Summit Music Hall’s newly renovated space was the place to be on Tuesday night, as Pusha T brought his “DAYTONA Tour” to Denver in celebration of his recent album of the same name. Pusha T, real name Terrence LeVarr Thornton, released the seven-track project on May 25 of this year with the help of his boss at GOOD Music, Kanye West. The album served as the first of five albums that West produced in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in what is now known as the “Wyoming Sessions.” Regarded as one of the best releases of 2018 by critics and fans alike, the album is most enthusiastically talked up by the creator of the album himself.
The rapper was joined by opening acts PHONY PPL, Bernard Jabs and Denver artist O.T.I.S., which stands for One Truly Inspired Soul. Much like the headliner, PHONY PPL hail from New York and served as the perfect warm up to a highly anticipated concert. The group of dreaded, talented musicians presented their happy-go-lucky sound as if they weren’t performing along one of the more hardcore rappers on the scene today. It was received well nonetheless. With lyrics like, “she can move her ass, but can she move her mind?” the group made it hard not to smile and vibe along to their rainbow lights and shirtless bassist.
The floor plan of Summit has opened up in a dramatic way, and the view of their act was much easier to enjoy. Other renovations included the jaw-dropping transformation of the restrooms and a new bar near the stage. It is safe to say Summit is ready to be a top contender to musicians making their way through Colorado, and the patrons are ready for it.
When it was time for Pusha T to make his move, the audience had heated up the downtown venue and loosened their vocals for a night to remember. The New York City rapper took his night by storm after the DJ blasted several bass-heavy GOOD Music tracks, like “Niggas in Paris.” Pusha opened with “If You Know You Know,” which also serves as the opening track to DAYTONA. He kept performing according to the tracklist order with “The Games We Play,” setting the tone of the evening as if the audience were in for a straight off the album performance. “Welcome to the DAYTONA experience, and when I say DAYTONA, I am talking about the Rap Album of the mother fucking Year,” he said.
The performance mixed the past and present by diving into “Number on the Boards” after “Hard Piano,” a shift that rocked the crowd like the waves of a storm. The bass of the tracks remained so loud and powerful it was difficult to discuss the occurrences with a neighbor, which was for the best. He showcased more odes to GOOD Music throughout the night, playing plenty of his collaborations with West and others. The rapper performed his show against a simple background of a black slate with single lines of color running up and down. The uncomplicated approach left the artist in the spotlight for his fans to focus on him with little distractions.
This year has certainly brought a lot of excitement for Pusha T, and this tour is just the icing on top of the cake of his accomplishments. Whether DAYTONA will win Rap Album of the Year or not is left to be seen, but in the meantime, it is good to know the live show matches the heart and integrity of the recording. Until the artist’s next project, Colorado fans will wait patiently, bumping the tracks we have and waiting for more.