When Houston-bred rapper Travis Scott performed last summer at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, we wrote that his rousing performance stood “as an independent entity, an experiential upshift into an activated energetic state that can tantalize thousands.”
Last night at the Q in front of a near-capacity crowd, Scott brought his tour in support of his latest album, Astroworld
, to town and proved that he could captivate a much bigger audience during a raucous 90-minute set that included about 30 songs.
Scott started the set on a satellite stage positioned near the rear of the Q’s floor. Dressed in oversized cargo pants and wearing a black long-sleeved T-shirt emblazoned with the Astroworld tour logo on it and a black knit hat, Scott alternated between hopping on one foot as he rapped and stomping on both feet as he practically screamed his way through tracks such as “Stargazing” and “Carousel.”
Prior to the slower, more melodic “Way Back,” a song from 2016’s Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
, Scott’s DJ promised to “take you back to how they used to do it back in the day.” With vocals drenched in Auto-Tune, the song didn't really go way
back, but it did provide a nice change of pace. Scott then dramatically marched in place during the percolating intro of “Mamacita,” a track he delivered with gusto.
After that opening segment, Scott made his way to the main stage where he performed in front of a giant circular video screen. One highlight from this part of the show, “Through the Late Night,” found Scott delivering his hiccupping vocals while percussion rattled, and blue and purple lasers flickered across the arena. He also crooned effectively during “90210,” a song that featured a steady stream of pyro and smoke.
While energy waned a bit during the show’s middle section, it picked up again as Scott hopped atop a rollercoaster that came down from the arena’s rafters to virtually float above the fans on the floor. Scott stood atop the thing as he emphatically rapped; the crowd on the arena floor gazed upward and followed his every move.
Scott pulled out all the stops at the concert’s end. A giant golden inflatable of his head emerged on the satellite stage, and the set concluded with “Goosebumps” and “Sicko Mode,” two of Scott’s biggest hits. “Sicko Mode” was accompanied with pyro and confetti as Scott announced it was now “the No. 1 song in the fucking world.” It effectively brought the high-energy show to a fitting conclusion, and you could feel the Q floor shake as fans jumped up and down in unison.
Canton-born Trippie Redd was among the acts that opened with sets that aspired to match Scott’s energy but lacked the theatrics and intensity.