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Last Thursday, Lupe Fiasco brought his “Steppin' Laser” tour to the Valley, putting on a wildly entertaining show for hundreds of eager fans at Mesa Amphitheater. Performing a solid mix of hits, both new and old, Fiasco had something for every fan. Before the Chicago-based Fiasco took the stage, the vibe of the audience was uninspired, to say the least.

A few chants of “Lupe! Lupe!” broke out here and there, but died as quickly as they had begun. Yet when Lupe charged on stage, his energy was infectious. The crowd had forgotten everything and was seemingly transported into a different dimension. Fiasco was a showman, a true performer, simply excited for the chance to perform for the anxious crowd.

Kicking off the evening with “Shining Down,” Fiasco and his three piece band brought the rock and didn't let up. His live band, made up of keyboards, drums and guitar, isn't exactly groundbreaking in today's rap world. Artists such as The Roots, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne all use live bands with regularity, but what set Lupe's group apart was how much they truly rocked.

Another aspect of Lupe's music that sets him apart is his socially and politically conscious lyrics. Always on point with current events and worldwide issues, Lupe gave a nod to Arizona's SB 1070 law by joking, “Even Mexican immigrants are allowed at my show too!”

Fiasco then turned around, asked his drummer and keyboardist for “ a little presidential music.” Over what sounded like the soundtrack to a cheesy presidential public service announcement, Lupe launched into a three minute rant about the current state of political affairs.

Fiasco beckoned to the audience to spark a revolution of positivity and become active in changing the world. “Tonight, I am speaking to you as a citizen of humanity, ladies and gentlemen, a fellow American, but most importantly, a fellow human being.”

He continued, “The eyes of the world are upon us, youth of America. They are upon you … They're wondering what you're going go out there, into the world, and do. Are you going to do beautiful things, amazing things, peaceful things, loving things? Or,” he paused, “are you going to f--- it all up?”

From that point forward, the fired-up crowd was in the palm of Lupe Fiasco's microphone-toting hand. Clamoring for an encore, the Chicago-born rapper fittingly returned to the stage with “The Show Goes On,” ending the evening with Grammy Award-winning single “Daydreamin'” and an encore performance of “I Don't Wanna Care Right Now.”

There is no doubt that musicians have an influence over their fans. It is refreshing to see an artist of Lupe Fiasco's status spreading positivity and hope, as opposed to protest and negativity. Perhaps the most inspiring comment of the evening came from Fiasco in the middle of one of his songs. “This is a beautiful place, and I'm not talking about the people who run it. I'm talking about each and every one of you who make it a beautiful place.”

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