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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Life + Arts

Jack Harlow brings energy, charm to Houston concert


Image representing the stage of Jack Harlow's Houston concert during his Creme de la Creme tour.

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Jack Harlow has been a name floating on the internet for a minute after gaining recognition with his hit single “What’s Poppin’,” more buzz followed the musician after dropping his debut album, “That’s What They All Say.”

Shortly after the album release, he announced preparations for his Crème de la Crème tour. 

The highly anticipated 22 city tour eventually made its stop in Houston on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the House of Blues Houston.

With the concert being the day before Halloween, a long line of fans, many dressed in either Jack Harlow merch or Halloween costumes, wrapped around the venue. 

Some were creative with the costumes, dressing as the character Shego from “Kim Possible,” a reference to Harlow’s memorable line in “What’s Poppin’.”

Despite the long wait, a result of an intensive COVID-19 health and security check, people rapidly filled up the general admissions section, eager to see the show. 

Responsible for getting the audience amped was special guest Babyface Ray, whose name easily reads as baby back ribs.

Before joining Jack Harlow on tour, the Detroit rapper released his debut album “Unf—witable” with features from Moneybagg Yo and EST Gee. 

He played popular songs from his album, such as the viral hit “If You Know You Know” and his joint remix with Harlow, “Paperwork Party.”

Although Ray’s Detroit beat, sound and flow were enough to entice the crowd, it was missing something as the up-and-coming DJ Niyah took over with a hype mix of Chief Keef’s “Faneto” and Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba.”

However, it wasn’t until DJ Niyah introduced Jack Harlow on stage with the tune of “Tyler Herro” that she earned her title as the ultimate hype man. 

With the song playing at full volume, Harlow emerged on stage through the door of his iconic Crème de la Crème set as smoke and lights illuminated his presence. 

Decked out in a dark red velour suit and black sunglasses, one would have thought his casual and suave entrance was unfit to match the crowd’s energy. 

However, it was quickly disproven throughout the show. 

Instead, Harlow came prepared. Like in previous performances, Harlow matched his audience’s energy as he eagerly engaged with fans.

Additionally, he catered to every fan, especially those who stuck around during his humble beginnings.

For them, he came through with classics such as “Warsaw,” “Sylvia” and “PICKYOURPHONEUP.” 

An excellent performer, he transitioned to different songs seamlessly with the help of witty quips. For each song the rapper performed, the crowd ate it up enthusiastically. 

Even with crowd favorites such as “Already Best Friends,” “Industry Baby” and “I WANNA SEE SOME A–” being performed, it’s Harlow’s highly acclaimed charisma and charm that stole the show. 

Although discussed widely on social media sites such as TikTok and Twitter, witnessing the rapper’s charm up close is an experience to be remembered.

Through intense eye contact, Harlow has an uncanny ability to make any audience member feel like they are the only person in the room. It is especially prominent during the performance of “Luv is Dro,” a sultry R&B song featuring Kentucky artists Bryson Tiller and the late Static Major.

Using the audience’s help, Harlow closed out his concert with the song that put him on the map; the iconic “What’s Poppin.”

Jack Harlow’s concert is an introduction letter from the rapper since hitting the mainstream market. Additionally, it is an integration of fans that are old and new.

As an engaging performer, Harlow uses a mixture of his songs and undeniable charisma to serve audience members a show they can never forget.

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