I got into the Key Area a few minutes before Kendrick Lamar's 4:00 pm set yesterday and, as usual, nothing made sense in that roundabout cluster jam. My only requirement for this show was seeing the stage, from literally any vantage point. After a constantly-interrupted conversation with vague security guard and an even more vague conversation with the THREE police officers guarding the entrance to the floor (an area which had apparently already hit capacity though it always looks half full), I managed to squeeze myself past aisles clogged with tanktops and hormones.
I finally found a super sweet spot, standing to the left of an entrance into the arena—not quite blocking the stairway to the packed seats, but not quite out of the way. The arena was dark and the chirpy audience din made spelled EXCITEMENT!
BEW BEW BEW BEW BEEEWWWWW! Airhorns went off, guitars started guitaring for "The Art of Peer Pressure"; the bass was not a sound, but a feeling. Everything was dark except for red laser lights and cellphones. The entire stadium smelled like a strawberry blunt.
Lamar finally came out and other lights came on that seemed too bright. Suddenly it felt like a highschool gymnasium were the "behind the scenes" scaffolding, ladders, and other junk above and behind the stage are clearly visible. The third or fourth song was "Backseat Freestyle" and Lamar went with the unfortunate "let the audience sing every other word" move, which is never a good idea—it just sounds like technical difficulties and sloppiness.
By the time "Bad Bitches" started, it kinda felt like a real rap show, but I was still weirded out by the brightness. After almost getting in an altercation with a crappy teen (long story), I wandered to the women's room where over 50 girls were simultaneously doing their hair and trying to get a glimpse of their outfits. I wish I could have recorded it without being a creep—the duck-faces were precious!