Show Review: Hoodie Allen and Jake Miller take Arizona to Whatever USA
“I didn’t think the best show of tour was going to be Arizona on a Sunday but here it is.”
Hoodie Allen’s Whatever USA Tour landed at Club Red last weekend and throngs of diehard fans turned up on a school night for their favorite Long Island rapper. He was joined by Jake Miller, a singer with his own rabid fanbase, for a night of new music and just a little bit of debauchery.
With at least half the room wearing shirts with his brooding face on them, Miller kicked off the night with “Wait for You”. Miller’s pretty-boy good looks, earnest personality and smooth voice have gained him a fanatical following reminiscent of the boy band era- a following that screamed every word to Miller’s set. Midway through, he turned the club into Emo Nite with a fun cover of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”.
Miller took multiple opportunities to thank the fans- regardless of who they came to the show to watch that night. He remains true to his roots, dedicating “Palm Blvd” to his family for the most heartfelt moment in the set. He also sheepishly admitted going through a recent breakup and writing “about 250 songs about it” before closing his time with “Last Text” and “Could Have Been You”.
The Hoodie Mob chanted his name as Allen took the stage with the title track from his newest album, Whatever USA. The fans were ready to party all night on “Act My Age” before Allen switched things up for a lounge singer-esque version of “Sushi”.
Allen joked around with his band and the fans in the front row shouting requests to their “Short King” (a backhanded compliment that made the whole crew onstage crack up) and throwing bras, as is tradition at a Hoodie show. He took it back to Happy Camper on “Champagne and Pools” and the Blackbear-assisted “Surprise Party” (sadly, sans surprise appearance from Bear). With such a large back catalog of stellar tracks, picking a satisfying setlist should have proven nearly impossible, but the fans truly didn’t seem to mind what song was next. Their flushed faces were all smiles as the room tried to keep up with Allen’s flow throughout the night.
“We’re just giving special things to Arizona,” Allen remarked before the band launched into the live debut of “I Don’t Know Why” and deep cut “Movie”. Of course, no Hoodie show could ever be complete without the requisite caking of the crowd during “Cake Boy” and Arizona was more than prepared. Meet and greeters provided the crew with at least seven cakes, all of which were torpedoed into the eager faces of the audience. Being caked by Allen is a goal for a lot of fans, so many of whom achieved it on Sunday.
While Jake Miller pulled out an emo staple for his chosen cover, Allen chose *NSYNC’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart”- complete with kaleidoscope videos of the iconic boy band and cheesy 90’s dance moves. Allen ended the regular set by literally surfing the crowd in an inflatable pool raft, posing nonchalantly for the camera. Naturally, everyone came back for an encore of “You Should Let Me Know” and the total insanity of “No Interruption”. Allen bounded offstage after this lengthy set for his signature post-show meet and greet, taking countless selfies and playfully flexing along with the fans for their various Snapchats and Instagrams to end the perfect weeknight house party.