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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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B.o.B. plays to hometown crowd at Turner Field

B.o.B. wears his sunglasses at night. Photo credit: Robert Fleskes

B.o.B. wears his sunglasses at night. Photo credit: Melissa Ruggieri

A couple of weeks ago, North Carolinian Scotty McCreery took to the diamond post-game at Turner Field and in September, Southern rock stalwarts Lynyrd Skynyrd will light up the night with “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama” after a Braves game.

But on Saturday night, it was a homecoming of sorts when Atlanta-bred rapper/singer/musician B.o.B. and his nine-piece band, including three backup singers, hit the hastily assembled stage – an impressive exercise to watch, actually – set up in the outfield about 30 minutes after the Braves’ loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

About 10,000 fans stuck around for the free show, plus another couple of hundred who paid $20 for a wristband allowing field access.

For an hour, the lithe B.o.B. plowed through 13 songs with the energy of a very hip aerobics instructor.

He strapped on a guitar for the opening “Don’t Let Me Fall,” his Atlanta Falcons cap – later replaced with a Braves version – tilted on his head and quickly electrified the crowd with his agile rap skills.

What’s especially cool about B.o.B. is that unlike so many of his peers, he makes an effort to craft melodic songs that are more than empty-headed lyrical assaults set to a chest-rattling thump.

That thump was present sometimes last night, such as on the straight-up rhymer “Out of My Mind.” But what has helped make B.o.B. a crossover success – he’s already earned five Grammy nominations and just released his second album last month – is a knack for applying his supple word skills to collaborations with pop maestros such as Rivers Cuomo (“Magic”), Hayley Williams (“Airplanes”) and Bruno Mars (“Nothin’ On You”).

With his sophomore album “Strange Clouds” – relentlessly hawked to the point of irritation at Saturday’s show – B.o.B. has stretched his melodic leanings even further, pairing with Taylor Swift on the see-sawing “Both of Us” and turning out a gem of a radio hit in the romantic “So Good,” both played to rapturous reception Saturday.

While there were some eye-rolling moments during the show – did he really need to wear a shirt that said “Dope Sh**” in front of a family crowd? Are we all better informed today knowing that B.o.B. wears gray Alfani boxers, a discovery made after he stripped off his shirt to bare his muscular form? – the majority of his set was a lesson in rap done well.

The light Latin rhythm behind “Never Let You Go” gave the song a jaunty edge, and the music box-like piano notes B.o.B. extracted from the keyboard he played at center stage during “Where Are You” proved his commitment to adding some sweetness to his music.

Throughout the set, B.o.B. happily bounced across the stage, slapping hands with the front row, bringing a young boy onstage to dance with him, even taking a stage dive after “Magic,” to the dismay of poor Braves mascot Homer, who was desperately trying to hand B.o.B. a personalized Braves jersey.

“It feels good to be home,” B.o.B. said early in the show. And this crowd sounded thrilled to have him back.

B.o.B. will perform at Gwinnett Center Arena at 7 p.m. July 5 with Flo Rida and fellow Atlantan Cee Lo Green.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

23 comments Add your comment

Conservative voter

June 17th, 2012
8:15 am

Great reporting AJC. The only reason I and others will readthis article is to find out what the heck B.o.B stands for,a nd in typical AJC fashion this is not reported. And by the way, the die has been cast for November- nothing Obama can do now to get reelected. Will be an overwhelming loss for the dummycrats. Heard it hear first, and you will not hear it from main stream media until day after election. Conservative landslide, now where is my TEA!

AtlGuy

June 17th, 2012
8:26 am

more no talent thugs thinking they can sing, the braves organization must be desperate if they need this as

independent voter

June 17th, 2012
8:35 am

To Conservative voter: President Barack Hussein Obama has my vote and he will win reelection.

Anne

June 17th, 2012
9:02 am

I love B.O.B.! It’s so great to have hometown artists performing back here!!! If you aren’t familiar with his music, check it out on itunes. I love “Don’t Let Me Fall.” I don’t think anyone couldn’t not like that song! AtlGuy you are sound like a miserable person to post such negative comments – sounds like you need to make some life changes to be happier.

AB

June 17th, 2012
9:13 am

Dear both Voters: This is an entertainment blog about a hometown talented young man.

Billy Hill

June 17th, 2012
9:59 am

AtlGuy, you were much nicer when you were crossdressing….not cute…but nicer.

Why?

June 17th, 2012
10:15 am

@AtlGuy……….First you of all you misspelled your insult at the end. Secondly, do you mind telling us who you consider a talented musician? Lastly, B.O.B actually has a good voice and knows what he’s doing with guitar and piano. Bet your “talented musician” doesn’t have all three!

ATLguyisanIDIOT

June 17th, 2012
10:35 am

ATLguy— what exactly makes you call B.o.B. a thug?? Stereotype much? very thinly veiled racism there.

cantwait

June 17th, 2012
10:36 am

that concert with B.o.B. , Cee-Lo (in likely his last home town performance for a WHILE being that he’ll be doing Vegas), and Flo Rida at Gwinnett Arena should be NICE!!!

Also- I’d expect to see Goodie there as well with the recent reunion.

Juanita

June 17th, 2012
10:49 am

As people who were there just for the baseball game itself, I got my family out of there right after the last out before any of the chest thumping, booty shaking & gun violence started.

Why can’t the Braves have someone good at the ballpark for a post-game concert like Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton or Ms. Jennifer Hudson?

Dolly Parton

June 17th, 2012
11:10 am

I really don’t think over 10,000 “fans” would have stuck around for Dolly after the game. ijs

Melissa Ruggieri

June 17th, 2012
11:42 am

Hey folks – let’s keep in mind that this is a music blog, OK? I don’t really want to have to spend my Sunday monitoring comments that have nothing to do with B.o.B. or last night’s show, so let’s stay on message, please.
And Conservative Voter – if you click on the link in the second paragraph of the story, you will learn anything you wanted to know about B.o.B., including what his name stands for, his family background (his father is a pastor in Atlanta) and why music is so important to him.

Cheers,
Melissa

Chelle

June 17th, 2012
2:41 pm

It amazes me how much people judge people they don’t know. For Juanita to say gun tooting violence because B.o.B is a black hip hop artsit, although did not specifically state his race is so outrageous. And for Atlguy to call him a THUG is Hilarous as this guy is so far from that. He is one of the nicest people you could ever be so honored to meet in your life. I will just pray for the two of you. It must be miserable being in your skin!

I love B.o.B and I am glad that the Braves asked him to perform last night.

Call Me Crazy But..

June 17th, 2012
3:21 pm

I guess the plethora of arrests for Lynyrd Skynyrd (druggies, sex offenders) makes them better. Who says racism isn’t alive and well. Great music is Great music! SMH

g unit

June 17th, 2012
6:09 pm

Tiger woods is blowing up

J.J.M.

June 17th, 2012
7:00 pm

Wel Bobby Ray deff has more talent than the sorry Braves thats for sure

Chris Costa

June 17th, 2012
7:09 pm

Does any black singer/rapper use his or her real name?B.o.B, What a nickname.

kepping it real

June 17th, 2012
7:11 pm

Whats wrong with the name your mama gave you?

Braves #17 Fan

June 17th, 2012
9:24 pm

Not knowing too much about this guy, we gave the concert a shot, but left as soon as we saw his “Dope $%&!” shirt.

Chelle

June 18th, 2012
2:57 pm

Chris Costa B.o.B is actually his Name. His Name is Bobby Aka Bob!

BravesFan

June 18th, 2012
2:58 pm

We attended the Braves game as a family event. During the game they kept announcing that we should stick around for the free concert after the game. So, we did. We were immediately disgusted at what we saw. On stage were 3 scantily clad women and a lead singer wearing a shirt with big letters saying “DOPE SH##”. Really??? A baseball game is a family friendly event. The Braves should have announced that their post game concert was not family friendly so we would have known to leave right after the game. I am very disappointed in the Braves organization!

Danica

June 18th, 2012
3:47 pm

The Atlanta Braves, normally a first-rate, world-class organization, really dropped the ball on this one.

The franchise should have warned those of us who are law-abiding, baseball-loving, PAYING Customers of what an uncouth hoodlum they were going to bring on stage.

We don’t go to Baseball games to have foul-mouthed future felons flaunt their tacky, dirty-minded behavior for our kids as was done to us on Saturday night.

Shame on you, Braves!

[...] BoB plays to hometown crowd at Turner Field But on Saturday night, it was a homecoming of sorts when Atlanta-bred rapper/singer/musician B.o.B. and his nine-piece band, including three backup singers, … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]