Listen: Lupe Fiasco a World Cup soccer star of another sortContinue reading.
Game on: World Cup frenzy takes over Grant Park
Apparently Chicago hip hop and U.S. Soccer do indeed go together.
Lupe Fiasco kicked off an action-packed match between team USA and Team Ghana at a special viewing party held in south Grant Park on Monday afternoon. Around 5,000 fans packed the field, wearing everything from draped American flags to, well, nothing but skin.
Fiasco, who is also the official music director of U.S. men’s soccer, gave a seven-song set including “Gadget Flow” and “Kick Push.” He also performed his new single ” Mission,” written for cancer survivors and to uplift the friends and family of those who lost the battle to the disease.
“It’s gonna be a lot of Kicking today so might as well get it started,” said Fiasco on stage.
Meanwhile, off to the right of the stage the graffiti artist Futura created a piece of artwork inspired by the crowd and the bass. Between strokes of his markers and pens he took pictures of the crowd before returning to his canvass.
Crowds started gathering at 10 am though things didn’t get truly dense until the 5pm kickoff. The folks who arrived around noon brought chairs and blankets and sat in the sun under handheld umbrellas. That worked fine until the frat fest, er concert, which made sitting quietly nearly impossible. Most of the crowd seemed to be rooting for Team USA though a few people sported the colors of Ghana.
Rudy Rodriguez was one of the fans to arrive at 10 a.m., decked out in his American flag cape and red, white and blue outfit. “I’m praying for 3-0,” said the Merrillville resident, who plans to hit up a few local bars later.
Things got a little tense near the end of the concert, when a random guy jumped on stage but was promptly handcuffed and removed by three security guards. Later on, Lupe joined a small crowd of fans in a friendly football (yes, soccer( game of skins vs. shirts just north of the grill tent.
Miriam Nwaomah said she came by on her way to the Metra station.She’s not a huge fan, but thought the screams and crowds were a good reason to miss her train. She bought a beer and a hamburger and watched Team USA get going on the big screen overlooking the park. “There are more people here than I thought. Football has definitely caught on here in the states.”
DePaul students Dan Miranda, Mike Turel and Jay Foster came together. “football’s been in my blood a long time,” said Miranda.
Added Foster: “I love soccer. I watch it all the time … (but) once a month every four years we’re all fans.”
Lupe’s set list:
“Touch the Sky”
“The Show Goes On”