Andy Mineo, Propaganda, and JGivens rolled through Washington D.C. on Thursday, November 5th with the Uncomfortable Tour. As one of the tour’s final stops, The Wade-O Radio Show had to stop by again to catch this incredible show. One of the DMV’s premier venues, The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland was packed with over 1,300 fans that varied in ethnicity and age. Throughout the space, the anticipation and excitement was tangible as people packed in close to the stage and in the balcony.
The main difference on this leg of the tour from earlier dates was the addition of Las Vegas emcee JGivens, subbing in for SPZRKT. Givens opened up the show bringing that Humble Beast flavor. He performed hits from his recent album Fly Exam. The performance was seasoned with Givens’ entertaining antics; dancing, adlibs interacting with the audience, and making the stage his canvas to act out the narratives of each track.
“Fly Exam”, “So Fly”, and “Super Lowkey” were on this set list. Also included were “Ignorantro” with a boastful live freestyle at the end, and “Hummingbird Stance” acappella, to showcase the lyrical depth characteristic of any Givens verse. Any JGivens show is always a special experience when he uses the live performance to better breakdown the nuance of the song through switching up its speed and flow.
Propaganda followed JGivens as the next opening act. Prop came on with a change of pace to bring the crowd into a poetic and introspective train of thought. This was perfect for him to hit us with the themes and aesthetic of his album, Crimson Cord. His set included many of the tracks from the redemption-minded narrative of the album. He ended his set with a celebratory exhortation, as he provided the soundtrack for rejoice with “How Did We Get Here?” featuring JGivens.
Propaganda also thoughtfully used his time to dig deep with the crowd. In addition to the lesson he gave us on classic hip-hop, as he reminisced over his memories rhyming over legendary JDilla beats, he also shared origins of the “Uncomfortable” concept from lessons Andy learned on a previous tour–being the only white guy with a bus full of black men. These lessons pushed Andy to press into his own comfort and how that shapes how he engages in fellowship with others different than Him.
Andy’s headlining performance opened up meeting the crowd’s eager expectation with an energetic, completely stirring audio/video experience as he appeared standing on top of a Megaplex-like video screen. Nate Robinson killed what used to be the drums. Dre the Giant spun the tracks as Mineo’s larger than life DJ’ing sidekick. Building on the embrace of his sophomore album, Andy opened up with the intro track to “Uncomfortable”, the crowd joining in to rap all of the lyrics.
As we journeyed through the album, he took us through an oscillation of high energy tracks to deeper reflective tracks. The bold pulse of songs “Desperados” and “Vendetta” were even more amplified through the added graphic animations and the live drums. With songs like “Hear My Heart”, he brought us to be introspective on the loved ones we’ve neglected. “Now I Know” served as an opportunity to acknowledge the naïve perspectives that we have to grow through as we mature.
Transitioning from the themes and newness of tracks from Uncomfortable, Andy then brought us through the list of older songs that built the fanbase currently packed into The Fillmore. This transition was accompanied by the digital screens’ aerial view of our flight into Never Land. Mineo then delivered hits from the EP as well as from his older projects. The crowd was energized by some of those highlights including: “You Will” and “Uno Uno Seis”. Returning to an encore-beckoning crowd chanting “You Can’t Stop Me!”, Andy obliged for a final time to deliver the hit and close his set.
This date on the ‘Uncomfortable Tour’ was characterized by energy, lyricism, and Gospel lessons. Propaganda spoke on the importance of us seeing others as image bearers of God who demand our care for what they’re going though in order to develop compassion that glorifies our Savior. Givens artistically shared reflections on his redemption by Christ from drugs. Mineo imploring us to not get caught up in running this rat race, but to instead push into the victory we already have in Christ. If you still have a chance to catch the tour in your city, definitely do so to create your own memorable experience.