From the get-go, the crowd at The Complex on Tuesday night was chanting “Pusha T!” The show's host, DopeThought, kept his cool and explained, “Pusha T is coming out at 10:30, so y’all can stop asking.”
One girl was relentless, with shouts of “PUSHA T!” and then later “I PAID FOR PUSHA T, WHERE IS HE?!” to which DopeThought retorted, “He’s in the Green room, definitely not with you,” as the crowd went “Oooooohhhhhh.” Harsh, but well-played, DopeThought.
When Pusha T finally graced the stage, he opened with “King Push,” and the crowd got rowdy. His stage presence blew all the opening acts out of the water. He was confident and comfortable on stage (as well as noticeably blunted). As the one half of the legendary hip-hop duo Clipse, Pusha T is certainly a veteran.
Pusha T followed it up with a couple of Kanye West songs, including “Run Away,” and then the classic “Mercy,” which was actually 100 times better in person. Pusha T’s verse on this track is already insane, but witnessing it live is like getting an slap of awesomeness to the face; it makes you feel lame and insignificant next to someone with such swag.
If you've never seen Push live, his expressive hand motions are hilarious. They seemed to outline what he was saying perfectly, almost ... too well. Pusha T then said, “Where my day one Pusha Ts at?! What do you guys know about the fear of god?!” Which was followed by a song from the Fear of God II: Let Us Pray album, “My God.”
Afterward, Pusha T shouted, “There’s a lot of real niggas in Salt Lake City tonight!” which more than likely was facetious. Then came “Exodus 23:1,” and “I Don’t Like,” which had the crowd shouting the line: “Bitch nigga, that’s the shit I don’t like!” Pusha T ended with some classics including “Numbers on the Board” and “40 Acres,” which featured an intense, soulful solo. The show ended sort of weirdly, as he left the stage abruptly without saying a word. But then again, most rap concerts end like that anyway.
Photography by Hilary Packham