Review: E-40 at The Crown
REVIEW BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Bay Area legend E-40 showed that capturing an audience has little to do with the shortcomings of a venue on Thursday at the The Crown.
Sub-par acoustics generally ruin a live music experience, but in this case the crowd was more concerned about being in the presence of a hip-hop icon and starting of their Independence Day weekend right.
At times, walking around the Kapiolani Blvd. establishment seemed like trecking through a maze of dead ends, constantly forcing people to reroute and backtrack.
While the unfriendly layout prevented concertgoers from enjoying an optimal concert experience, sight lines were decent and equally accessible — no matter if you bought a general admission ticket or the “Super VIP” package offered by promoters. The Crown’s giant main bar, situated smack dab in the middle of the room, still forced many to enjoy the show from the outer reaches of the club, however.
The sultan of slang kicked off a 60-minute set with the bouncy hit, “White Girl.” The energy in the room was lackluster at best early on, but things improved during “Sprinkle Me” and “Captain Save A…” All seemed right with the world at this point.
At 46, the seasoned rapper showed from a performance standpoint he remains on top of his game, rapping every lyric with clarity and cadence despite the absence of any sort of stage lighting during the first three songs. The swift-tongued lyricist, who took quick sips of cranberry juice between songs, is set to release a four-album set entitled “Sharp On Four Corners” on July 15, proving he shouldn’t be considered past his prime.
The ladies seemed to edge out their male counterparts in the energy department on Thursday, reciting lyrics and dancing to the beat. The fellas finally got into it once E-40 spit his verse from the remix of West Coast anthem “I Got 5 on It.” U
With the crowd completely in hand, the Bay Area bounce came to a frantic peak during “Tell Me When To Go” and “Monkey” before E-40 closed things out with notable club jam “Function.”
You can’t help but wonder if E-40’s personal experience or the uneven response from the crowd on Thursday night had anything to do with the hour long show coming to an abrupt end without any sort of encore. While the energy and environment didn’t match up to his previous visits, E-40 did what veteran entertainers do — find a way to make it all work for the sake of his fans.
As for The Crown, expect the club to work out its kinks and regroup for better shows in the future.