Nelly Brings the Party to Omaha

Nelly performs at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday, October 17, 2019. Photo credit: Joe DeSanti

BY JOE DeSANTI | Go Venue Magazine

On Thursday night October 17, 2019, the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, played host to a Hip Hop party of epic proportions.  According to Omaha radio station, Power 106.9, this event was dubbed, “the biggest party of the year”, and it delivered.

The advertised lineup consisted of Do or DieYung JocMike JonesBone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Nelly, but also featured two other opening Hip Hop acts, and music mixing of popular Hip Hop songs by the Power 106.9 DJ’s between acts.

After the two opening acts of the night finished performing, and the Power 106.9 DJ’s got the crowd riled up with a brilliantly mixed set of Hip Hop favorites, Chicago-based Rap trio, Do or Die hit the stage.  Most notably known for their debut hit single, “Po Pimp”, released in 1996, the group has enjoyed a lot of success over the years.  Their debut album even went certified Gold.  They had great energy, and the crowd seemed to really enjoy their performance.

Up next was Atlanta, Georgia native, Yung Joc.  Decked out with a diamond plated necklace that said, “Joc”, he was welcomed to the stage by thousands of screaming fans in the arena.  Best known for his 2005 hit, “It’s Going Down”, Joc treated his fans to some of his other known hits, a few cover songs, and even some free alcohol.  At one point, Joc invited a few ladies from the crowd to come on stage and take shots with him.  He had a great personality, and it was very apparent he was having a lot of fun.  The thing that I found rather interesting though, was the lack of actually rapping and singing he did.  Most of the songs that he performed had his backing vocals, and a few of them were the original studio versions.  Regardless of that fact, Yung Joc was thoroughly entertaining and the crowd loved him.

After more mixing from the DJ’s, Mike Jones took the stage.  Originally from Houston, Texas, Jones hit it big in 2004 with the release of his hit single, “Still Tippin.”  Known for his catch phrases, “Who is Mike Jones”, and “Mike Jones who”, Jones’ performance was interesting.  I’m not sure if it was his lack of energy or the songs he chose to perform, but for me, something was lacking.  He paced back and forth on the stage, covered his head with a hood for a few songs, and even checked his cell phone at one point.  The crowd seemed interested at first, but I think by this point in the night, they needed a performance with a little more energy.

After another set from the Power 106.9 DJ’s, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony made their way on stage, and the crowd went nuts.  It was very evident that concertgoers in attendance were anxiously awaiting their arrival, and the Grammy Award-winning group didn’t disappoint.  They were met with screams, cheers, and applause as they performed some of their biggest hits including, “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”, “1st of the Month”, and “Tha Crossroads.”  Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is the only group to have worked with 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., and Eazy-E, while they were all still alive, and throughout their set, they paid tribute to each of them.  The group has worked with other music legends such as Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, Phil Collins, Drake, Dr. Dre, Linkin Park, and a slew of others.  Seeing them live brought me back to my high school days, and even though that was over 20 years ago, Bone Thugs still sounds great and hasn’t missed a beat.  Their set was amazing and the thousands in attendance loved every second of it. 

After more than four hours after the show started, and more party music from the Power 106.9 DJ’s, it was finally time for Nelly to perform.  He received a huge ovation from the crowd, but I believe it might have been even bigger if the previous part of the show wasn’t so long.  By this time, it seemed like fans in attendance were tired, and many were also highly intoxicated!  Nelly, outfitted in an Omaha jersey, delivered a solid performance filled with all of his popular hits.  He continuously thanked all the fans in attendance for coming out, and made a point to show his appreciation for his fans that have stuck with him throughout the years.  Nelly has won Grammy Awards, sold millions of albums, and has had huge Billboard hits, and it’s easy to see why.  Fans can’t help but move and dance to his music, and his guilty-looking grin make it difficult to dislike him.  A fun highlight of his set was a few cover versions of songs from J-Kwon and Jagged Edge.  Nelly had an infectious energy.  During his entire performance, fans were dancing, singing along, and waving their arms back and forth.  Seeing him live was especially meaningful for me because it brought back a lot of great memories from my early college years when his music was first released.  After almost 20 years, Nelly looks great, sounds great, and still has the talent that earned him world-wide notoriety.


Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Mike Jones | Yung Joc | Do or Die

All images © Joe DeSanti
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