By the time Far East Movement took the stage shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday night at Epic, the crowd was ready to “fly like a G6.”
If you’ve tuned your radio to 101.3 KDWB or 96.3 NOW for more than 15 minutes any time over the past three months, you’re guaranteed to have heard Far East Movement’s “Like a G6.” It’s a bass-heavy, electronic pop song that has spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Each of the three openers remixed “Like a G6” and for doing so received enthusiastic responses from the crowd. Radio host Big D from KDWB emceed the two-and-a-half-hour event, introducing each of the opening acts and, finally, Far East Movement, who performed for a disappointing 30 minutes.
I wasn’t familiar with any of the three opening acts and since their names were announced with more volume than enunciation, I wasn’t able to catch them. [Editor’s note: As of publication, a call to the event promoter seeking to identify these acts has not been returned.] The first was a male rap duo who strutted the stage in baggy pants, leather jackets, flat-billed baseball caps and plenty of bling. The crowd was dancing to top 40 remixes before this duo took the stage, and the abrupt change to rap left everyone shuffling their feet instead of grinding with their neighbors. After the brief first opener (they rapped about four songs), the house music was turned back up and four fur-booted go-go dancers took the stage to gyrate and entertain the crowd.
The second opener, another male duo, were on stage for about the same amount of time as the first, but they worked the crowd much more effectively, asking us to holler, wave our arms, and demanding to know if we were ready to “fly like a G6.” While the first opener was mostly unintelligible, the second was much more musically polished. The two guys played well off of one another and had clearly practiced their raps. By this time, I had witnessed the bouncers escort two people out of the club, spotted two other people wearing tails (yes, stuffed fabric tails), and seen the butt cheeks of multiple women in ultra tight skimpy dresses that required constant adjustment to avoid mooning the other attendees.
The crowd was definitely warmed up when the third opener took the stage. This final opener comprised five guys, each wearing different styles of clothing, hair, and accessories. Their look was as disjointed as their performance and it seemed like each one wanted to take center stage, resulting in a lot of jockeying.
After another brief stint of DJed music and go-go dancing, an electronic woman’s voice came over the speakers and counted down from ten, at the end of which Far East Movement came on stage in white space helmets and began to perform. Kev Nish (born Kevin Nishimura), Prohgress (James Roh), and J-Splif (Jae Choung) worked the front of the stage alternately singing, gesturing, and admonishing the crowd to “put your hands in the air!” while DJ Virman hunkered down behind his equipment to provide the beats for each song.
Looking like they could have walked off the shoot for their Free Wired album cover, the four guys wore skinny jeans, skinny ties, and big plastic sunglasses. Kev Nish was the clear leader: holding a normal microphone in one hand and a heavily auto-tuned one in the other, he conducted the audience with whichever microphone was not in use. It came as a surprise when only a few songs into their set Far East Movement performed “Like a G6”. Since it’s their mega-hit, I was certain it would come near the end. After one more song, Kev Nish thanked the Twin Cities for supporting them, encouraged us to buy their album, and introduced their last song, “Rocketeer,” by asking us to all point one finger to the sky. The audience may have flown like a G6, but the plane didn’t even reach cruising altitude before coming back to earth.