Mystery men are, by definition, surprising. I have a friend whose hidden talent is riding a unicycle while eating pizza and playing Yankee Doodle on kazoo.
What makes T-Pain a mystery man? He can sing without autotune. I know, my mind was blown, too. He recently released his sixth studio album, 1up, and promoted it with a show at the Skyway Theater.
When I hear the name T-Pain, I think of large, beautiful top hats, the voice of an autotuned angel, and features on every song in human history. I picture him in the background dancing with some sort of drink yelling “SHAWTY” (shorty). On stage, though, he is a composed, humble, and energetic.
Opening acts Abby Jasmine and A-1 Bentley set the tone of the show. They are both high-energy rappers who enjoy getting the crowd involved. A-1 Bentley had a twerk-off on stage with a few select women from the crowd, which was a highlight.
T-Pain came on stage with lights and ego. Dressed in a heavy fur coat befitting his image, I anticipated that I’d hear what he’s known for: ear candy for hours.
Except his shows was far different from that. He was actually singing, and it sounded really good as he flew through hit after hit. Every song was an instantly recognizable singalong.
At one point, he suddenly broke out of his drinking, club, and stripper songs and did covers of classics from Queen, Sam Smith, and the Guess Who. Wearing a white LED jacket, he wowed the crowd with the unexpected covers. During this portion, the light show featured a blue, single-eyed Furby thing bouncing in the background. Evidently, it’s because he won a popular singing competition known as the Masked Singer, which surprised everyone.
The encore came after the Masked Singer setlist. He flew through the final five songs, eventually ending with DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win.” By the end of his show, he performed 30 songs in an hour and a half, but without one SHAWTY. It left the crowd shocked and confused wondering about what would come next from him.
- Ringleader Man
- Booty Wurk (One Cheek at a Time)
- Cyclone (Baby Bash Cover)
- 2 Step
- Buy You a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)
- The Boss (Rick Ross Cover)
- Mayback Music 2 (Rick Ross Cover)
- Oh, Yeah! Crowd Play
- Good Life (Kanye West Cover)
- Blame It (Jamie Foxx Cover)
- Can’t Believe It
- I’m Sprung
- Up Down (Do This All Day)
- A Million Times
- Getcha Roll On
- Boo’d Up (T-Mix)
- Panda (T-Mix)
- I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper)
- 5 O’ Clock
Masked Singer (Setlist)
- Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen Cover)
- American Woman (Guess Who Cover)
- I Don’t Want to Be (Gavin DeGraw Cover)
- I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (The Arrows Cover)
- This Is How We Do It (Montell Jordan Cover)
- Stay With Me (Sam Smith Cover)
- Got Money (Lil Wayne Cover)
- Low (Flo Rida Cover)
- Welcome to My Hood (DJ Khaled Cover)
- All I Do Is Win (DJ Khaled Cover)