Intro/Recap by David “DRO” Rosario and Backstage Photos Taken By Struck.
With many of the South Florida’s biggest shows and productions in 2008 landing at the American Airlines Arena, the good people over at Vision Entertainment thought it’d be a great opportunity to bring a quality hip-hop show to the Broward County area. And that they did. The first of hopefully many to come, SummerFest concert series came to South Florida with guarantees of leaving Vision Entertainment’s mark as a quality independent production company that could compete with the Live Nations of today’s entertainment world. With plenty of past international shows under their belt, there wasn’t ever much for Vision Entertainment to prove, but they definitely reassured their place in rank on the evening of Saturday June 28th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise. South Florida’s SummerFest 2008 with performances by Keyshia Cole, Lil Wayne, Akon, T-Pain, DJ Khaled an more. A full photo gallery and brief recap of the event right here on The305.Com
The Opening Acts
The evening began with a string of upcoming acts who all definitely gave their best efforts to woo a crowd that is generally eager to just see the headlining performers. The first five opening acts seemed to be geared more towards the R&B and Pop side of life, but that didn’t stop any of them from giving stellar performances. Most notable was Michelle Del Amor who carried a great show with a squad of backup dancers that complimented her rhythm, style and song selection. Michelle really stood out with that it factor appeal that very performers have. And that’s something that Wynter Gordon possesses as well. Ms. Gordon lit up the stage with her beauty and really made sure that you felt the passion that she has wrapped up within her song’s lyrics. The next set of performers included various local Miami artists on the hip-hop side of the spectrum. Grindmode got everyone “so high” and Ball Greezy offered everyone in the audience a little bit of Shone. Both acts commanded a positive response as their respective songs have been burning up local radio stations’ afternoon and morning mixes, as well as creeping up demand in regular rotation.
Artist entourages, music industry personnel and tons of media filled the backstage area. Christina Milian made a surprise low-key appearance and was escorted to a front row viewing of the show with her momager (mom/manager) and a friend of there’s. Rumblings of a surprise guest that DJ Khaled was bringing out started making rounds backstage, and soon enough it turned out to be that T-Pain was the one who would make a surprise and very lengthly guest appearance in three artists’ sets. Lil Wayne arrived fashionably with manager and crew at hand, but what a lot of people didn’t see was a brand new Rolls Royce wrapped in a red bow parked outside the Backstage door parking lot waiting for Lil Wayne when he finished his performing duties. We have the exclusive picture. Check it below.
The Main Event
SummerFest’s pinnacle was the four main headliners, whom all showed up in full force and gave their A-Game. Keyshia Cole took center stage like a real diva (“diva” in a good way of coarse) and commanded the microphone with her soulful voice immediately performing hits from her two albums. Following Keyshia came the almighty don dada DJ Khaled. There wasn’t one person in the entire arena who could honestly say that Khaled did live up to his reputation of being the most energetic man show bid’ness. Khaled surprised the crowd with T-Pain who then assisted Ace Hood with his hit single “Cash Flow.” which then transitioned to the unforgettable anthem of “We Taking Over” which then had Akon making an early appearance that would continue through the end of his own set. Akon could pretty much be given the crown for having the most well-received set of the evening. It seemed that from the second he got on the mic, the crowd just kept singing along to every word until the second he got off about 40 minutes later. Lastly, the man of the evening. The platinum selling and superstar Lil Wayne takes stage to address his people. He knows they’re there for him and he doesn’t do a thing to hide that fact. Wayne performed segments of hits from the span of his career and ended his set with the very hypnotizing (and appropriate) “Lollipop.” Even though Lil Wayne has been in the rap game for years, you can just somehow to tell that when he hits the stage, he still loves every minute of his time in the spotlight.