Hip hop fans in St. Louis gathered in the open air as Hollywood Casino Amphitheater opened its 2022 season with Chicago’s newest rap superstar, Lil Durk, and the rest of his OTF (Only The Family) crew. The energy in the venue was high before the show even started. As the crowd began to fill in and the DJ started playing, the audience immediately lit up. Jumping and singing along, it was clear that if they were this pumped up already, things were about to get crazy once the show actually got going. Shows like this are my favorite, because you can just feel that everyone is excited to be there and you know things are only going to get more and more intense the further you get into the show.
Those suspicions were confirmed once the first rapper took the stage.
The crowd went wild, as Doodie Lo, a rapper from a small town outside of Chicago, began to perform. His high energy show fed into the crowd’s growing frenzy. Doodie is a member of Chicago-based rap group OTF, which was formed by Lil Durk in 2010. Lo’s set was a great way to start the show and the way he interacted with the crowd really helped to get them even more hyped up.
Next up was another OTF member, Booka600. He brought an equally energetic show, which served to rile the crowd up even more. As Booka performed, he brought an energy that was undeniable. Once it was clear the crowd couldn’t get any more lit, it was time for Lil Durk. The 29-year-old rapper from Chicago took the stage and delivered an impressive performance. The crowd jumped and screamed as Durk went through his impressive discography which includes seven studio albums, two collaborative albums with Lil Baby and 21 Savage, and other features on hit songs, like Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later” and “Jonah” on Kanye West’s Donda album.
There were several moments where Durk took a moment to pause and look out over the packed house of people who were jumping and singing along to his songs. A smile crossed Durk’s face, as he gazed across a sea of cellphone flashlights bobbing up and down to the beat of his music. As the show wrapped up and Lil Durk was joined onstage by the rest of his OTF entourage, the crowd’s energy reached a crescendo. Howling fans echoed across the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater lawn as the show reached its finale.
It felt good to be back outside, enjoying live music alongside several thousand other like-minded individuals.
Lil Durk and friends brought a high energy show that left fans buzzing and wanting more. This was almost the last stop on Durk’s 7220 Tour, but keep an eye on this superstar rapper to see whatever he has coming up next.
Photography by Sean Rider