The Darien Lake summer concert season received its ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, as what appeared to be a full house welcomed Future's "Nobody Safe Tour" for what turned out to be a major celebration of Atlanta's primary present-day cultural currency - trap music, the sub-genre of hip-hop in which Future is king.
With the rapid-fire hi-hat subdivisions shimmering and the ominous sub-bass of the Roland TR-808 drum machines that sit at Trap's core as its defining principle, Future turned Darien Lake into a sweaty dance club – or tried hard to, anyway.
The jury's still out on whether club methodology – often nonsensical segues between largely abbreviated tunes that keep people moving in clubs but sometimes end up sounding like rushed medleys in a big space – has made the jump to arenas and sheds in a wholly successful manner.
Regardless, I saw no one complaining. Future held the crowd rapt, his every move, kick, and gesticulation greeted by whoops of delight.
He was given a run for his money by Migos, fellow Atlantans and adherents to "Trap-lanta's" main tenets. These three - Quavo, Offset and Takeoff - brought an energy that the crowd seemed to crave.
Here are my takeaways from the show:
*Migos will be headlining by next summer.
These three have an easygoing rapport on the stage, one that barely ticks the meter above "mildly interested," but still manages to work. "Get Tight Witcha," "Hannah Montana" and "Call Casting" were highlights of a set that, while musically unimpressive, boasted visceral and visual pleasures.
*Future loves Jimi, but you'll have to take his word for it.
Future claims to love Jimi Hendrix, and he did indeed name the second album he released within a mere few weeks this year "Hndrxx". However, there were no elements of Hendrix' soulful blends of blues, funk and rock seeing Future's set. This was straight-up Trap karaoke, love it or leave it.
*Bass in "Bad and Boujie" must've rattled City Hall.
When Migos played this, their biggest hit, the bass hit all of us in the gut, and rattled our craniums with deep-low wattage. It was kinda awesome, actually.
*Auto-tune still reigns supreme.
Future bathed himself in the pitch-correcting software at times, but Migos crushed him in this department. All three vocalizers indulged in the effect consistently. It drove me nuts. But I appeared to be alone in that regard.
*DJ Esco is Future's greatest asset.
Sans a live band, Future leaned heavily on his on-stage foil, and the DJ did not let him down. Future hit the adulation, but Esco kept the music moving.