Kid Cudi, 070 Shake, Strick touch down at Moody Center, leave audience with otherworldly performance


Peyton Sims

On August 31, 2022, performer Strick brings the crowd to life in Austin’s Moody Center. Along with Strick, 070 Shake and Kid Cudi also performed at the Moody Center.

Sage Dunlap, Associate Life&Arts Editor

Intrigued fans sat in the pitch black Moody Center, illuminated by nothing but a holographic projection of a glowing blue face introducing the first act of the night.

“Phones and cameras are encouraged, as the sights you see here won’t be seen anywhere else on any other planet,” the ominous projection said. 

The sights you see here won’t be seen anywhere else on any other planet.

— Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi and openers Strick and 070 Shake touched down in Austin on Wednesday to present the “To The Moon” World Tour. The performance marked the second Texas stop on the headliner’s first-ever world tour, drawing thousands to the Moody Center for a night of out-of-this-world lighting, bass-blaring sound and energizing performances from three hip-hop powerhouses. 

The looming holographic announcer faded from the screen as Strick took to the stage, beginning his set with cacophonous machine noises seemingly nodding to a spaceship launch — revving engines, jarring drills and scraping metal all fading into an infectious hip-hop beat. Strick transformed the arena into an end-of-summer dance party, announcing that the show marked his first performance in Austin. The rapper finished his set with a solo performance of Kid Cudi collaboration “Moon Man,” which perfectly primed the crowd for the headliner.

Kid Cudi took the stage at 9 p.m., revealing an impressive set of beaming lasers casting light over the arena and a floor-to-ceiling screen projecting psychedelic nature scenes and space-inspired images. After entering through a center-stage door, the performer kicked off his set with “Down & Out,” a 2008 crowd pleaser combining melodic piano and electric guitar with snappy rapping to launch the audience back in time to the beginnings of his stardom. 

Acknowledging his mixed-bag audience of newer and older fans, Cudi promised a performance of beloved throwbacks to appease both crowds — a promise met with great enthusiasm. After starting with songs from his most recent album Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, the rapper then invited friend and routine collaborator Chip tha Ripper onstage to perform fan favorites like 2009 hit “Hyyerr.”

Cudi cascaded between tracks, maintaining a satisfying balance of sentimental ballads and energizing hip-hop tunes begging the audience to dance. Before ending the night with a flashy, rave-like display of fan favorites “Memories” and “Pursuit of Happiness,” he delivered fans an emotional performance of “The Void” and declared the song a love letter to his fans.

“I want you to feel comfort. I want you to feel safe. I want you to feel not alone,” said the rapper while introducing his performance of “The Void.”

The highlight of Kid Cudi’s set did not come from flashy laser lighting nor onstage explosives, but instead from the rapper’s ability to connect with the crowd. Cudi took time to sign records and thank fans for homemade artwork between songs, which made the packed stadium feel more intimate. The self-declared “man on the moon” felt extremely present with his Moody Center audience Wednesday night, leaving many fans with an unforgettable performance from their favorite hip-hop veteran.

Cudi’s stacked openers throughout the tour also add to his psychedelic ambience. After Strick prepped the audiences with infectious beat drops and dance melodies, 070 Shake brought the audience to a calmer headspace with trance-like projections and a wine glass in hand. Kid Cudi delivered the best of both worlds, combining atmospheric sound with rave-ready displays to deliver an otherworldly performance on the “To The Moon” World Tour.