It’s hard to imagine Gucci Mane was thrilled by the inauspicious outcome of the first scheduled stop on his long-awaited Trap God Tour, the prolific Atlanta MC’s first sustained touring effort in a career spanning 12 years.
But then again, neither were his fans — the House of Blues date on April 5 wound up being rescheduled at the last moment, the rapper later taking to Twitter to blame bad weather for delaying his flight. That Gucci had been spotted in the Fenway area shortly before the canceled show only added to the confusion, as did the fact that the rapper kept to a scheduled nightclub appearance later in the evening.
And so it was possible to discern a nervous edge to the mixture of anticipation and wafting weed smoke that permeated the sold-out venue Tuesday night, with fans who had ventured out to give Gucci a second chance nodding gamely through an unmemorable build-up to what some likely feared might be another no-show, especially once a 9:30 start time came and went.
As it turned out, though fashionably late to the stage, the Trap God was indeed in the house this time; seeking a forceful prelude to his entrance, the rapper wound up firing two gunshot sound effects through the speaker system before making himself known. And from the moment Gucci sauntered into the spotlight, swathed in gold chains and a glossy black jacket, it seemed that — at least as far as the human sea of swaying hands, surging bodies, and smoldering blunts before him was concerned — all was forgiven.
Setting a hazy tempo with the swaggering “Return of East Atlanta Santa” cut “Both,” the rapper seemed at home on stage during a truncated 45-minute set, flashing a pearly-white grin at fans who greeted his every move — and on-stage posse, which included Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and Celtics forward Jae Crowder — with emphatic approval.
Assertively barking lyrics into the mike about as frequently as he stayed silent, letting prerecorded vocals dominate the speakers, Gucci rarely broke from a relaxed, free-wheeling strut across center stage, only interacting with fans to playfully shoot down a couple of song requests and acknowledge particularly zealous attendees. Whether he was unspooling sedatedly sensual “Make Love,” leading a filthy sing-along on hit “I Don’t Love Her,” or coasting through faster-paced track “Back On Road,” the rapper seemed most content to simply vibe with his audience.
Then all of a sudden, after one final trap-rap blur, Gucci raised a hand in thanks and ducked behind the curtain. There would be no encore. The Trap God had disappeared, leaving it up to the venue’s rising lights to break the hazy, hypnotic, and frustratingly hurried spell he’d just cast.
At the House of Blues, April 11Isaac Feldberg can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @i_feldberg.