Lil Wayne immediately made his show about the audience.
A one-man party-starter, the rapper got the audience going through 90 minutes Tuesday at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. After taking the stage, Lil Wayne (aka Weezy) offered his three central beliefs: “I believe in God” and (repeated twice) “I ain't (anything) without you.”
Slightly fewer than 9,000 fans were in attendance and, from that moment to the last, they were louder than crowds of 15,000 or more that I've seen in the same venue.
The young and diverse audience was dressed for a night out, and they went wild for Weezy's hits such as “A Milli” and “Lollipop” as well as the lesser-known tunes including “Karate Chop” and “Pop That.”
Hip-hop shows are all about the crowd, and Wayne knows that. After nearly every song, he stopped and got chatty with the audience. He thanked them endlessly and asked them to scream.
He did it all alone. He had no backup (other than his band), and he doesn't have a hype man.
All by himself, Lil Wayne gave members of the audience what they wanted, whether it was a singalong and a reason to wave their hands in the air during “A Milli” or something for fans to dance to during “No Worries.”
One of the best parts of the concert, other than Weezy's super-fast rhymes and energetic personality, was the other craziness going down onstage.
The stage was dressed as a street scene with graffiti-marked buildings, trash cans and stairs and railings for skateboarders. During some songs, explosives and jets of flame flew from the stage, and during others, half a dozen skateboarders came out and did jumps and tricks. Wayne was also occasionally joined by six scantily clad dancers.
During “Pop That,” Lil Wayne invited almost a dozen female fans onstage, and they shook it all around him while he ripped through the song. Wayne called it his favorite part of the night.
Earlier in the show, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz took the stage after two lesser-known rap groups and got the show started with songs such as “Birthday Song” and “I'm Different.”
Fellow Atlanta rapper T.I. followed with an hourlong set that was almost as entertaining as Lil Wayne's, especially when he peppered the thing with his hits.
T.I. switched through three different outfits as he did songs such as “Live Your Life” and waved his hands along with the audience. He even performed this summer's biggest hit, “Blurred Lines,” on which he rapped one verse.
Weezy's Cash Money Records collaborator Birdman took the stage for “Still Fly” and “Tapout,” two more songs that were punctuated by screams and shouts from the audience.
Lil Wayne knew they loved him — and he even rapped “Love Me” — and he told the crowd repeatedly that he loved them back during the nearly 90-minute performance. And at the end, he repeated his three beliefs including “I ain't (anything) without you.”
“I must say it again if I haven't said it enough: I appreciate every single one of y'all in this (place) tonight,” Lil Wayne said. “Thanks for making my ... day. I swear to God, I love every single one of you.”