Meek Mill exudes charisma, lacks precision in Hub set

G. Valentino Ball | 4/10/2013, 7:40 a.m.

After spending the better part of the last year on the road with his label head Rick Ross and later his own headlining tour, Philly rapper Meek Mill should be a road warrior of the highest degree. And while he has greatly improved, his most recent stop at the House of Blues in Boston shows that he still has a way to go.

Last Thursday, the MC turned in a performance that was high on energy but low on precision. The addition of a keyboardist gave Meek a new dimension to his stage show, but he still hasn’t mastered how to fully integrate live musicianship with his DJ for the best results. At times, the keys overpowered his vocals and DJ completely, negating any positive contribution. Audio problems aside, though, Meek’s hits and forceful performance allowed him to send the fans home satisfied as “Burn” and “Amen” echoed for the sold-out crowd that was 70 percent female — half dressed like they were headed to a video shoot, the other half dressed like they were going to a sneaker convention, all hanging on Meek’s every word.

Opener Ace Hood surprised with a well-received set that included his Future-assisted hit “Bugati.” When Ace launched into that record, Meek Mill ran onto the stage for no other reason than to share in the bouncing energy. The two MCs have very similar styles based around hammer-like delivery and synth-powered trap beats, so their back-to-back hour-long sets bordered on exhausting. There’s only so much turning up you can do.