It didn’t take long for the sacred offering to be made on Saturday night. Following an introduction from Braylon Edwards, Schoolboy Q took the stage in a red bucket hat, but the audience didn’t wait to provide him a maize and blue one instead. Q channeled Edwards when he caught the poorly thrown bucket hat far above his head, and to the delight of the crowd, he proceeded to wear it for the rest of the show. Prior to Schoolboy’s entrance, Hill Auditorium was teetering on the border of mellow, but when he took the stage and opened with “Fuck LA,” Q had the audience in the palm of his hand from beginning to end, delivering the show everyone wanted to see and electrifying the auditorium.

Schoolboy didn’t disappoint as a performer — “Fuck LA” set the tone for an intense show. Q drew mostly from his latest album, Oxymoron, but also played some Habits and Contradictions, as well a couple of surprises.

From the mezzanine, Schoolboy was almost lost in a cloud of smoke that engulfed him the entire show. By the end, it was hard to know whether we were in Hill Auditorium or Boulder, CO. Even under those conditions, Schoolboy was animated throughout his performance — covering every inch of the stage, and toweling off after every song.

As the show progressed, Schoolboy and the audience fed off one another’s energy. “Collard Greens” was a crowd favorite — Q threw the hook to the audience and then went back and forth with them. The crowd was vibing, Schoolboy was sweating up a storm and that was only the fourth song in a 14-song set list.

Although only 27, Schoolboy looked out over the audience and proclaimed, “Damn — you all making me feel old as fuck. But I’m still trying to have a ‘Hell of a Night’.” The audience got the message as Q launched into one of many hits off Oxymoron. “Get up outta your seat, you can have my drink, let me see you dance” — the audience heeded the command built into “Hell of a Night,” and it was clear that even in the haze that had descended over Hill, the audience and Q had more to give.

Later in his setlist, Schoolboy stepped out of Oxymoron and played Kendrick’s “m.A.A.d City,” paying tribute to another member of TDE and Black Hippy. The audience “yak-yak-yakked” with Schoolboy the whole song, and the crowd reached a fervor that sustained the rest of the night. Hill Auditorium was a very different place than it was a week ago during the George Gershwin tribute concert.

Following the departure from his own material, Q played his collaboration with Tinashe, “2 on,” followed by his own hit, “Studio.” Schoolboy gave the people what they wanted, and the audience showed their appreciation, singing along with Schoolboy throughout the two tracks.

Using his current hits, Schoolboy warmed the audience up for the throwback that was on every fan’s mind — Q launched into “There He Go,” from Habits and Contradictions, once again leaving the hook to the audience. Hill reverberated with a chant of “There he go,” and Q left it all on the stage.

It seemed everyone’s night caught up to them simultaneously. The audience clearly needed to chill the fuck out for a second or else they weren’t going to make it to the end of the show. Q gave himself and the audience a much-needed recharge period, slowing it down with “Blessed.” It was a savvy change of pace and Q nailed it.

Alas, it was time to blow the top off Hill. Q turned up the intensity with “Yay yay” to prep the building for his conclusion. We all knew it was coming. And it felt so right. “Yea Yea Yea Yea Yeaaaa” — Q launched into “Man of the Year” and summoned the first few rows to the front of the auditorium. The whole place bounced as Schoolboy tore through the song. Even when the powers that be turned on the lights to end the show, Q continued. The audience took his lead. In the end, no one even noticed the change in lighting. He had the place hypnotized and the concert wasn’t over until he said so. Schoolboy gave a heartfelt thank you to his fans, saying, “I ain’t shit without you.” On Saturday night, Michigan should’ve been thanking Q for a Hell of a Night.

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