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Tidal X: 1015 Review: Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, TI, Common, Kevin Garrett Shine

by Ryan Middleton   Oct 17, 2016 12:19 PM EDT

Beyonce performs onstage during TIDAL X: 1015 on October 15, 2016 in New York City (Photo : Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

On Saturday night, Oct. 15, TIDAL assembled some of the best talent on its own roster of artist owners, their selected rising acts and other well-established names that have supported the service for a four-and-a-half hour charity concert at Barclay Center. Among those who performed at TIDAL X: 1015 included Common, T.I. (TIP), Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Ms. Lauryn Hill and Kevin Garrett.

The concert started at 8 p.m. and kicked off with one of the biggest acts on the bill, Robin Thicke. With the arena only about a quarter full, he had his three songs, doing his big hits "Blurred Lines" and "Lost Without U," while also mixing in some politics with his new single with Nas "Deep" about police shootings in the United States. He reminded those watching, "make sure you register to vote and don't vote for the white man."

Blood Orange followed him, who deserved a later spot with his 1980's-influenced R&B. His excellent dance moves and live stage presence would have been better for a fuller audience.

The show starts to move as each early performer only gets two or three songs. Marc E Bassy came up next, followed by Kevin Garrett with his strong James Blake vibes. Garrett helps present a car to a young teacher as workers feverishly set up Beyoncé's stage behind them.

Right at 8:55, very early for the main headliner, Beyoncé arrives with a large wooden shelf with 12 compartments. She and 11 other dancers lie contorted within those compartments as she coos the word to "Haunted." They have a hologram screen in front of them to create extra images of the dancers. She continued on with her performance into "6 Inch," despite her ear getting bloodied by a ripped earing because she is a damn pro.

The show kept on moving through performances by Salva, who acted as a changeover act, Prince Royce, Levi Carter, who tried to engage the crowd, but was not able to do so, Dave East, who also fell into the same trap and Lil Yachty, who was able to turn things up with a few numbers of his own.

After the remarkable voice of Danielle Bradburry and some preaching from Sir The Baptist, DNCE brought the energy back to Barclays with "Body Moves" and "Cake By The Ocean." Jonas ran into the crowd at one point to continue singing and bassist Cole Whittle wore pants and a yellow apron, which matched his absurd dance moves.

Things slowed down for Emeli Sande, who set the stage for T.I. He started out with two of his more socially conscious songs and then announced, "We got hits baby" and ran through a medley of "Bring Em Out," though Jay Z was nowhere to be found, "Live Your Life" and "What You Know." Common continued the political theme with his freestyle segment in between some of his own tracks, including rapping over "Fade."

The headliners keep on coming with Ms. Lauryn Hill, performing classics like "Ex Factor," "Final Hour" and "Lost Ones."

Nicki Minaj then arrived for the most energetic and empowering performance of the night. In between verses from songs like "Monster" or "You Mine," she would implore the women of the crowd to be strong, confident and intelligent. She also told the men to pursue those types of women instead of "brainless b*tches." Preach Nicki.

She brought out Fetty Wap for shockingly the only surprise guest of the night, who did "Trap Queen" and "679" as she twerked over a chair. After Alicia Keys, who insisted, falsely, that she should play some piano because nobody else had done it that night, Beyoncé came out to perform "All Night" and leave the crowd with another message to go vote in November.

Overall the show was a success, considering it sold out quickly and was able to raise money for the Robin Hood charity, among many others. The performances on the whole were excellent, despite the lack of collaborations and they kept the place going for over four hours. Individual artists were able to make some headlines with their own words and performances, but there weren't enough special guests or collaborations for such a long and star-studded show. It felt like a missed opportunity, considering all of the collabs last year.

Many of the acts used their platform to address those in the audience and at home to tell them to go vote, which is important since it is young people who need to be prodded about this the most.

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