By Beth Casteel
Watching as the clock slowly ticks towards 9 p.m., many concertgoers can visibly be seen perking up at the thought that their wait for fellow Clevelander, Kid Cudi, would soon be over. This concert would be a year in the making. The anticipation was evident as the crowd began buzzing at the thought of their hometown native taking the stage.
Announcing his decision to go into rehab for depression and suicidal urges, Scott Mescudi — better known from his stage name, Kid Cudi — temporarily put a hold on his next tour, a run of his 2016 studio album “Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin.” It would be almost a year later when Dennis Cummings, Cudi’s manager, would release a teaser video for that potential tour.
After the official tour announcement, Cudi fans were excited about seeing the rapper perform songs off his newest album, as well as hit songs from past releases. Eagerly awaiting the tour, the wait for Cudi’s Cleveland fans was over on Oct. 7, where he would take the stage at the Wolstein Center.
Cudi’s return home brought a large group of loyal fans. Arriving about an hour before the show began, fans could be seen anxiously waiting in lines on either side of the Wolstein Center entrances. It didn’t take long before fans were allowed in the venue and once in, they could be seen getting tour merchandise and rushing into the main room in search of their seats.
A fist fight between two rowdy concert goers and chants of “Cudi” made time feel as if it was on fast forward. Finally, the lights dimmed for the solo act of the evening. As the stage fills with bright colors, Cudi walked on stage to deafening applause.
Opening with “Baptized in Fire,” it didn’t take long for the crowd to start getting hyped with The Kid. After promising the audience a journey, Cudi delivered with his charisma and impressive stage set up.
The stage was decorated with an elaborate forest scene, complete with trees – onstage and on the giant screen behind him– leaves that framed the stage just right and colorful lights that help illustrate the changing of the seasons. With such a setup, Cudi created a magical setting that allowed the audience to get lost in the moment. While the stage was an integral part of the show, it was Cudi’s charm that made the night memorable. With his sly movements and the smooth delivery of some of his hits, it’s easy to see why the rapper has such a large following.
As the 90 or so minute show started coming to an end, the crowd did not lose any of the energy that they came in with. Pausing to give a brief speech before performing one of his biggest songs to date, Cudi thanked his hometown for always supporting him.
“We’ve been doing this for 8 long years, we’ve been making jams, you’ve been listening, you’ve been loving it, you’ve been supporting it. And I never forget that s— ever,” Cudi said. “It means so much to me. Especially when I come back and I just feel the love, you know, the unconditional support.”
As he finished his speech, he stopped for a brief moment. It was obvious that this was an equally important moment for Cudi as it was for his fans. As the opening of “Pursuit of Happiness” began, fans swayed to the music and enjoyed one of the last sing-alongs of the evening.
Before his last song, Cudi stopped to sign some of his die-hard fans’ merchandise. He made it a point to let everyone know how much the night meant to him and as the opening lines of “Surfin” began, the crowd enjoyed their last moment with Cudi
Once the show officially ended, the atmosphere leaving the event was even more lively than when originally entering.
There’s pride in knowing that Cudi never forgot where he came from. The love and support is not only given to Cudi, but from him as well.
“The love that you can’t buy nowhere, that’s that home town s—,” said Cudi. “Yeah, that’s that Cleveland s—.”