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Lil Baby to play first concert at Columbia arena since COVID-19 pandemic began


The cover of Lil Baby's "My Turn"

Colonial Life Arena has announced a new concert that will be its first since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Lil Baby — one of the most popular practitioners of hypnotic, frequently vocal-effected modern rap — will lead the The End of Summer Jam on Aug. 14. The impressive lineup also features Kevin Gates, City Girls, and Blacc Zacc.

AllMusic's Fred Thomas observed that Lil Baby finds "a unique and unlikely midway between artistic inspiration and commercially viable entertainment" on his last album, 2020's "My Turn." "The Bigger Picture," his impassioned single released following the murder of George Floyd, was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at this year's Grammy Awards.

"I find it crazy the police'll shoot you and know that you dead, but still tell you to freeze / F#!ked up, I seen what I seen / I guess that mean hold him down if he say he can't breathe," Lil Baby spits on that 2020 single.

Colonial Life Arena, the largest indoor venue in the state, has already hosted some non-musical events in addition to USC sports this year. The annual Monster Jam and a comedy showcase headlined by Mike Epps took place at the arena in April.

The announcement means that Colonial and Township Auditorium, the city's two biggest indoor venues, will resume hosting concerts within eight days of each other, as the auditorium will present its first concert since COVID-19 shut the room down on Aug. 6, when KC and the Sunshine Band plays.

Tickets for The End of Summer Jam go on sale May 27 at 10 a.m. Check for updates.

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