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Concert Review: The-Dream's Kill The Lights Tour with Casha and CJ Hilton in Philly

 The-Dream's Kill the Lights Tour comes to the TLA in Philly!

As soon as 7PM hit, the crowd that had by then formed a line, was allowed to enter the TLA on South Street in Philly. The whole event seemed to flow very nicely, with the show beginning promptly at 8PM. This tour stops opening act was Beano, a singer from West Philly who's really beginning to build a name for his self. Majority of the crowd already knew he was, so they were there to support, others couldn't help but appreciate the personality he displayed on stage. Beano has a nice voice and having heard him before a few times prior, I was expecting him to leave a lasting impression on the crowd; he didn't disappoint. He mainly performed songs that he had been performing; nothing new, but still a pleasure to hear. He also brought out Philly's own Chill Moody, for a surprise performance of "Ruling the World."
J Records’ new artist and Baltimore native, CJ Hilton was up next to warm up the already anxious crowd. I personally had no idea he was on the bill, as I didn’t see anything online. It was a pleasant surprise to see him, since I remembered him from BET’s Music Matters. His set was relatively short, but he did a good job keeping the crowd engaged. He performed a few of his past singles, such as “Get It In” and a few of his newer tracks off his latest mixtape, “This Is Me” which I will be reviewing shortly. The R&B crooner hopped on the piano to perform as well, demonstrating his versatility as an artist. His stage presence and performance as a whole were very impressive for a new artist. Dressed in all black, Gucci here, bling there, his style and effortless execution of his set made it seem as though he was a seasoned artist. Keep your ears and eyes open for CJ Hilton. He’s on his way to becoming a household name.
I was actually surprised at how prompt and on time the show was moving along. After much anticipation and crowd-restlessness, The-Dream took the stage in an Oakland Raiders snapback cap, black shades, a black varsity jacket, Nike Air McFlys, and lots of expensive chains around his neck. He opened the show up with a high energy performance of “Love vs. Money” backed by his band that consisted of a drummer, keyboardist, and a guitar player. As you may have guessed by now, the show was absolutely incredible! The-Dream is already an excellent, top notch artist but, equipped with a LIVE band!? What?! I was in heaven. From the beginning of his opening number, I knew he was hitting the stage as The-Dream tonight, instead of Terius Nash.

After, “Love vs. Money” Dream went into his first single, "Shawty is Da Shit.” One of the things I enjoyed about this show was everyone there was a true fan of The-Dream. Everyone knew the words to his songs and was vibin’ with him the whole night(In comparison to at a rap show, based on my experience, where half of the people there only came because they were following the crowd; bandwagon type deal). He then went into “Fast Car,” one of my favorite songs off his debut album, “Love Me All Summer Hate Me All Winter.” After performing a few more fan favorites, he brought his “protégé” Casha, to perform Kill The Lights, a new song from Dream’s forthcoming Love IV MMXII album. The two sang it together as a duet, before The-Dream let Casha steal the show by finishing the song solo. She also did a brief cover of  Kanye West’s "All of the Lights.” I'm excited to see how Dream contributes to Casha's development musically. I KNOW she's gonna have a few hits under her belt working with him.

After that, he started performing a slower version of his hit single “I Luv Your Girl.” It took the crowd maybe a few seconds to catch on to what song he was singing, due to the pace, before everyone jumped in. He also performed “Nikki” “Walking on the Moon,” “Love King,” “Ditch That,” and “Purple Kisses,” for which he brought a woman up to the stage for the show’s borderline cliché, “serenade a cute girl” moment. He began singing while whispering into her ear, touching her knees and some more things consistent with The-Dream’s persona. It seemed as though the girl may have been too eager though, as he wrapped up the song by telling her, “Get your freaky a$$ off my stage,” with a grin.
Surprisingly, he performed a few tracks off 1977, including “Used to Be.” After giving us a little downtime, he hyped the crowd back up by performing, “Throw It In The Bag.” I loved his energy when he performed his faster paced songs. His dougie and high energy was enough to make someone who hadn't heard the song before want to hit a quick two-step. AND THEN, he performed FANCY! Fancy is, has to be, my #1 favorite song from The-Dream. I was so surprised that he even performed it. The production behind the track is absolutely incredible and takes a true major music fan to appreciate it. Definitely one of those slept on tracks.

He ran through his version of Love Rance’s smash single “Beat the Pussy Up.” “And you can ask my ex. I beat the pussy up, up, up…”
He performed his lastest single, “ROC,” and that’s when I knew the crowd was full of die-hard fans, as they sang the relatively new song right along with him. Finally (sadly), he closed with “Rockin’ That Sh*t”,” as the stage around him seemed like it had its own partying going on with bright lights and explosions of color. Thing about it was, after that song, he ran off stage and that was it. No “Thank You Philly, Goodnight” nothing. I didn't even know the show was over until the lights came back on. Not sure if that's how he ends his shows or something happened or what.  

The-Dream puts on an excellent show to say the least. Although I really wish he would have performed more cuts from 1977, I still was extremely pleased and satisfied overall. Especially since he hasn't hit the stage in two years. He really needs to tour more often! It must be fun performing while the crowd sings and dances with you the whole entire time. If I could, I would definitely attend more shows. He really shut the TLA down!

Special thanks to the good folks at Live Nation for allowing iSocialite to be in attendance!

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