The Level Up Tour featuring A$AP Ferg, Tory Lanez, and MadeinTYO at the Santa Ana Observatory on June 2nd, 2016
Words and Photos by Summer Dos Santos
Before the Level Up tour, I watched a folk-rock singer perform in the same venue called the Constellation Room. Leaving the small, mellow concert and entering the bigger room was like entering an entirely different world. Shortly after doors, the line was wrapped around the parking lot outside and inside people were already maneuvering their way up to the front. Girls were wearing heels, full faces of makeup, and their best club attire, while the guys were wearing the most hyped streetwear, from Supreme to Anti Social Club.
MadeinTYO kicked things off by hyping up the crowd and played his hit song "Uber Everywhere". The already drunk and anxious crowd turned aggressive quickly. As I stood on top of the stairs, a girl hip checked me multiple times, attempting to send me falling down the stairs. Fights broke out left and right, making the security guards continuously scan the crowd for disturbances. Later on in the night, I immersed myself in the crowd. A girl came barreling through, knocking me over, and began swinging at the poor guy in front of me, almost seemingly at random. Unfortunately for me, this sent my camera gear sliding into the middle of the fight. I quickly threw myself on top of my bag and was helped up to safety. This was the type of crowd that you didn't want to accidentally elbow someone in passing or you had to make sure you didn't look at someone's girlfriend the wrong way.
After these few incidents I encountered, Tory Lanez and A$AP Ferg came to the stage, switching off every few songs. It was a performance method I hadn't seen before, even from co-headliners. Their lighting was bright and erratic, more so than some EDM shows, and their energy was incredible, Tory's especially. I knew he had a knack for crowd surfing and scaling venue balconies, but I was shocked at how long he did this for. He told the crowd not to bring him back towards the stage and he was surfing a crowd of people for nearly ten minutes. Eventually, he directed the crowd to take him towards the overhang of the balcony, climbing up to the second floor and balancing on the edge while he performed. A$AP Ferg jumped around the stage, wearing overalls and somehow made them look trendy. He made the girls go wild by simply flashing them his iced out grill or stealing their phones for a few brief seconds.
These two are not only strong performers but collaborators. They feed off each other's energy and use it send shockwaves of excitement through the crowd. Between Tory's crooning, A$AP's rapping, and all the commotion in the crowd, anyone would leave this concert having a million stories to tell their friends. At no point during the concert was there a dull moment.
Luckily for some people, the tour still has some more dates left, check them out below!