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November 17, 2014 11:40 AM

Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper

Words by Bryan Kalbrosky • Photos by Todd Cooper

It was a spectacle of epic proportions at the Valley River Center and Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday, Nov. 15, and the center of attention was comedian and actor Kevin Hart.

While Hart came to Eugene for his stand-up tour at Matt Knight Arena, he was also promoting his latest acting endeavor. In the afternoon, Hart shared a screening of his new film The Wedding Ringer (2015). An eager Eugene audience began to line up at 10 am, despite the fact that the film was not scheduled to screen until 2 pm. When Hart walked along the “red carpet” for media interviews, his focus was sharp and his demeanor was friendly. His visit turned into a major production, with appearances from hundreds of fans as well as the Oregon football team, the cheer team and, of course, The Duck.

Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper

“It’s amazing,” Hart told EW at the event. “To have people come out to support your craft and you and your talent is a really good feeling. It’s not something that I take for granted.”

Hart is known for roles in films such as Scary Movie 3 (2003) or Think Like A Man (2012) as well as cameo appearances including This Is The End (2013), Workaholics (2012) and even the occasional Sprint NBA pregame broadcast.

First and foremost, however, Hart identifies as a stand-up comedian. “This is what got me to where I am today,” Hart said. “I don’t ever plan on going in a different direction.”

What was most impressive during his time in Eugene was his professionalism. Hart seemed excited to be in Eugene — he took selfies with fans, signed autographs and engaged many in conversation. Hart also proved to be a gracious guest when the UO athletic department gifted him with two pairs of Nike shoes and a custom football uniform. 

Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper

“First of all, I love your school,” said Hart, before his screener at the Valley River Center, when he explained to the audience why he came to Eugene. “I like your fucking uniforms, to be honest.”

His trip to Eugene was the product of a college tour, and his plan is to put his upcoming film directly into the hands of consumers across the country. “I feel like it’s my job to personally meet you and personally shake your hand and do shows and say what’s up.”

Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper

When it was time for his show at Matt Knight, it became clear to the packed house why the “comedian” side of Hart has reached significant fame. His stand-up albums I’m A Grown Little Man (2008) and Seriously Funny (2010) introduced audiences to his talent, but the energy of his live performance separates him from the rest. “This is why I’m different,” Hart said. “This is why I’m a fucking big deal, people. I do things out of the norm.”

“Everybody wants to be funny, but you don’t know that you’re funny until you actually make an attempt,” Hart continued. “Getting on stage is different from being around a group of people.”

His best jokes were the ones about his family, like his “spot on impression of his daughter” or the unique ways in which private school has changed his son.

“That’s what I’m all about,” said Hart. “I’m an entertainer for everybody. I wanted to go to the places that had something for everybody.”

Kevin Hart © Todd Cooper

October 20, 2014 06:44 PM

I missed their sets unfortunately but caught a couple of portraits of Bas and Tope.

October 20, 2014 06:24 PM

Full audio from the show can be downloaded at Seen & Heard.

September 22, 2014 05:16 PM

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

Mad Decent Block Party Eugene (Oregon) Photo by Todd Cooper

& for the record, Diplo's shirt says "RARE"

August 13, 2014 12:17 PM

Polaroids by Dmitri von Klein.

Visit his Pickathon gallery to view more.

Valerie June Unknown Mortal Orchestra People Under The Stairs Warpaint on the Mountain View Stage Cahalen Morrison Bobby Patterson Shakey Graves Those Darlins Warpaint The infamous kitchen jam!!  

 

Photos by Todd Cooper

View more in SPIN's Best of Pickathon gallery or on my site.

The War on Drugs Angel Olsen Bobby Patterson Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer Diarrhea Planet Diarrhea Planet melting brains at the Woods stage EDJ Foxygen Julianna Barwick Lonnie Holley telling us about our "cold titty mama". Mac De Marco People Under The Stairs Shakey Graves Son Little The Sadies Those Darlins Unknown Mortal Orchestra   Valerie June Warpaint

May 16, 2014 12:06 PM

I caught up with YG on DJ Mustard's tour bus for a few shots after his sold out show last night at Dusk. The place was literally a sauna. I had to wipe my lens between shots to even see through the glass. There were some sound issues but YG played it like a pro and had the crowd roaring his lyrics back at him acapella till the power came back. His "My Krazy Life" tour hits Portland tonight at the Roseland

May 12, 2014 12:49 PM

Those who endured the rain enjoyed the impressive spectacle of the Childish Gambino and Danny Brown show when the Deep Web Tour continued at the Cuthbert on Friday.

It seemed as if the concert bookers of Eugene had opened the floodgates for live music that catered to the college-aged masses last weekend. UO students and the Eugene community were able to see Medium Troy, RJD2 and Devin the Dude at the Bohemian Dub Ball at the Hult Center on Saturday. Others chose to attend Night Beats, Wampire and a DJ competition for the Willamette Valley Music Festival all through the night on campus as well.

But the highest-profile name to come through Eugene for the weekend (that is, if you weren’t seeing Steve Martin at the Hult) was rapper-comedian-actor Donald Glover’s, who performed as Childish Gambino at Cuthbert Friday night.

Many are quick to label Gambino as the “hip-hop alter ego” of the television and comedy star, and with good reason. Glover, of course, was a “world star before rap”—as he sings on “World Star” from 2013 release Because The Internet.

Glover may have first earned his fame from his work on television with starring in Community and writing for 30 Rock, or comedy with Derek Comedy and his standup on Comedy Central. But when he performed in front of a packed crowd in Eugene, the audience was able to enjoy the concert through the lens of his identity as a rapper. The crowd may have been aware of his previous accolades, but they were certainly at the Childish Gambino concert to see a hip-hop performance.

Danny Brown initially set the mood for a rap show at The Cuthbert early in the night, throwing down with the crowd to songs like “25 Bucks” (which uses a beat produced by indie-electro pop band Purity Ring) and a freestyle track that sampled a song from Watch The Throne by Kanye West and Jay-Z.

After Danny Brown finished his set and as the rain began to come down hard, live DJ Stefan Ponce helped keep the party going.

Right off the bat, he announced that it would “take more than rain” to stop Childish Gambino from performing tonight. Energy stayed high in the building, and the DJ played music by Drake, Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar and even MIA, Snoop Dogg and Michael Jackson.

When Ponce finished his set, the “digital experience” of Childish Gambino’s Deep Web Tour was set to begin. Most notably, fans were encouraged to download the Deep Web App, in which the crowd was able to draw messages that would appear on the stage screen. This feature was received much better than the dial tone that blared through the venue while fans waited for Gambino to take the stage.

When Gambino did begin his show, however, the energy was much higher than many would have expected considering that Community had been cancelled earlier that day, and that he was performing in a rainy college town. But while rocking a crewneck and white shorts in the rain, Gambino and his live band dished out a suitable mix of his more sentimental music to chase down the party-atmosphere bangers for the crowd.

The live 7-piece band was also a refreshing change of pace for a hip-hop show in 2014, and fans seemed to appreciate the sincerity that came with the real-life instrumentation.

Another interesting feature of the gig was an additional scrim and chandelier that were lowered during the show. Recalling the interactivity of the set, the audience was also able to participate in a mid-concert poll in which they indicated that they were feeling “some type of way” — like the song by Rich Homie Quan.

Gambino concluded his set with a good blend of new music from Because The Internet, old music from Camp and earlier mixtapes and music that no one had heard before.

Between each chant of “World Star!” that emerged from the crowd during the show, Gambino’s energy gave everyone in attendance a constant reminder as to why Donald Glover has remained the Internet star that we know and love. — Bryan Kalbrosky

May 8, 2014 06:51 PM

Kinda behind on posting these but I caught up with Bombadil before their show last week at Sam Bond's. We took some photos in the studio and around the Whit. One of the live shots made Rolling Stone's Hottest Live Photos of 2014.