Concert Review: J. Cole's '2014 Forest Hills Drive Tour'

To say that J. Cole is the artist that the current and future generations of music goers need would be simply restating that which has been said time and time again.

After seeing J. Cole perform on the "2014 Forest Hill Drive" tour in Hartford, CT last Saturday, that notion is pretty much confirmed.

The Opening Acts

The opening acts from the "2014 Forest Hills Drive" tour showed shades of a generation of upcoming artists that have been well versed under J. Cole's Dreamville label.

No, we aren't talking about Big Sean, YG and Jeremih who will be discussed further on, artists like Cozz, Omen and Bas are the current topics of discussion here.

Omen kicked things off at the Xfinity Center by performing some of the hits from his "Elephant Eyes" album including "Motion Picture" and "Elephant Eyes." In the review of "Elephant Eyes" it was pointed out that Omen is just as gifted at storytelling as J. Cole despite not having reach Cole's level of fame thus far.

His performance was solid and while much of the crowd may have not heard of him before, it didn't stop him from putting on a great show.

Cozz followed up with hits from "Cozz and Effect" album and managed to get the sold out crowd hyped. Bas had the crowd as "Lit" as the song implies for those who knew of him of course.

YG and Jeremih's performances were clearly implemented to hype the crowd up and create a party feel. This wasn't that hard considering much of the crowd feature plenty of underaged kids who may have had a little something to drink before the concert.

This behavior would be found at any concert venue today and despite those under the influence, the crowd seemed somewhat tamed. Big Sean drew the second largest gathering after YG and Jeremih's performance and it was well deserved.

He performed hit's from "Dark Sky Paradise" and a few surprise hits like "Clique." There was an undeniable moment of togetherness when Sean performed "One Man Can Change The World," the emotional song he wrote for his grandmother.

Cellphone lights went up and the crowd sang the chorus in unison creating a calmer and subdued atmosphere, before turning it up with "Mercy," "Don't Like" and "IDFWU."

One Man Can Change The last night in Hartford! Blessed! @youngwalt1

A video posted by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on

The Main Event

Now to the main event. J. Cole took the stage and commanded the audiences attention with his demeanor alone.

When he was performing the crowd gave him their complete attention while singing along to every song line by line. "Every Song" is not an exaggeration.

Cole went through the entire tracklist of "2014 Forest Hills Drive" album and did so with such energy, feeling and appreciation for the crowd that there was no choice but to feel the lyrics.

Cole is as real as it gets and those that gathered the concert understood that at least once throughout his performance. He continuously thanked his fans and the crowd in Hartford for rocking with him throughout the entire album while it seemed like the crowd should be thanking him for the performance he delivered. Just when you thought it as all over, Cole returned with vigor and more energy that was almost unbelievable after what he gave on the stage. Fans were treated to "Work Out," "Crooked Smile," "Can't Get Enough," "Planes" with Jeremih and "Power Trip" to cap off what was a highlight concert experience.

After seeing J. Cole for a second time the growth as an artist is evident and his work ethic, undeniable.

His name deserves to be in the discussion as one of best in Hip-Hop's current state. You won't have to be there on August 29 for J. Cole's homecoming to know that it will be something of epic proportions.