At or near the top of any list of leadership tips is one key piece of advice: Lead by example. People have an easier and more willing time modeling their behavior after a desired ideal if their authority figure is exhibiting those attributes at a superlative level.
That’s what makes an Anderson .Paak concert so fun, for both himself and those fortunate enough to watch him.
On May 25, .Paak performed a riveting Boston Calling set that included a guest appearance from viral superstar Lil Nas X. The next day, he headed up to Westbrook, Maine (a close neighbor to Portland) for the fifth show of his “Best Teef In The Game” tour, and proved that he’s having more fun than just about anybody.
From the moment .Paak and his drum set elevated out of a raised platform in the center of the stage at the start of the show, he was on. “Best Teef In The Game” might not be a quantifiable title, but he’s certainly prone to flashing them widely, frequently, and with genuine joy. Alternating between playing drums and using the rest of the stage as a space to explore his boundless charisma, .Paak was a nonstop force for every second of his 25-song set.
.Paak is a master at building an immediate and indelible connection with his audience. His smile and multi-faceted arsenal of top-rate talents (as well as those of backing band The Free Nationals) make fans want to have as much fun as he’s having, and the atmosphere he creates makes that an effortlessly achievable goal. All shows have a performer and an audience (unless you’re Threatin), but .Paak’s are a different beast. They truly feel like a collaboration between him and his fans. And for a couple hours, it doesn’t feel weird to think of .Paak as your friend.
During Ventura highlight “Reachin’ 2 Much,” for example, .Paak hopped down from the stage and into the GA pit. From there, he made his way almost around the entire audience area, cutting through the middle of the crowd to dance, sing, and smile with his admirers as they followed along for his jaunty lap. This bit has become a staple of the tour early on, and it’s a distillation of the fact that there are no boundaries that can be placed on .Paak’s pursuit of joy. He and his audience share the same goal: To have a hell of a time, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.