OAKLAND — “Hello. My name is Gerald and I represent G-Eazy.”
This was how a young Gerald Earl Gillum landed his first gig at The New Parish in Oakland, about a decade ago. The East Bay rapper, now headlining amphitheaters and much larger rooms nationwide—he drew thousands at Outside Lands a couple of years back—returned home on Saturday to the first club that accepted him for a concert commemorating the venue’s 10th anniversary and doubling as a fundraiser for a 2-year-old Oakland girl’s recovery from leukemia and his own Endless Summer Fund. The Endless Summer Fund is a partnership with San Francisco’s Larkin Street Youth Services, a homeless youth drop-in center in San Francisco helping young people facing homelessness by providing outreach, shelter, housing, health services, education and employment.
At the celebratory show, G-Eazy told stories, debuted new material and took every chance he could to thank his fans and share his excitement. Oh, and he performed parts of roughly 30 songs from his growing catalog.
“This is your show tonight,” G-Eazy said after making a triumphant entrance on stage. Prior to that, he spent a good amount of time mingling and taking photos with fans, and being a fan for his opening acts. He kicked things off with a snippet of “Far Alone,” his melodic 2014 collaboration with E-40 and Jay Ant. He followed that up with the ominous-yet-exultant “Pray for Me,” off 2017’s The Beautiful & Damned. On “Legend,” from the same album, he borrowed a fan’s cell phone to film some POV shots. Following the trap tune “The Plan,” another from the 2017 album, he told a story about how he was making $800 per show. A couple songs later, before “Lady Killers,” he explained that when he wrote the song, he was making $100 per show. “I Mean It” came with a story about how G-Eazy felt hearing his first song on Bay Area radio.
G-Eazy shushed the entire room to deliver the first few bars of “1942,” a 2018 song, a cappella. “Random,” off 2015’s When It’s Dark Out, came with rumbling bass and thunderous drumming. G-Eazy was backed by a live drummer, a producer and a row of overpowering fog cannons that show smoke from floor to ceiling in no time flat.
The show rolled along quickly, with no downtime. He performed “Same Bitches,” his collaboration with Post Malone and YG, as well as new song “Beat Up” with opener ALLBLACK.
“No one has heard this before,” he said. “I make my best music when I’m here in the Bay.”
Sample lyric? “My bitch was a pop star.”
He followed that up with the funky 2018 collaboration with Marc E. Bassy, “Love Her Too.” At this point, the show was only about 35 minutes (halfway) in and Young Gerald was just getting started. The latter half of his performance included rapid-fire delivery of another 15 or so songs, including “Stay High,” “Gotdamn” and “Power,” another 2018 cut. He closed with “No Limit.”
“This is the best day of my life. I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
Oakland rapper ALLBLACK preceded G-Eazy with a 30-minute set. His songs had a narrative tone different from contemporary rap. His beats carried a ’90s vibe. His set included a selection of cuts from his 2018 records: 2 Minute Drills and Outcalls. The latter was a really strong project in terms of concept and musicality. On Saturday, the standout cuts included “76 Buccaneers,” “Weigh Ins” and “John Madden 2.” He finished his set with a stage full of guests, including opener Kossisko and his collaborator Offset Jim performing “Canadian Goose.”
Kossisko, the Berkeley rapper previously known as 100s, performed a short set of g-funk-influenced songs heavy on voice modulation. As 100s, the artist had some success with his song “Life of a Mack,” which was on the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto V. He performed that song Saturday, as well as 100s song “Ten Freaky Hoes.” His set included newer songs from November album Low, such as “Cardio.”
Oakland producer DJ Daghe opened the show by spinning a bunch of Travis Scott, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and even Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” Some of the bigger fan reactions came during brief snippets of DJ Snake’s and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What” and 2Pac’s and Dr. Dre’s “California Love.”
“I don’t know where ya’ll got your tickets,” he yelled at the outset, as G-Eazy’s intimate homecoming show was extremely sold out.