On Nov. 14, 2021, Playboi Carti played a show on his King Vamp / Narcissist tour at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA. Rapper Ken Car$on, who’s signed to Carti’s record label, Opium, was the first to perform followed by Rico Nasty. I copped tickets in the presale but it seemed like ticket sales were initially pretty low, probably because the show was all the way out in Everett. However, only days before the show, the arena ended up selling out.
To mob all the way out to Everett (about 45-minutes out of Seattle) we had to rent a Zipcar and, lemme tell you, that shit gets expensive. There was a $25 first time sign-on fee, a $15 Zipcard fee, a $8 minimum insurance fee, a $12 monthly fee, a $10 unlocking fee, the $125+ or so worth of car fees, and then we had to fill up the tank before we dropped off the car. The total came out to $230 or so–taking an Uber would have been less than $80 each way.
45 minutes later, wallet hundreds of dollars lighter, Luck surprised us with a free parking space close to the venue. However, just as decisively as she appeared, Luck quietly departed as we saw a massive line, preventing us from quickly entering the indoor arena. We waited for 20 minutes in line, only to get near the front and be told that we actually did not have floor seats. The staff pointed some other patrons and us around the corner so we headed over there. Lucky us.
We traveled around the corner, heading uphill, only to see one straight line facing two directions: one uphill and one downhill. We navigated to the pit where the two lines intersected and it was just a fucking mess. We asked around and no one had any clue what line we should hop in. We decided to go towards the downhill line because it was considerably shorter and the people in it were considerably less douchey looking.
As Luck would have it, this was the correct line to reach our seats so the Angel of the Winds Arena staff let us into the venue without any hassle. I headed straight to the merch table to see if the merch was really as shitty as I was seeing online.
I ended up buying the VSecurity bomber for $150 because fuck it, how often am I going to a Carti show? Plus I was already down a few hundred dollars, what’s a few more?
It was a bit unfortunate that the only size they had left was a small, and I’m 6-feet tall so I was a little nervous about how it’d fit, but I think it looks quite snazzy. It was so weird though, when I checked out on the pin pad it forced me to give either a 15%, 20%, or 30% tip to the merch seller–there wasn’t any option to not give the tip. Plus tax and tip the bomber came out to about $200…
After we got some merch, I copped a fucking $12 cider (I needed a drink after spending so much money) and we mobilized to our seats. Our shitty seats were all the way in the back of the nosebleeds and I was sitting next to a mother who clearly wasn’t having a good time throughout the show. She was sitting next to her 13-year-old son who was so desperately trying to enjoy the performance by singing along and bobbing his head, but she just kept sending bad vibes both our way, maddogging me occasionally as I ripped my vape or pen, respectively.
During the Rico performance, I remember that she looked at her son and said, “You really like this? Aggressive people just yelling at you?” He went from bobbing his head and making the most of the show to looking at the floor, disappointed. I got the sense that he really wanted his mom to like rap, possibly to better relate to her. But she couldn’t bear it.
Unsurprisingly, I didn't find Ken Car$on's performance notable whatsoever. Only about half of the huge venue was filled when he began performing and he was just occasionally yelling over the beat–it was like watching a shitty karaoke performance; the energy was just not there. I'm not a big Ken Car$on fan in the first place–so maybe that's just my personal bias, but almost no one in the pit was moshing and the crowd largely didn't seem to be paying attention to his set. I was so bored that I didn't even feel compelled to take any footage. In fact, about 15-minutes after Ken Car$on exited the stage, the invisible DJ played "Love Sosa" and the crowd started moshing and singing along much more than they had for anything that Ken Car$on played.
About 30-minutes later, Rico Nasty came on stage and the show really began. The pit was going hard and, even in the back, people were singing along to her tracks. I mean just check out the videos–she was fucking awesome, the intensity was nonstop. Even though I was all the way in the back, next to an extremely disappointed mom and her ashamed kid, I still was hyped up by Rico’s set.
The lights and special effects for Rico's performance were lackluster but her hardcore vibe carried her performance. She really didn't need a whole visual effects show to kill her set, the minimal lighting didn’t bother me–her presence on stage was all I needed.
About 45-minutes after Rico went off stage, Carti finally came on stage. It felt like we were waiting forever… Given his spotty past with shows I almost expected the arena staff to say he bailed…
Luck birthed coincidence about 20-minutes into waiting for Carti to mount the stage as a homie texted me that he was in a suite and they had room for a few more guests. I ran down there and was able to get much better videos, vibes, and a much comfier seat. Plus they had popcorn AND it was a Ford-themed box. Something about a girl’s dad owning the regional Ford branch. It was a dope change of pace.
Carti's performance was fantastic. As you can see from the below videos, the lights were so on-point and it was an awesome show to witness. The red beam circle light was genuinely one of the coolest light effects I’ve ever seen–the color was so rich and emotive.
Carti just screams occasional lyrics over his backtrack but it's so fucking fun to watch him jump around the stage and have everyone in the audience singing along to his songs because of his energy and his fans’ hype. I almost cried during “F33l Lik3 Dyin”--I felt so connected to everyone in the room. I had such a good experience at the Playboi Carti show and truly recommend that anyone go if you get the chance, it was such a sick fucking show. As DJ Akademiks stated in “Control”, “Where my Carti fans at? Where the most loyal, dedicated fan base I’ve seen in awhile?” I’d party with Cartesians again any day.