A line of several anxious concertgoers formed outside the Foundry at the Fillmore Oct. 15, to witness the A Quest for Love tour featuring St. Louis rapper Smino and Chicago’s rising rap star, Mick Jenkins.
Presented by Red Bull Sound Select, the tour is promoting the release of Mick Jenkins’ debut album “The Healing Component,” a highly-acclaimed concept album based around the subject of love, and Smino’s “Blkjuptr (EP),” released earlier this year.
Tickets were not available prior to the start of the show; anyone was allowed to RSVP online, however, for a discounted ticket at the door. Tickets were only available on a first-come first-serve basis, which resulted in a large line extending down the block before the doors opened at 8 p.m.
Once let in, fans glued themselves in front of the stage in attempt to get a good spot for the show, even though Smino wouldn’t come out to open for almost two hours.
The venue quickly filled up with people of all demographics eagerly awaiting Mick Jenkins to take the stage, even chanting at one point, “We want Mick!”
A disc jockey played several hits to keep the crowd preoccupied, even playing fan-favorites by Kanye West and other modern acts that easily got the audience excited as they danced and sung along.
At one point, a sound guy came on stage several times, checking the microphones and even climbing up and putting his ear to the speakers that hung from the ceiling. Perhaps this was a foreshadowing of the minor audio interference issues that occurred once or twice during each of Smino’s and Jenkins’ sets.
At last, 9 p.m. rolled around, the time the event was supposed to begin. A few minutes passed and neither Smino or Mick Jenkins were anywhere to be seen.
It wasn’t until just past 10 p.m., a whole hour after the initial show start time, that a bassist and DJ set up on stage and Smino entered stage right.
The audience cheered on the rapper as he stepped up to the microphone, looking out over the crowd and starting his set.
Smino played several tracks off of his five-track “Blkjuptr (EP).” Considered the lesser-known act out of the two performers, Smino surprisingly had several fans in the crowd as some rapped along to his songs.
Fan or not, most of the crowd was rocking along to Smino’s mesmerizing flow over punchy, modern production. The bassist/keyboardist added a unique element to the set playing live instruments alongside the backing tracks, a setup Mick Jenkins would use during his set, too.
Smino jumped off the stage to enter the crowd and vibe along with everyone, somehow managing to navigate through the tightly-packed audience before returning to the stage to finish his set.
As 10:30 p.m. passed, Smino wrapped up his set and exited the stage, retreating to the back room from whence he came. The DJ resumed playing music to entertain the crowd and several members of the crowd scattered to take a break before Mick Jenkins finally came out.
Around 11 p.m., Mick Jenkins nonchalantly walked up to the stage, along with a drummer, a DJ and a few backup singers. He stood resolutely, practically glaring at the crowd. An intense energy emanated from the Chicago emcee who at 6 feet 5 inches practically towered over the screaming fans.
Beginning his set with “Jazz” from his critically-acclaimed mixtape, “The Water[s],” Mick Jenkins’s set quickly went underway to the audience’s satisfaction. Playing several tracks off of the aforementioned mixtape, such as the title track, “Comfortable” and others, Jenkins tapped into the desires of his loyal fan base to hear the classics.
Jenkins also performed several songs off of his newest project, and still more songs off his sophomore mixtape, “Wave[s],” only interjecting his performance a few times to talk to the crowd about love and urging the audience to “drink more water,” his signature phrase.
By midnight, the show was finishing up and Mick Jenkins made sure to go out with a bang, playing a heavy-hitting trap song that had the crowd going berserk, jumping up and down as Mick Jenkins’ and his fellow stage members sprayed water bottles over the hyped-up fans.
With the show’s closer complete, Mick Jenkins thanked Philadelphia and his attending fans and left the stage. Mick Jenkins and Smino are finishing the U.S. leg of their tour this week before heading to Europe to tour through the new year.