Review: Megan Thee Stallion starts off strong then stumbles in San Francisco

The Megan Thee Stallion show in San Francisco Sunday was a bit of a mixed bag.

On one hand, the hip-hop star came across like a complete force of nature early on, propelled by a heady combination of charisma, stage presence, sex appeal, energy and pure talent as she delighted a packed house of some 15,000 fans on Sunday night (June 23) at Chase Center in San Francisco.

On the other, this stop on the star’s Hot Girl Summer tour was woefully mismanaged at times and felt increasingly repetitive as the night wore on. At nearly two hours in length, the show seemed overly long — especially given the fact that she has two full-length albums (plus one on the way) — providing opportunities for wrong turns that could have been avoided with a more-streamlined and efficient production.

Yet none of that was a problem early on in the evening, as the 29-year-old San Antonio native — who just last month appeared at BottleRock Napa Valley music festival — arrived in a blaze of glory, appearing amid a batch of fiery effects as she rose up through the stage floor and proceeded to showcase her ample rapping abilities.

She moved with equal amounts of poise and power, sending the fans into hysterics as she rhymed through “Ungrateful,” “Thot (Expletive),” “Freak Nasty” and others.

Although she originally took the stage alone, she’d soon be joined by eight dancers who wore risqué red outfits that nicely matched the one that the main attraction had on. Nine strong, the women moved together in a mighty formation, with one after another breaking out into the spotlight to showcase their twerking abilities.

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If you didn’t know, twerking is a big thing at a Megan Thee Stallion concert. Indeed, it comprises roughly 179 percent of the show. OK, maybe that’s (a bit of) an overstatement. But the point is that there is very little twerking downtime during the production, as accompanying dancers, crowd members (shown on the big overhead video screens) and, of course, the star herself move their backsides in ways that I couldn’t imagine being endorsed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

The hip-hop star had the crowd worked into a frenzy for the first half of the show, as she continued to illustrate why she’s one of the most charismatic rappers in the game as she moved about the oversized stage, which had two cutouts providing lucky fans with some incredibly closeup views, as well as three long video screens in back.

There were some minor video segments, some pyro, but otherwise relatively few bells and whistles. And it initially didn’t seem like Megan Thee Stallion would need them, but as the show wore on — and fresh ideas were nowhere to be found — some special effects/props would surely have proved useful.

Around the time we hit “Big Ole Freak” — which was 13 songs into a setlist that touched upon some 30 numbers — the whole thing began to feel repetitive and, eventually, a little bit boring. Of course, it didn’t help matters that we were witnessing what amounted to hip-hop karaoke, with the star singing over her own voice on prerecorded tracks. She’d come in and out with her live vocals on these numbers, but the “out” portion — where she just let the unaccompanied track play — definitely seemed to grow as the night went on.

The whole thing really went south in the last 40 minutes or so, with the concert coming to a grinding halt while Megan Thee Stallion invited dozens of fans to come up onstage for a twerk fiesta. The overly long segment must have been a thrill for those selected fans. But it was pretty much a snoozer for the other roughly 15,000 in the building.

And just when the dozens of fans finally exited the stage, Megan Thee Stallion did the whole thing over again — and invited another batch of ticketholders to the stage.

Talk about derailing a show.

Thankfully, things would get back on track, at least to some degree, once energetic opening act GloRilla rejoined the party and combined forces with the headliner on “Wanna Be.”

Yet, that proved to be the highpoint of the latter part of the show, which otherwise offered up diminishing returns as Megan Thee Stallion brought the overly long and increasingly repetitive evening of music to a close.


1. “HISS”
2. “Ungrateful”
3. “Thot (Expletive)”
4. “Freak Nasty”
5. “Megan’s Piano”
6. “Gift & a Curse”
7. “Say I Yi Yi”
8. “Hot Girl”
9. “Kitty Kat”
10. “Cobra”
11. “Plan B”
12. “Cognac Queen”
13. “Big Ole Freak”
14. “Girls in the Hood”
15. “BOA”
16. “Sex Talk”
17. “Realer”
18. “What’s New”
19. “Captain Hook”
20. “Southside Forever Freestyle”
21. “Ride Or Die”
22. “Pop It”
23. “NDA”
24. “Wanna Be”
25. “WAP”
26. “Don’t Stop””
27. “Stalli Freestyle”
28. “Cash (Expletive)”
29. “Body”
30. “Savage”


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