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CMJ EXCLUSIVE: Pusha T at Le Poisson Rouge Concert Recap [PHOTO SLIDESHOW]

by Caitlin Carter   Oct 17, 2013 22:16 PM EDT

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Fresh off the release of his critically acclaimed album, My Name Is My Name, Pusha T commanded the stage during his sold out headlining set last night at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City's lower east side. The event, hosted by NPR, featured openers Omar Souleyman, Cults and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

During the 17-song set, he shied away from the Clipse material that originally got him famous (with his brother No Malice) and focused more on tracks from his new album and his Kanye-led work on Cruel Summer.

The crowd was mostly 20-somethings looking to get rowdy. The grinding got a little intense at times, but everyone was considerate for the most part, save for the excessive use of cameras and iPhones (not that we can really talk seeing as we were part of the whole media problem).

Pusha's performance was honest and self-effacing, which made the packed venue seem more intimate. He opened with "King Push" off MNIMN, and the he kept rolling through tracks without many pauses at first. He wasn't afraid to test the audience to see who his real fans were. After playing "Mercy" he said, "I felt like we was going a little bit too commercial. How many real Pusha T fans we got out here in the audience tonight?"

The crowd naturally began to cheer, but he wasn't looking to rally the crowd, he was looking for honesty.

"I don't believe that," he said, shaking his head. "What you all know about that "Fear of God" sh-t then?" Not as many cheered that time around. "Ya'll are being a little bit more honest. You've died down a little bit now."

The show was almost the perfect metaphor for his career right now — he seems to want to acknowledge and stay true to his hardcore fans while moving forward with his material and pushing his own boundaries to tell a gripping story.

Pusha T Le Poisson Rouge Oct. 16 Setlist:

1. King Push
2. Blocka
3. Millions
4. Hold On
5. Suicide
6. So Appalled
7. Mercy
8. Cook It Down
9. My God
10. Exodus 23:1
11. I Don't Like
12. New God Flow
13. Pain
14. Nosetalgia
15. Sweet Serenade
16. Number On The Board
17. ENCORE: 40 Acres

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