- Brian Chilson
- Snoop Dogg headlined Sunday night at Riverfest.
Not quite at dusk, we arrived at the Bud Light stage a couple songs into Atlanta-based rapper/musician B.o.B.‘s set — he was leading the crowd in the chorus of his smash single, “Nothin’ On You.” The audience, notably the women in the audience, were singing the Bruno Mars hook. Turns out young Mr. B.o.B. is a multi-instrumentalist, who took occasion to alternately strum an acoustic guitar and sit down at a set of keys while rapping.
In itself, this skill was pretty impressive, but his hypeman/beat programmer kept harping on this fact. And, yes, just because B.o.B. himself is a little weird — he has a concept album named after himself (“The Adventures of Bobby Ray”) and many of his ballads seemed to be about the death of this persona — that doesn’t mean he is without large-scale hip-hop show conventions like repeatedly asking the ladies how they were doing, helming a trio of black-clad female backup singers who moved to their own choreography and bringing out two incredible dancers who seemed garbed in Memorial Day-inspired costume: red, white, and blue glitter bras, denim vests with blue and red sequin stars on them, and red spandex leggings.
Toward the end of his set, he directed the crowd to look at the sky above and pretend that the summer sun had set completely and that we could see stars, “I said: Can’t you see the stars, what’s up?!” This, of course, was just a gimmicky introduction to his hit song “Airplanes,” which, followed by the lead single from his most recent album, “Strange Clouds,” closed the set with rabid audience participation. He’s a fun, clearly gifted, but not particularly enchanting performer—as I overheard a woman next to me on her cellphone blandly explain after his set, “How did he sound? Just like he does on TV.”
More after the jump.