Kendrick Lamar

Forbe’s Lounge, Aug. 18

The doors opened for the Kendrick Lamar show at 8:30 p.m., but the Compton, Calif., rapper didn’t take the stage until 1 a.m. The average concertgoer would have been pissed, but these passionate fans had no qualms with the diminutive MC’s tardiness. It also helped that local talent Radio Ramone woke up a fading crowd of hip-hop heads with an energetic stage show that was the equivalent of an audible Red Bull. The energy would carry over until Lamar emerged and raced right into his captivating set, which kicked off with the breathtaking “The Heart Pt. 2.” Fresh off of his instant classic, Section.80, Lamar didn’t hesitate to become one with the crowd. Despite his affiliation with Dr. Dre, Lamar was as passionate as a starving artist who wanted his music to be heard. Slapping fives with fans of all colors during “Fuck Your Ethnicity,” rhyming into the eyes of a lovely lady with “Tammy’s Song” and middle finger wagging at the haters with “The Spiteful Chant,” Lamar carried his performance into the night.

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Jesse Pino

Concert Review

Jesse Pino

By Michelle Franco

Guitarist Jesse Pino, who left local pop-rock band Left Standing to pursue a solo career in December, gained some new fans as he played to a seated crowd, giving the dive bar the ambience of MTV’s Unplugged. The aggressive yet delicate manner with which the 27-year-old strums his guitar is the calling card of a veteran musician (he performed with Left Standing for more than a decade). The poignant, soulful lyrics show that he sees both the cloud and the silver lining.