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The opening acts were an odd but fun mix of artists ranging from two DJs, Nik Hook and the Gaslamp Killer, and rappers Cuz Lightyear and Gangsta Boo. They all had their fun odd quirks that made the very lengthy opening set a pretty damn enjoyable one. The energy in the crowd was already getting heated and I felt myself getting overly impatient.
After a lengthy wait, the lights went down and out comes…Trackstar the DJ! Grabbing the mic and pumping up the crowd, Queen’s “We are the Champions” starts blasting and out comes…Run the Jewels! Diving directly into “Talk to Me,” the audience went into full fledged chaos. Fists and bodies and sweat and screams and shoes and torn clothing were everywhere. A pair of Ray Bans flew in the air and landed right in front of me, which is nice cause I needed a new pair of shades. The music was loud and epic, with the bass shredding my ears to the point of of temporary deafness. But holy shit the performance!
I always expected Killer Mike to be the one to own the stage, and while he surely does, El-P gave such a surprisingly energy filled performance that he completely stole the show for me. I’ve been to a lot of concerts, and many times I’ve seen a band not really care about a performance. They just stand there and play their set, barely interacting at all with the audience, or showing any appreciation that people are at their shows. I’M LOOKING AT YOU ARCTIC MONKEYS. LEARN HOW TO GIVE A GOOD PERFORMANCE. Anyways…Run the Jewels made it consistently clear how happy they were to perform for us. This was the second to last stop on their tour, and I was honestly expecting them to be a little exhausted, but boy was I wrong.
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El-P kept pausing between songs to have the house lights brought up so he could address the whole crowd. He was so surprised by the level of energy that the crowd gave him and Killer Mike, and it really affected their performance. Their energy kept growing as the show went on, and by the end, I was ready to pass out.
If you’re familiar with RTJ’s music, you’ll know how politically charged their music is, and while that atmosphere was present, they didn’t really take the time to address a lot of current issues, focusing more on just proclaiming how shitty our world is. I guess it’s hard to find reasons to complain when the energy and vibes in a room are so positive.
In the end, this show was spectacular. You’ll definitely catch me at RTJ’s next show, and I’ll be moshing in the crowd harder than ever before.