We got to the last day of Pitchfork even earlier than the first it seemed and we wandered around the shops for what seemed like eternity as we waited for an appropriate time to go and get ready for Tree. We spent our time well though, buying more CD’s, tapes and presents but even after all of that we still left ourselves about 15 minutes of waiting in the hot Chicago sun for Tree to come on. When we got there, there was already a whole family of people camped out armed with umbrellas and chairs waiting front row at the red stage. Now me and Patch made the assumption they were here for Tree but as the show came and went, they showed little to no reaction to anything he did on stage… We would come to later realize they were there for Killer Mike, which was incredible seeing as he did not perform for another three hours.
Anyways, I came to a realization at Tree’s show. The more live rap shows I go to, the more I realize in order for me to have a great time at a rap show, I need to have some prior knowledge of the rapper and at least know one or two songs that will be played or me to get hyped too. Otherwise the monotony of someone jumping around on stage rapping over a recording of himself can get a little bit old. Thankfully, my knowledge of Tree was fairly good and I was able to recognize a decent amount of the songs he played. He clearly was blown away with the fact that he had the privilege to represent his city of Chicago at such a large festival even if there were not too many people there early enough to hear him. Either way he came dressed to impress and was wearing white on black along with his three back up singers, two huge guys and a little white girl and his hype man. The singers stayed towards the corner of the stage doing their job phenomenally and even the hype man didn’t draw too much attention to himself with his jumping around. It was cool that Tree was letting all of his friends experience this performance with him and towards the end of the set he let even more homies on stage to bounce around with him. Along the way he played a decent amount of tracks and did his best to convince the people in the crowd who didn’t already know him to go check him out by making sure to be as energetic as possible and by throwing about 100 CD’s into the crowd. The one song I really, really wanted him to play he began and as Patch and me began to really turn up, he switched away and moved on to another song. That was tough to hear but at least he played a couple more I could recognize, they just weren’t as good as “Die.” Tree proved himself a fairly adapt performer though and I imagine seeing him in a small, indoor venue would not only be more intimate but better in general. One day when he gets big enough to tour outside of Chicago, I will definitely go and see him, knowing I saw him just before he got big.