“Tomorrow brings pain and sorrow, but tonight, we’re all right,” crooned Afroman in his opener Monday night at UpFront & Company. The words rang true for most in attendance, who chose to dedicate their Labor Day to the hard-partying rapper, whose set ran into Tuesday morning with classes looming just hours away.
With Afroman, what’s expected is mostly what’s received. Coming on just after 11:30 p.m., the charismatic emcee blew a lot of smoke, drank a lot of beer and even played a few hit songs. Donning a dollar-bill print shirt and, of course, an afro, Afroman performed until 1 a.m. and hung around to sign autographs afterward.
Amidst an occasional belch and constant raunchy jokes came “Because I Got High,” and “Crazy Rap (Colt 45).” Each was met with an expected uproar from the crowd, but even some of his lesser-known tracks were well received. After letting front-row fans light his cigarette, Afroman delivered some hilarious Christmas cheer with his foul-mouthed “Afroman is Comin’ to Town.”
Afroman went on to show he has a little more than his deep voice and funny lyrics in his repertoire by breaking out an electric guitar. With a cigarette dangling from his lips, the big man broke out two or three solos, the most memorable being in his flagship “Because I Got High.”
It’s possible that Afroman exhausted his ammo early, with the questionable decision to play his two biggest hits half-way through the set. The dance-floor crowd became noticeably thinner afterwards, although many stuck around as “Ghetto Memories” capped off the night.
In a larger city, an Afroman show couldn’t get away with charging $15 at the door, but with Marquette’s limited live entertainment options, a good-sized crowd was drawn — and surprisingly they got their money’s worth.