New Music From N.E.R.D., Exclusive Merch, Amazing Vibes & More at Complex Con!
Complex Con went down not too long ago and I’m still buzzin from it! If you are unfamiliar with Complex Con, it’s a very fun energetic gathering where people can absorb and appreciate really dope music, streetwear, art and vibes! There’s lots of exclusive merch to buy, plenty to look at, great music to enjoy and tons of people!
So this was my first year to ever go to Complex Con! I’ve always heard about it, but this year I had to be there because N.E.R.D. was going to be performing and I haven’t seen them do a show in like…YEARS! No lie, I still play their Fly or Die and Seeing Sounds albums like they just came out last week, so yeah, when I heard they were going to be playing, I had to be there! I’m also a big A Trak fan and since they were going to have Fools Gold Day Off there, I figured I may as well get a Saturday ticket for the expo and concert to take in the whole Complex Con experience!
The minute me and my friends walked through the door the energy was electric! There was so much to look at that my eyes couldn’t stay focused on one area for more than 5 seconds. The lights, the booths, the people, the energy, it was all unique, high energy and upbeat! The first person me and my friends wanted to see wasn’t going to be performing for a while so until then, we did some walking and shopping…ok maybe a little more window shopping than actual shopping but hey, there was so much to see that window shopping was just as exciting!
Every booth was so dope I was like a kid in a candy store, there was an overwhelming amount of stuff to see! There were tattoos being done, skateboarders doing tricks, amazing art on display, exclusive merch being dropped, and lots of celebrity sightings. That day while walking around I saw Travis Barker, Andre 3000, Michael B Jordan, just to name a few. I loved the set up in the booths for Owsla, The Seventh Letter with those huge Mickey Mouse hands throwing up the LA sign, Fools Gold with the oldschool record shop vibes, Obey and oh so many more! I definitely wanted to buy something and I remember seeing this really cool tie dye shirt on Instagram from Rip N Dip so I had to make sure to stop by that spot to get it! The Rip N Dip booth was really dope and it was easy for me to find it in the distance because they made their booth into a really cool inflatable neon globe. The Rip N Dip crew was really nice, the vibe was cool, and I got the shirt I wanted so it was perfect!
When it came time for food and drinks I got two beers which were expensive but it was in a really big cup so I guess it was worth it! I also had pizza which was delish and hit the spot. By the way while I was in line for pizza I was talking to the guy next to me who had a bag with two boxes of shoes who was explaining how so far he had spent $1,300 on shoes and merchandise (while he was telling me this all I could think of in my head was that part in the movie Bridesmaids when the girl is on the plane and can’t sit in first class so she says, “help me, I’m poor!”), almost everybody I talked to that day was dropping a lot of cash on one of a kind merch, but hey, with all the really cool stuff I saw it’s easy to see how it can add up quick!
So of course I couldn’t forget about the Fools Gold Day Off line up because the main reason I wanted to go to this event was for the music in the first place! Fools Gold Day Off was at the Pigeons & Planes stage which was located to the side of all the booths so it was super convenient to go back and forth between shopping and enjoying the concert. Me and my friends caught the end of Dreezy’s set which was a definite vibe! We saw Smokepurpp who came out, got us all pumped and played his hits, and we also loved seeing ASAP Ferg who also had the entire crowd going crazy!
So time was passing by and it was getting closer to the main event that I had been waiting for! About an hour before the show everybody started lining up outside of the doors and within minutes the quiet single file line turned into a packed unorganized crowd full of energy. I didn’t mind the packed like a can of sardines crowd or the wait though, for N.E.R.D., it was definitely worth it. the doors finally open and as expected the crowd started pushing in. Me and my friends got floor tickets so we walked right in an were right in front of the stage.
Once we got in, the show still wasn’t going to start for another hour so that really gave us time to appreciate the stage design. I was really curious because I looked at the stage and I didn’t see any instruments set up, so I was thinking maybe they were just going to be setting up as we waited. The stage set up was really mesmerizing. The backdrop was of a midnight sky that looked as if there were thousands of stars. On the sides of the stage were big trees, which had a very realistic look, and on the actual stage were multiple cars, real cars parked all along the back and sides! The audio that was playing had the sounds of someone walking outside. We could hear footsteps on the ground, and then periodic sounds of a car revving up and starting and a few seconds of music playing as if it was the car radio. The whole look and sounds created this very cool atmosphere and it made you feel like you were really outside under the night sky walking to your car. By the way, the stage design wasn’t only on the stage, there were a few cars that were on the floor with all of us in the crowd too. They were real cars and they were colorful with neon lights lining parts of the car. And as I learned after the show, the car license plates had some of the song titles from the unreleased N.E.R.D. album on them, it was really dope!
So an hour and some change passes and it’s finally show time! The lights turn off, the big screen on stage turns on and the crowd is already pumped! We see Pharrell, Chad and Shay sitting on top of the big car in the center of the stage and the first track that was played is Lemon featuring Rihanna, and even though they barely released this track 3 days before the event, every single one of us in the crowd were dancing and singing as if we had been knowing this song for months!
From that point on N.E.R.D. began to play every single song from their upcoming unreleased album, so what seemed like a regular show actually became sort of like an album release event! The fact that there was no instrument set up started to make sense now! They played the whole album from start to finish and let me just tell you, it was mind blowing! First of all from the people that I remember, Andre 3000, M.I.A., Kendrick Lamar, and Future are all featured on different songs in this album! Every single song was amazing! Did not disappoint! They definitely brought on that unique one of a kind, dope, unique N.E.R.D. sound that we all know and love and there was absolutely no lack in energy! There was one song that really touched us all in the crowd very much and it had to do with the shooting of Keith Scott in North Carolina. Before the song stared Pharrell got on the mic to talk about the song and explained what inspired them to do it. He talked about how the wife of Keith Scott was saying, “Don’t, don’t do it,” in that video, and how everybody who has been a victim of these police shootings must have had a voice in their head telling them the same thing. Each song on this album is a masterpiece, one after the other, each was so unique, and you could just feel every beat running through your body and making you feel. Whether it’s energy, emotion or excitement, every song made you not just dance, but also feel something! Once again we were all dancing in the crowd to each song as if we had already heard it, but we hadn’t, it was just that good that with the first time hearing it, it made us move, sing, dance and feel!
Not only that but the dancers were beyond talented! Oh my God it was so amazing to see! They were all drenched in N.E.R.D. apparel by Adidas, everybody wearing a different outfit, but with the same dope print and different bright colors! The dancers brought some crazy energy and it was so cool to watch! There was even a choreographed fight which was just…amazing! It was also so dope to see Mette, who was the bad ass female dancer that starred in the N.E.R.D. Lemon video, get on stage and dance with such passion!
Once the whole album was played, they performed Lemon again as a conclusion to this epic show. Everybody in the crowd was so hyped and loving it! Once the song played all the way through, Pharrell got on the mic to tell us that they were gonna do it again! All the dancers got back into starting positions, Pharrell got on the mic to say the first lines of the song, “the truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off”, and N.E.R.D. and the dancers all performed Lemon for us again! The energy was through the roof! So once they played Lemon all the way through again, everybody in the crowd started chanting, “one more time, one more time, one more time!” at which point Pharrell got on the mic to say, “I’ve never seen people react to new music like this!” and then they all gave us exactly what we asked for and they performed Lemon once again! Everybody in the crowd went crazy and everybody performed their asses off! It was incredible!
N.E.R.D. was mind blowing, the show was unforgettable and I was pleasantly surprised and happy with it all! This event excited my mind, body and soul! N.E.R.D., Fools Gold Day Off, Complex Con, it was all awesome and I couldn’t have asked for anything better! As a matter a fact, when it was all done, I was actually wishing I had also bought a Sunday ticket to Complex Con! Great experience, worth every penny, and definitely something I will never forget!
The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off