Lil Yachty loaded up the bus and recently kicked off his worldwide The Field Trip Tour in DC at a sold-out Echostage in support of his most recent album, Let’s Start Here. After stating he wanted to be viewed at an artist, not just a rapper earlier this year, Boat released the alternative/psychedelic rock project that was a major left turn from all of Yachty’s previous work, reminiscent of Kid Cudi’s WZRD phase for a blog-era kid like myself.
After opening sets from DC’s own Nick Hakim and the Concrete Boys at Echostage on Sept. 21, a collection of Yachty’s up and coming artists the room fell dark as a welcome video appeared on all of the screens and everyone raised their phones to get a shot of the colorful LSD and Mushroom inspired visuals as they flashed and flickered across the screens along with quotes like “Unlock Your Potential,” “Spiritual Combat,” and “You Are Special” — and ending with “Let’s Start Here.”
Yacht’s all-female band, The Silver Sisters, strutted on stage dressed in white from head to toe and started to tune up as the crowd chanted “YACH-TY!, YACH-TY!” The band’s singer screeched into the microphone stopping everyone in their tracks for a moment before breaking out in to “drive ME Crazy!” They performed the entire first verse sans Yachty before Boat Boy himself strolled out on to stage to join in from the songs chorus.
The first songs were from Let’s Start Here, including “sAy sOMETHINg,” “the ride-,” and “pRETTy” — where Yachty made kissy faces into a selfie cam that put a Snapchat filtered close-up of his face on the screens during the songs chorus. Boat smoked his own personal hookah he had set up on stage as and the band performed silhouetted between the hazy room and the colorful psychedelic visuals twisting and bending on the screens behind them. The room fell dark before blue lights lit the stage and the Silver Sisters walked back out performing a cover of Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight” to close out the set.
Watch the official music video for “Strike (Holster)” by Lil Yachty on YouTube:
After a costume change, Yachty returned to the stage alone for his second set wearing jeans, a black bandana and a vintage Clerks hockey jersey from the cult-classic ’90s movie. He performed the first verse of “SOLO STEPPIN CRETE BOY” before he cut the song and yelled out to the crowd, “This what y’all came here for right?..Open up the fucking pits!”
He restarted the song at the top of his lungs as the center of the room circled up and bounced for his first ever live performance of the song from his “TESLA” EP that released last month. He followed that up with “Slide,” another record from “TESLA,” before getting into some of my favorite songs like “Split/Whole Time,” “Flex Up,” and “Coffin,” which had the entire room bouncing.
Lil Yachty stopped the show and held a moment of silence for Juice Wrld before performing their collab “Yacht Club” and spent the rest of the set going back and forth between some of the first records that broke him into the industry like “Minnesota,” “Broccoli,” and “iSpy” and his the remaining songs from his “TELSA” EP with “Strike (Holster)” and the title track “TELSA”. He finishing the set off with an acoustic version of “1 Night” over piano before bringing the ladies back out on stage to finish off the night.
Check out Lil Yachty’s latest album Let’s Start Here. on Spotify:
Lil Boat and his band returned to the album for the final set of the show, starting things off with “IVE OFFICIALLY LOST ViSiON!!!!” as the bright lights and trippy visuals reappeared back on the screens. “THE zone~” and “WE SAW THE SUN!” came next as Yachty performed on an elevated platform behind the band as they jammed out together. After a piano solo introduction, he night ended with the most popular record from the Let’s Start Here., the power ballad,“the BLACK seminole.” As they hit the last note of the song, the drummer threw her sticks out into the packed crowd and Yachty yelled out his thanks to DC as they left the stage.
Lil Yachty set out this year with the goal to change everyone’s opinion of him from the red haired mumble rap kid we met in 2016 to a fully fledged artist and I can definitely say he’s accomplished that goal after experiencing this show.
The Field Trip Tour is just getting started and Yachty and company will be all over the USA and Canada before heading to Europe in late November. Be sure to grab your tickets while you can.
Below are some more photos from Lil Yachty’s performance at Echostage on Sept. 21, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of AJ Waugh (wauffleznotwaffles.com).