Review – Cali Christmas 2013 @ Honda Center – Anaheim, CA – 12/14/13

Maria Gironas Dec 17th, 2013 | By
Category: AB-Soul, Honda Center, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Los Angeles, Rick Ross, T.D.E, Written Reviews

Review- 2013 Power 106 Cali Christmas 2013
@ Honda Center

You know Christmas has arrived in Southern California when Power 106 throws their annual Cali Christmas bash, with a stunning line-up full of the best of the best in the Hip-Hop/Rap game, fans flocked from every part of the SoCal region and beyond to come be part of this not so silent night.


The acts were announced back in November and “Sold Out” later in the month. Since then, Power 106 has given away tickets left and right in order for the most devoted fans not to miss the event. As it turns out, my little sister happened to win tickets for the night and asked me to go to the event with her. As an alternative rock/folk fan, I’m not sure why I agreed to go, but I think the thought of free concert tickets has a way to entice even the least knowledgeable Hip-Hop fan, such as myself. Referencing back to my genre of choice, my outfit for the night was blue jeans and my favorite sorority t-shirt, very traditional of any concertgoer. Though my sister and the 18,000+ people at the Honda Center seemed to be dressed for a night at the club, which was basically what the venue looked like with all the glow sticks and enough weed clouding the air to take down an elephant.

The place was set up on one side of the arena, on a stage that wasn’t really reflective of the size necessary to allow a lot room for a creative show, but the performers for the night weren’t the type to do flips or anything too crazy. We were sitting in the noise bleed section where we could see the stage, and luckily the monitors on either side of the stage helped give a closer look into the show.


As I used my shirt to filter the air, the night kicked off in high energy as Sage The Gemini played three songs, one of which was his hit “Gas Pedal”, followed by up and comer in the scene Tee Flii, who came out tons of dancers, some which included little kids who were just jamming to his tune “This D”.

Next up was Kid Ink to the stage, and by every ones energy, he was a much anticipated act of the night. The crowd was really feeling his set that night, and everyone went wild we he took off his shirt into the second song, though the monitors I was excited about before wasn’t very helpful at all. If you could imagine, the video on the screen looked like it was being filmed from the distance I was already in my seat. There were few close-ups, but I’m assuming there were some technical issues with the camera up close due to it only last for two-three seconds until it went back to the general view of the stage. Though it wasn’t a terrible miss in this set, the crowd was feeling the music, not the performance as much.

Kid Ink @ Cali Christmas 2013

Now the act I was excited to see was B.o.B., who came out and literally had the entire stadium on their feet, dancing to his track “Headband.” He also may have broke the record for the most fans on stage, cause literally the entire floor seating was invited on stage in a giant twerk mob. The best part though was him jumping off stage right into the crowd, finishing off his set singing in the audience. Completely impressed by his ability to command the stage and not enclose himself in bodyguards, as many of the other artists of the night did.

B.oB. @ Cali Christmas 2013


Everyone bowed down as Rick Ross, the boss himself, entered the stage and no even bothered sitting down during his set because of how amped everyone was. What was even funny was I sat down for a moment to cause I noticed my shoe was untied and the person next to me tapped my shoulder and asked, “How could you be sittin’ down right now when this track is poppin?!” I didn’t even bother to finish tying my shoe at the amount of peer pressure I felt to stand up the entire time. I think what made the set was the use of the stage, Rick Ross had a full band that was so into the set and everyone was just moving around having a good time.

Rick Ross @ Cali Christmas 2013

Early on, the Power 106 team promised some surprises, one of which was Big Sean coming out with a lion mascot, not wasting any of the little time he had on stage. The crowd went wild during his last song “Beware” and begged for an encore, but due to the time limit, it wasn’t able to happen. A bit of a let down for the crowd until they saw 2 Chainz coming out, sporting his, well, two chains.

Big Sean @ Cali Christmas 2013

I kept hearing comments from the people around me saying how “dope” his outfit was, when to me it looked like he may have just woken up and went on stage wearing pajamas. Though everyone was really pumped for the show, he ended up being the biggest disappointment of the night. It honestly seemed like he was too stoned to move any faster around the stage, he spent most of his time with leg hoisted Captain Morgan style on the monitors, rapping in place with little energy. The crowd grew a little restless at this point in the show, at least that was until J. Cole came out.

J. Cole @ Cali Christmas 2013

Absolute favorite act of the night for me, not only did he have stage presence, he had a story to tell and wasn’t afraid to be vulnerable and not as “I am God” as some of the previous acts were. Cole was real and true, singing all his hit songs like “Can’t Get Enough” and “In The Mornin’.” In preparation for his last song, Cole sat down on a bench and basically told the audience, “If you don’t know this next song, go take a bathroom break or something, cause only my true fans know this song because it was my start, “ and began playing his first radio hit “Lights Please.”

I’m not a huge fan of Kendrick Lamar, but his performance blew me away. Him and the T.D.E. crew torn down the house and blew up the standard that was set from the prior acts. This is was his second time performing at Cali Christmas, but his first as the headliner. Being a SoCal native himself, the whole stadium was full of his fans and every single person was out of their seat dancing.

T.D.E @ Cali Christmas 2013

If School Boy Q., Ab-Soul, and Jay-Rock weren’t enough to perform with Lamar, none other than Diddy came to perform with Lamar, topping off an already stellar night.

Diddy @ Cali Christmas 2013

As a person who isn’t a huge follower of the Hip-Hop scene, my mind was completely blown as to the amount of talent within this night. Cali Christmas was the place to be, and there was no better way to ring in the holiday season.

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