G-Eazy Lights Up New York City's Terminal 5 for When It's Dark Out Tour: Live Review
G-Eazy’s ascent from slick-haired Oakland rhymer to consistent rap chart-topper spanned three years since he flipped Dion’s 1961 classic for “Runaround Sue.” In the video, a young Gerald Earl Gillum looks like a fresh-faced schoolboy caught up in summer love, a stark contrast to the present-day G, who buttered up a venue full of ladies at his Monday night show (the second of three sold-out gigs) for his When It’s Dark Out tour at New York City’s Terminal 5 in support of his sophomore set of the same name.
The tall, lanky rapper dons the rock star uniform -- white tee, leather jacket and tattered denim. His backdrop of choice is the Endless Summer Motel, a nod to his 2011 project The Endless Summer. Where his tourmate A$AP Ferg champions the turn-up (his hits “Shabba Ranks,” “Work” and new single “New Level” are instant crowd-pleasers), G-Eazy balances his bangers with slower jams like “Some Kind of Drug” and the Devon Baldwin-assisted “Let’s Get Lost,” reflective of his sometimes two-sided personality.
G-Eazy is no Debbie Downer onstage, though. While often noting on wax that he’s coping with anger issues and worked his ass off to rage on a nightly basis, he also makes plenty of room for shit-talking. He opens with the hard-hitting yet opera-esque “Random,” which features the not-so-humblebrag line: “Understand, to these female fans, I'm sex.” Ferg also appears for a sweet 16 for “Lotta That” off G-Eazy’s major-label debut These Things Happen, which boasts having plentiful hoes and whisky on the hook. Like memorized scripture, he breezes through other When It’s Dark Out highlights like the aspirational number “Of All Things,” the smooth cut “Drifting” and the loaded track “What If.” Maintaining the persona of young and reckless rap bachelor-meets-fellow with a soft side comes naturally.
Recruiting opening acts he shares history with like Berkeley MC Marty Grimes and L.A. singer-rapper-producer Marc E. Bassy, G-Eazy’s set feels like a family affair. Even when night 2’s special guests -- Maino and DMX, both well-known New York rap purveyors -- G, though confident in his own swag, has no issues sharing the spotlight, stepping to the side to let the vets shine. He later recalled of his backstage meeting with X on Instagram, “Brought out the dog last night, salute the legend @dmx for coming thru, showing love and giving me so much game after the show, I'll forever appreciate that conversation. Salute!”
Regardless of where his Air Force 1 Dunks touch, G-Eazy’s Bay-bred humility travels with him. While he’s not shy to let slip, “I might just end up f---in’ someone’s bitch tonight” in between songs or spray fans with Poland Spring water, by show’s end, you know him. He flaunts his entire CV -- a Forbes interviewee, the self-described "Elvis to these hoes" -- while sharing his internal struggles on poignant standouts like “Sad Boy,” where he asks himself repeatedly, “What you so sad for?” Whatever glimmer of despair G-Eazy harbors, he doesn't show it at live shows, possibly the only place he can really be himself.