I’ve heard about shows where women throw things on the stage—hotel room keys, phone numbers, articles of clothing, you name it, but until G-Eazy’s set at the Santa Barbara Bowl, I had never seen it in person. This independent rap sensation, by his own account “young, rich, and handsome,” drove the mostly young, predominantly female crowd into a frenzy until finally, up from the sweaty pit, undergarments and even a cell phone went flying. It was a spectacle. The set itself was solid enough, with G-Eazy pacing the stage restlessly and flying through more than a dozen of the hits from his two most recent releases. He kept his backup dancers safely behind panes of Plexiglas—not that his fans noticed them—and gave the people exactly what they wanted, which was his body, front and center. The music is built on the same beats and you’re hearing everywhere in rap these days, right down to the subliminal presence of early ‘90s samples like the “la da dee la dee da” from Crystal Waters’ 1991 club hit “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless).” But the real name of the game here is glam rap, a new fusion of hip hop swagger with old fashioned matinee idol sex appeal, and the result was a fun, exciting opening night for what promises to be an epic season at the fully renovated Santa Barbara Bowl.


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