When Lil Wayne took the stage at the Delano in Miami Beach on Friday night (Jan. 31), it was already raining. By the time he finished his roughly 40-minute set, severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect throughout Miami, and the streets of South Beach were starting to flood. Thankfully, before the worst of it, Wayne managed to fit in a rapid-fire set stuffed with some of his most classic hits, though — oddly — not a single song from his new album Funeral.
The concert, which was presented by Tidal, took place almost exactly 12 hours after Wayne dropped his latest album, a follow-up to 2018’s highly anticipated Tha Carter V. The massive album includes 24 tracks, but Wayne didn’t perform a single one live for the soaking wet Miami crowd. Instead he stuck to old school favorites like “Lollipop,” “Mrs. Officer,” “Go DJ,” “A Milli,” and “HYFR.” He sang “How To Love” and briefly forgot the lyrics before moving onto “BedRock.”
“I really appreciate my day one Lil Wayne fans,” he told the crowd after performing “Can’t Be Broken” off Tha Carter V. “Today I released my thirteenth album. It’s called Funeral. And out of respect of the new album, we going to take it back.”
And that’s just what he did.
It was by no means a bad concert. Wayne was enthusiastic, coherent, and thankful to everyone who was there that night, standing in the rain with him. He smiled, rap, sang, screamed, and cheerfully hit a blunt a few times. He gave a shout out to Shannon Sharpe and his daughter, who were both standing behind him, dancing and looking very proud. He even briefly brought out 2 Chainz for some help on “Uproar,” one of the biggest hits from Tha Carter V. (Unfortunately, they did not perform “Know You Know,” their collaboration from Funeral.)
It’s hard to be mad while watching Wayne perform the hits that have earned him the legendary reputation he still holds today, especially when he’s having so much damn fun doing it. But it was just a little disappointing to not hear him debut his latest work, which is an effort as ambitious and interesting as we’ve seen Wayne in a long time. It kind of felt like your friend picking you up in his old Mercedes even though he just bought a Lamborghini.
The concerts happening in Miami during Super Bowl week include DaBaby, Meek Mill, Lizzo, Cardi B, Migos, Guns N’ Roses, Lady Gaga, Gucci Mane and many more serious headliners — but even among them all Lil Wayne’s performance stood out as an important event.
Who knows why Funeral stayed off the setlist. Maybe the songs weren’t ready for a live performance yet or the rain cut the show short. But without them, the concert — while still a wet, nostalgic blast — didn’t feel quite as important as it could have been.