Last night, J. Cole brought his 2014 Forest Hills Drive tour to Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. Fans filled the entire venue as the sold-out show prepared to start.
While writers of The Washington Post didn’t appreciate the show as much as we would have thought, we most certainly did.
Why did the Washington Post not share a good review? Most likely the writer didn’t actually listen to the album beforehand. If you listened to 2014 Forest Hills Drive, you fell in love.
The album itself is J. Cole’s finest piece of work against his previous albums. On his tour, it was showcased that this album was his, and not the record label’s work.
Jeremih opened the evening and hyped the crowd with his head-turning show. His energy could be felt from the back of the lawn as he rapped on stage and sang his heart and soul away. YG accompanied him for their song, “Don’t Tell ‘Em.’
The stage crew quickly set up Big Sean’s set before beginning with his intro music. The lights turned down, the crowd turnt up, and you could hear a pin drop right before Big Sean popped on stage from the top of his set building.
Big Sean’s energy was wild and you can tell he’s on his “way way way up” to stardom. He performed snippets from popular songs, rapping his parts and dancing along to the chorus. Sean performed most of his Dark Sky Paradise album songs and even rapped his verse from “Beware,” originally on Hall of Fame.
Beats dropped and Big Sean ran above, below, and side to side before stopping for a moment to catch his breathe and perform his more mellow “One Man Can Change the World,” dedicated to his grandma who passed away at the end of 2014. The audience questioned whether sweat or a tear fell from Sean. He closed with “I Don’t F*ck With You,” a classic and solid way to end an act.
A huge curtain fell as the stage crew set up J. Cole’s set. As the chords of a bass blew through Jiffy Lube, the sweet sound of piano began playing. When the curtains opened, jaws dropped, and a spotlight fell on J. Cole sitting dead center of a rooftop (exactly like the one featured on his album cover).
If you love this album as much as I do, then this concert was eye-opening to the meaning behind each and every song through the album. While many artists choose to never perform the entire record, J. Cole impressed the crowd with his personality and stories. He gave the album true meaning as he cited life moments that inspired songs. You felt that you were watching his life on his set as he journeyed through Forest Hills Drive.
Even Jeremih took the stage with Cole to perform their hit single, “Planes.” He ended with an encore of any and all his greatest hits, totaling an hour-and-a-half to two-hour set.
If J. Cole stops in your town, we suggest buying a ticket before they’re all gone. You won’t want to miss his performance. Bravo, Cole. We can’t wait to see you at Made in America Festival.