The Retrospective

The Retrospective random header image

On the Verge – Wale at The Webster

February 16th, 2009 by

This night, This crowd, and This venue is what counts in the entertainment industry, or so they say. At Hartford’s Webster Theater,  however,  This was not Wale’s night. The February 5th show had me begging for a different night and definitely for a different crowd. The performance is best summed up by Wale sitting down at one point near the end of the show, looking dejected and asking the crowd if anyone smoked weed. Flat.

Wale: DC born and raised, worked with Kanye West and Travis Barker, written about in Rolling Stone, made the cover of URB’s 150th issue, named by Entertainment Weekly as one of 8 people to watch in 2008. The man has talent. The man has the trajectory. 

The band was tight, but Wale seemed discouraged by the detachment of the crowd. He brought up his hometown of Washington, DC many times throughout the night, asking “is anyone out there from DC?” – reaching out for a familiar yelp, perhaps.  No demand of “throw your arms in the air like you just don’t care” could have rallied these kids, however. The first few seatless rows of bodies were faithfully pressed against the barrier, but just a couple feet in and kids were just spilling drinks and talking.

Hundreds of Wesleyan students reserved the Webster Theater this night for their own private party, and Wale was the hired help.  After an hour of dancing to pre-creepy era Michael Jackson, singing along to Ludacris, throwing plastic cups carelessly to the floor and drinking, drinking, drinking, there was no electricity in the air when Wale took the stage with his band.  The mostly white, mostly sloppily drunk, mostly 21 and over crowd screamed for Wale’s appearance just the same as they’d scream if the house DJ told them to between songs. Wale ended the hour long set with “Purple Rain”, which was a neat trick, if not a total non-sequitor


As I weaved through the drunken Wesleyan horde, and made my way out of the Webster, I wished I could have seen what Wale could do in front of a room of his peers.  I wished I could have heard more than one guitar and drum solo out of a band of so many driven players. I wish I could have walked out with a glowing review formulating in my mind, but it’s just not there.  Better luck next time, better crowd next time. 

Photography courtsey of Chion Wolf exclusivley for The Retrospective

Previous Post: A Veritable Smorgasbord- Adiam Dymott

Next Post: N.A.S.A. shoots the moon with Spirit of Apollo


Tags: Culture · eventNo Comments

3sxiteen Ad

Leave A Comment

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.