the crowd's enjoyment - prior to the fighting, while the sound was far from amazing, the show and the energy was so great that people appeared totally engrossed.

Plus the behavior of some of the London crowd was pretty disgusting. Unfortunately, it's hard to know who or what to blame there!

Promoters, booking agents, security, Wayne, certain audience members and in the case of Stratford Rex, the police need to really look at what should be done to prevent similar situations arising. The way we were all packed in, had something serious happened, I dread to think of the consequences.

But anyway, I still think he's (one of) the greatest rappers alive!!

David S said...

In my eyes, the security at the Rex was definitely not handling the situation properly. I still can't understand why so many people were even allowed on stage. You may not have noticed from the stage but from my view on the balcony I could see a couple of dozen people climbing behind the speakers and onto the stage. I then saw security confront a few of them but then just let them through.

I'm not sure whether police swarming the venue would have made things better but rather that it shouldn't have happened in the first place: from the dodgy cage at the line up to the whole backstage cram that MTC was talking about I wasn't impressed.

If it was just a case of something being thrown at Wayne then I think he may have shrugged it off (possibly), but with the brawls behind him it kind of gave him a good reason to get the hell out of dodge.. It must be mentioned though that when he was performing, it was still amazing.

David Sadeghi

hattie collins said...

You know you're right - lets not forget that while he was there, he was amazing!

I just hope I get to see him in the US some time - imagine with a full live band and everything? Wooo!

David Sadeghi said...

Sorry just getting the hang of this comments thing...

I'd love to see him in the US. Five years ago I wouldn't have believed you if you told me it would be safer or less hostile to go to a club in NYC than in London, but its like there's some kind of hater disease that's spreading extremely fast!

It was a very fair review Angus by the way, I have no idea how I would actually rate the Stratford gig as I don't really think Wayne had anything to do with the ruckus and I wouldn't like to mark him down as he was seemingly prepared to do another Amsterdam (so wish I was there!)

You know I still play his BET performance of Gossip on the reg, and he wasn't far off that form Sunday night... The Newmarket gig sounded disappointing.. I think somewhere like KoKo would be a good bet as long as it was promoted right..

hattie collins said...

Omg - how amazing was the Gossip BET performance? Just so emotive and incredible. A real 'moment in music.' And I felt the same, like that level was about to be reached - esp during Duffle Bag Boy. And he hadn't even done Ride For My... by then yet either.

I hope Koko is the next venue. Or perhaps he'll come over with another act and have a whole different set up.

David Sadeghi said...

We can only hope..

My review should be up on the HHC site soonish.

By now I'm guessing you're feeling Lollipop? Most people I know said it clicked after about 3-4 listens. Then you just have to drop your guard and admit you love it, even though you secretly hope he doesn't persist so much with this squelchy computerised voice thingimijig, there's a name for it I know!

hattie collins said...

The vocoder! Yeah, hmm, I must admit I didn't think it was an amazing first single, but everyone seems to like it, so if it solidifies his position and sales, then brilliant. I'm sure the album holds a hell of a lot of heat! I like it, but not with the same love as Gossip, Kush or Feel Like Dying. Then again, none of those three are single material!

David Sadeghi said...

Totally agree. The guy Static who's in the Lollipop video, it says at the end that he died? You know anything about him?

BTW, knew about the vocoder, but I had heard about some other new technology that some people are using, thought it was that..

Didn't you find it weird when the gig continued with the lights on? Just felt odd..

hattie collins said...

Oh, interesting, I hadn't heard about the new gadgemetron. All sounds like Roger Troutman to me!

The guy Static was a producer for Aaliyah and loads of other people, inc Wayne. I thought he prod. Lollipop, but I think it's another track that he actually made. I think he died of a really strange virus that perhaps could have been somehow prevented if caught in time. I'm not entirely sure...

Guerilla Bitch said...

Soz peeps gate crashing ur convo

Feel like dying
prostitute flange (no vocode on this one, clue is in the name)


angus batey said...

re. the gadget, it might be Auto-Tune - you know, like they used on Believe by Cher. It's computer software that re-pitches a vocal that's gone out of tune to put it in tune. That sliding in and out of tune that was used on the Cher track was just something the engineer did on a guide vocal that wasn't supposed to get used, so in effect it was a "mistake", but apparently Cher thought it was great and reportedly insisted that it stayed on the track. Now everyone does it deliberately.

Then again, I've only heard Lollipop once, when he did it live at Newmarket, so I can't pretend to know whether it sounds anything like AutoTune or not!



David Sadeghi said...

That's exactly what I was thinking of Angus. Another writer was telling me about it after a Necro gig and I didn't catch the name. Again, I hope he doesn't keep using it.

For me, Lollipop is way better when you watch a high quality rip of the video..

Guerilla Bitch said...

Lol.. That ain't Autotune G, the clue really is in the name - it's been heavily eq'd and then had a flange effect applied to it.

Flange is basically artificial phasing.

Cool story about Cher though - never knew that, also Posh spice is famed for her love of Autotune but for totally different reasons .. lol

David Sadeghi said...

Thanks for clearing that up, I sense the confusion may have stemmed from the fact that 'flange' means something entirely different in the UK... I just thought Wayne was being a perv...

Guerilla Bitch said...


I hadn't even clocked that..

clearly I spend too much time in studio , time to get out methinks