Two hours standing outside. Another hour wait inside the venue. The Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour is not starting well.
Despite the frustration on the sidewalk, it’s definitely a party in the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. I don’t think I’ve been to a concert recently where the crowd is this live pre show. Building anticipation, there is a countdown clock and opening montage.
P. Diddy kicks off the show with a medley of his songs and features, including verses from Wacka Flacka Flame’s O Let’s Do It, 50 Cent’s I Get Money, Bad Boy for Life and Finna Get Loose. A headliner opening HIS show, even with a roster of guests.
Each act performs approximately four songs. No intermission. First family member is Mase with Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down. Puff and Mase play off each other’s energy.
What is this? Numbers in your pocket? I remember when you, used to throw those things away. With concertgoers singing along, 112 takes the stage. The fellas sound good with choreography to match.
Total appears out of the darkness. The trio is the inspiration for my black, puffy vest outfit. Kima, Keisha and Pam are on deck with one of my favorite songs Trippin’.
The Lox immediately launch into the intro to Mighty D-Block. They finish their set with Wild Out and people promptly wild out.
Dressed in white, slowing things down is crooner Carl Thomas. He gets Emotional and then dances to Summer Rain. His vocals are strong and smooth simultaneously.
I am a HUGE Faith Evans fan. I’ve seen her in small clubs, large arenas and even at the U.S. Naval Academy. From No Other Love to Soon As I Get Home, my Faith is vocal bliss.
What’s a family reunion without a t-shirt? I hit up the merch table (remember there is no intermission). When I return, there are plenty of women twerking to French Montana and his Uncle Luke-sampled Pop That. Shortly thereafter pandemonium ensues, as Kimberly Jones emerges from the floor in her infamous pose. Lil’ Kim’s flow hasn’t missed a beat. In all my excitement, I didn’t get a good video.
After the individual segments there is, what I’ve named, the collabs part of the night. Multiple Bad Boy artists on a song. Tunes like 112’s Only You and Total’s Can’t You See. Mario Winans isn’t here, BUT Black Rob shows up with Whoa and the building went berserk.
Christian Combs, Diddy’s son, debuts his new single and the music mogul ceremoniously hands over the company’s legacy to his offspring. The show closes with It’s All About the Benjamins, I’ll Be Missing You and Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems.
The concert is phenomenal. It is more than a nostalgic, two-decade trip down memory lane. Sean Combs has a superb talent for capturing a feeling and translating it into successful ventures such as music, events, apparel, media, spirits, and on and on. What he shrewdly does is architect experiences. And I unequivocally have an outstanding one.