Kevin Gates performing at Red Rocks on June 18, 2024.

On Tuesday, June 18th, Kevin Gates performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, delivering a highly anticipated and sold-out show featuring openers NLE Choppa, That Mexican OT, and Maiya The Don. The Baton Rouge-born hip-hop artist captivated the audience with a performance showcasing his evolution as a rapper and spiritually informed (see: reformed) human whose perspectives and experiences have shaped his new outlook on the world.

After a weekend of scorching hot temperatures in the 90s, Morrison, Colorado finally experienced a cool breeze on the night of the show. The temperature remained in the comfortable 70-degree range. It made for a perfect night, allowing attendees to dance with one another and enjoy the whole show without feeling the exhaustion that comes with extreme heat. 

Opening the night, rapper Maiya The Don energized the stage with her female-centric rap style. She connected with the ladies in the crowd as people began to stroll into their seats. 

The crowd became packed and fully energized when That Mexican OT took to the stage, kicking off the night with his huge fan base as he brought Texan rap and Southern hospitality to the forefront of his performance. That Mexican OT connected with the audience during the entirety of his set. He went as far as to make a super sweet young fan’s dream come true by bringing him on stage and allowing him to rap side by side with him. 

Young fan of That Mexican OT gets brought on stage to perform with the artist during his opening set for Kevin Gates on June 18, 2024

NLE Choppa was the last big opener of the night, delivering a performance that sparked the crowd with love and positive vibes. It was clear he has a lot of love for his fans as he said over the mic, “The same way that y’all love me, I love you.” 

To the audience’s surprise, NLE Choppa also brought a special guest to the stage. They joined via Facetime, as he answered a call from Kai Cenat while performing and made sure the audience was part of the call, sharing the brotherly love they have for each other.

NLE Choppa answers a Facetime from Kai Cenat during his opening performance for Kevin Gates at Red Rocks on June 18, 2024. Photo by Michael Giles

All three openers made a memorable first-time performance at Red Rocks. While Maiya The Don was the lesser-known artist of the opening crew her energy inspired a lot of the females in the audience as she held her stage presence down being the only female performer of the night. Both NLE Choppa and That Mexican OT delivered an engaging performance, connecting with their obvious fan base in the crowd as if they were performing to each individual. 

Subsequently, Kevin Gates took to the stage with a hidden orchestra playing the chords of his songs behind the screen for the moment all audience members eagerly anticipated. He walked onto the stage with a dripped-out and composed demeanor as he began the night with the opening song from his latest album, The Ceremony

While some audience members are used to only hearing overly sexual lyrics from Kevin Gates, the songs he chose to share from his set list were a dynamic display of his newly reformed spiritual mindset. Like any other human, he continues to grow and reveal new depths to himself. 

Kevin Gates’s performance relied heavily on the message of authenticity. He was therefore not afraid to include songs that show the entirety of his evolution as an artist thus far. His set included songs ranging from “Me Too” from his 2018 album Luca Brasi 3 to songs like “Heal You” from his recent 2024 album, The Ceremony. They pointed to the juxtaposition of how his perspectives have shifted as he’s become more in tune with the man within himself, and what his mission is. 

His performance was arguably crafted for fellow young kings to recognize the truth within themselves while blending songs from previous albums and his latest one. The songs he performed from his latest album showcase a more vulnerable side to Kevin Gates as he learns to love himself separately from any external desires. 

The performance was a dynamic display of how Kevin Gates’ perspective has evolved throughout his music career. While most of the songs he performed from his new album exhibit his reformed spiritual mindset, he also made sure to perform some of his older, arguably more toxic songs, which only helped to highlight his evolution. No one in this world is perfect, and we all are exposed to lower vibrational desires, but we each have the freedom to choose what we want to lean into. 

Kevin Gates is a multidimensional artist as he continues to unpeel layers of himself through the hip-hop genre without boxing himself into just one form. His music expresses his love, anger, grief, euphoria and happiness, remaining extremely unpredictable to the public. Kevin Gates is nonetheless very intentional about releasing music that aligns with his spirit and how he feels at the time. 

Some people came for just the popular songs from the radio like “2 Phones” or “Posed to Be in Love.” Many were surprised by the transformative spiritual lyrics from songs on his album The Ceremony, which showed a new side to Kevin Gates. 

It was clear the crowd enjoyed the authentic vibe Kevin Gates gave off while performing his latest songs. It can be argued that every person who was fortunate enough to attend the show was able to take some sort of life lesson away from Kevin Gates’ spiritually infused performance. 

Kevin Gates recognizes how his music and actions from his past no longer fully resonate with the person he is today. He gave an important message in the middle of his performance, stating, “We are not our past. We don’t beat ourselves up for the past. Fuck the past. We still have today, we still have right now to become everything we need to be in life.”

His performance could be described as beautifully healing. He closed the night with a prayer, thanking everyone for allowing him to bless everyone who attended the show.

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