A$AP Rocky, who signed with Pologrounds/RCA back in 2011, happened to make The National in Richmond one of the stops during his February tour. Fortunately, this venue was only about 10 minutes from my school so of course I had to attend.
My best friend Randi and I, along with Preston (the photographer who took these amazing pictures) arrived at The National and made our way through the crowd. You couldn’t step into that place and not feel the energy and anticipation.
The opening act was boo-ed off the stage in a matter of minutes and soon after, the curtains closed and the lights came on. Nothing happened for a good hour. Some people were starting to leave and everyone else was getting restless. A$AP finally came, apologized for making us wait and in turn, promised us an extra great show. He started off with “Pretty Flacko” and the crowd went wild.
The intensity of the crowd was by far higher than any rock concert, or any concert in general, that I’ve attended; the whole crowd turned into a giant mosh pit/hyped/fucked up group of college students (mostly males). It was a little too much to bear at times seeing as though I’m only 145 pounds and a girl but regardless, it was fun and well worth it. Once A$AP saw how hype the crowd was, he asked, “Can I party with ya’ll tonight?” (and believe me, he did.) He was stage-diving and crowd-surfing the entire show, interacting with his fans and just having a good time.
What set the concert apart was A$AP’s personable attitude. He literally acted like our friend, at one point asking the crowd if anyone had weed. Hands raised and cheers started, and he asked again. Immediately, I was like okay, yeah that’s cool.. but he’s just asking to get the crowd more excited.. it’s just an attention method. A$AP actually takes a blunt from someone and proceeds to smoke the entire thing on stage, while performing “Get Lit”. That was by far the tightest part of the show for me.
During his performance, fellow A$AP mob members came out, including Yams, Twelvy, and Nast, and the crowd got even crazier. They all had really great stage presence, high energy, and simply seemed like a cool group of guys. The set was about 1 1/2 hours long and even after the show ended and the lights came on, they continued to stay on stage for another 20-30 minutes, just having fun. It was nice to watch how regular they all were. If the chance ever presents itself, I would definitely encourage someone to attend an A$AP show. I guarantee a good time.
[Photographer: Preston Thompson]