More than 1,000 fans came out to see Shiny Toy Guns and an amazing, electrifying performance by Lupe Fiasco at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus on Mother's Day.
Shiny Toy Guns opened the show at about 7 p.m. (local indie fave Buddy Akai was scratched at the last minute) with the track "Poison," as early birds positioned themselves in front of the stage. The band relied heavily on drums and synthesizers, which, unfortunately, drowned out the vocals and the electric guitars Sisely Treasure and Chad Petree were playing. Treasure, formerly of Cooler Kids, sang the romp shaking hit "Le Disko" and received a lukewarm response from the crowd. "Major Tom (Coming Home," the popular song from the Lincoln commercial, was the only vocally audible track the band performed.
The goth-looking, pop-sounding band struggled to connect with the crowd for more than an hour, but it was obvious the fans were there to see Lupe Fiasco. MC Dosage appeared onstage full of energy and hyped up the crowd. The artist showed originality and potential, using the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" to brand his native city Philly with the crowd. An attention-getter, Dosage fell onto the stage and pretended to be hurt (not cool!), but within seconds was back on his feet spitting lyrics again.
Fiasco made an offstage entrance, talking and teasing the impatient fans as the shouted, "Lupe, Lupe." The flow master burst onto the stage with an energy level that could outlast the Engergizer Bunny. The crowd sang along with "Kick, Push" as Fiasco air-skated across the stage and coasted back to the mike.
Performing more fan favorites -- including "Superstar," "The National Anthem" and "State Run" -- Fiasco was relentless and generous with his catalog of hits, seamlessly fusing rock, R&B and hip-hop. Near the end the show, Fiasco closed his eyes, clenched his hands around the mike and said, "I contemplated suicide," his intro for "Hip-hop Saved My Life," a heartfelt song that captivated the audience.
The crowd was then treated to a new track, "Scream," which was heavy on the electric guitar and full of potential. According to his road manager, the track won't be on the upcoming Lasers album.
Reminding everyone of the efforts of the Invisible Children organization that was to receive the donated proceeds from the night, Fiasco performed "Little Weapon," a lyrical protest about children being abducted and forced to serve as soldiers in an rebel army in Uganda.
San Diego was the last stop in the U.S. for Fiasco's Steppin' Lasers Tour, but he said the tour is now going international.