Nelly's October 20 performance at the vibrantly-illuminated Mango's venue, located in Orlando's tourist-heavy corridor along International Drive, signaled the club's 1st show of its newest special event series. The familiar 'Michael Jackson' and 'Jabbawockeez' tribute acts typically found at the center of the club's center stage weren't performing on this evening. Instead, Nelly the ultra-popular rapper out of St. Louis Missouri had the show's patrons up on their feet dancing the entirety of his set.
On this night, Nelly performed song highlights spanning a highly-decorated 30-year career. Having sold more than 21 million albums in the US, Nelly is ranked by RIAA as the 4th best selling rap artist in American music history.
Nelly's entrance into Mango's was subtle, but far from going undetected. With his entourage making their way into the VIP section immediately behind the club's mainstage area, camera phone flashes began going off, heads began to look just off to the side entrance of the 2nd floor, and suddenly the sounds of excited screaming began to fill the air. Without calling out any attention toward himself, Nelly had made his way into the room, and in the midst of his silence, concert-goers could not contain their enthusiasm. He was graciously taking photos with club VIPs as Orlando's very own DJ Nasty had the club vibe at surrealistically-high levels.
During his performance, Nelly wasn't shy to cover stage left and stage right, and all areas in between as he bumped fists, grabbed hands, and smiled at as many show patrons as he could along the front rows of attendees. He was having a good time, and his happiness was infectious across the packed club.
As with any great performance, Nelly left the stage with the crowd wanting for more. Club energy was high and I couldn't help but drift back in time to my college days, back when I had first heard Nelly's 'Hot in Herre'. On this awesome night, I heard 'E.I.', 'Ride Wit Me', and 'Country Grammar' just to name a few of his most noticeable hit songs.
The bar for future live concerts at Mango's was set high with Nelly, and the club will have big shoes to fill amongst its future headliners. But based on Nelly's show, I greatly hope to catch as many live performances here as possible.
Well done and congrats on a successful event, Mango's and Nelly!