What the world needs right now is to bond over a T-Pain acoustic set. The R&B hit machine put the “throwback” in Throwback Thursday on the second stop of his Acoustic Tour at The Roxy in Los Angeles playing to a sold out intimate crowd for toned down reworks of his career-spanning chart-toppers including “Buy U A Drank,” “Can’t Believe It” and infectious sing-along anthem “Bartender.”
Greeted by a roaring applause, the crooner — dressed in jeans, camouflage t-shirt and bandana — took a seat center stage on a stool before chiming, “Hopefully y’all smoked before you got here because you’re about to chill the fuck out.” Naturally, a few smoke clouds subsequently erupted from the audience. Equipped with a three-piece band, T-Pain kicked off the hour-long set with “Tipsy” from his 2007 album Epiphany, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, followed by the LP’s lead single “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’),” inciting fans to Instagram story the moment with their drinks held high in the air as if celebrating the nostalgia of the now decade-old record.
Followed by a church-waving performance of the Hot 100 top 10 “Can’t Believe It” that demonstrated his true vocal prowess, T-Pain showcased a more emotional side to his party-ready persona prefacing his next track selection by stating pensively, “Love — we always need it but hate it. Why doe we have love in a love/hate relationship? That’s what I wrote this song about.” He proceeded to flex his acrobatic notes and belts with a stirring rendition of non-single “Drowning Again” off his fourth studio album, Revolver.
While the crowd seemed to know the lyrics to every hit in his catalog, it was the Florida singer-rapper’s covers of timeless records that had some in the audience advocating for him to also do a separate covers tour. From Michael Jackson‘s “Remember the Time” to a hybrid mash-up of “Bartender” and Earth, Wind & Fire‘s classic “September,” the audience exploded with a contagious “Ooooh!” when T-Pain pivoted to one of his most famous tracks “I’m in Luv With a Stripper” and then surprised with a seductive cover of Ginuwine‘s raunchy 1996 smash “Pony.”
Following a penultimate performance of “I’m Sprung,” T-Pain closed the show with a new original ballad called “May I” off his forthcoming album Stoicville slated for release on Nov. 17.
As patrons filtered out of The Roxy in West Hollywood — most of whom millennials whose middle and high school memories were sound tracked by the Nappy Boy’s extensive collection of feel-good jams — many flocked to snap photos of the marquee outside the venue that bore his name. Amidst the chaos and tragedy of the past week’s events, this few-hour break was a much welcomed reflection on music’s enduring ability to unify with T-Pain as the healing minister of nostalgia.
Check out the remaining dates for the T-Pain Acoustic Tour below:
October 15 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
October 24 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
October 25 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
October 30 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall