Milwaukee turned out for Nelly at Summerfest, July 5. In near anxiety-attack inducing numbers, fans packed the Miller Lite Oasis stage area, stretching the crowd back all the way to the food vendors. The sound from so far back was barely audible, sub-bass and chatter drowning out any resemblance of recognizable tracks, but the crowd was determined to give the Louisville rapper the best they had.
Nelly did not disappoint. Known widely for his break-out album "County Grammar," he performed the title track early in his set, closely followed by "Ride Wit Me," churning the audience into a nostalgic mania.
Closer to the stage, the lyrics more defined, the audience shouted the words they knew as the tracks continued. Nelly played several lesser-known songs, but the crowd undulated with the bass and the rapper kept the hype tight with his high-energy stage performance.
Highlights included Nelly welcoming members of the crowd on stage â€“ the first, a girl, close to tears, standing on stage while Nelly sang "Over and Over" to her, and later a crowd member was prompted to sing Kelly Rowlandâ€™s part in "Dilemma."
The show hit a fever-pitch as Nelly played his hit song "Pimp Juice," (although stopping short of the second verse in which he mentions Milwaukee â€“ "Treat you like youâ€™re from Milwaukee/Send you Green Bay Packinâ€™" â€“ perhaps tasteful, considering the connotation of the lyrics, but couldâ€™ve been a sure crowd-pleaser) and the single "Hot in Herre" which threw the his fans into a gyrating frenzy. And it was awesome.
Disappointments included the absence of the tracks "E.I." and "Air Force Ones," but more importantly the excitements included the hearing of unreleased Nelly songs that actually sound promising.
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