Global Music Icon Nelly Gives Epic Performance at The New York State Fair
Written by: LaKisa Renee
Grammy Award-Winning, Global Music Icon Nelly made his epic return to Syracuse, NY at The New York State Fair. The Texas born, St. Louis raised rapper hit the Chevy Park stage last night and performed for a packed audience of 33,713 fans. It was the fifth largest crowd in the NYS Fair History as well as the largest concert so far this year at the fair. Fresh off the release of his country inspired album “Heartland,” The multi-genre rapper-singer entertained the crowd with some of his classic hip-hop favorites and country hits including songs off of his new “Heartland” album. He was joined onstage by St. Lunatics member City Spud.
As Nelly walked on stage he was met with loud cheers from excited fans, some who had been waiting hours to get perfect seats for his performance. The energy was amazing from start to finish. He opened up his nearly 90 minute set with “Party People” followed by “E.I.”, “Tail-feather” and “Air Force Ones”. He then threw it back to the early 2000s his debut hit single “Country Grammar” and classic “Ride With Me’, thanking all of his fans that have been with him on his journey since Day 1. “Syracuse, New York, it’s truly an honor and privilege to be here”, Nelly stated to the crowd. This was Nelly’s 2nd time performing in Syracuse, his last concert appearance with 2002’s Nellyville Tour at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena (Now Upstate Medical Arena). Nelly smoothly transitioned between the hip-hop and country genres, catering to both his hip hop fans and to his large portion of Upstate New York country fans that were in attendance. He performed his Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” Remix as well as his new collaboration with them “Lil’ Bit.” The crowd sang happily along to “Someone, Somewhere” before he went into some of his new music off of the “Heartland” album including his latest single “High Horse” featuring Blanco Brown. He then wowed the stage with his #1 crossover hit “Over and Over” with Tim McGraw that set him on the path to country stardom.
Taking it back to the hip hop side of things, he took the crowd to club by performing a tribute of party hits such as “Get Low” by Lil Jon, “Right Thurr” by Chingy and “Tispy by J-Kwon, who both hail from St. Louis and helped make mid-west hip hop popular along with Nelly. He also paid tribute to Hip Hop Legends who inspired him that recently passed away. The songs included Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend,” Digital Underground/Shock G’s “The Humpty Dance,” Black Rob’s “Whoa” and DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem/Party”. Fans in the audience danced along doing the famous “Chicken Head” & “Humpty” dances. They also threw up their arms in a symbol of an “X” as a tribute for DMX.
Nelly then ended the night with his global number 1 hit singles “Hot in Herre” and “Dilemma” featuring Kelly Rowland.” While it was a chilly night at the NYS Fair and nobody’s clothes were coming off, Nelly definitely turned up the heat!! A very memorable moment of the night was when Nelly serenaded one of his fans named Maryanne Smith during his performance of “Dilemma.” Maryanne, who is battling Stage IV Cancer, held up her bright neon sign in the front row stating “Nelly, I’m still beating Stage IV Cancer & U still my dying wish ~ Maryanne”. As Nelly made his way over to sing to her, she starting crying, screaming and jumping in the air. He shared a few touching words with her and gave her his towel. It was a beautiful sight to see. Nelly put an amazing show and his return was well worth the wait. Make sure to go support Nelly by buying his new album “Heartland”, in stores and steaming now. Stay up to date with the latest Nelly news, his upcoming tour dates and revival of The Real Husbands of Hollywood on his website www.nelly.net or follow him on Instagram (@nelly).
A Huge Thank you to Nelly’s Publicist Juliette Harris, CEO of It Girl Public Relations, for the opportunity for Cultured Focus Magazine to cover the concert.
Nelly Concert Tracklist:
Wurr the Party At
Air Force Ones
Country Grammar/Back It Up
Ride With Me
Miss Drive Me
Over & Over
Die a Happy Man