Political music is definitely on an upswing again, and if Run The Jewels‘ set at Metropolis on February 21 was any indication, it won’t be letting up anytime soon.
Nick Hook, a producer for Run The Jewels opened the night on an interesting mix of his discography as a producer and some choice collaborations with the larger-than-life personality that is Gangsta Boo. Their crowd-sourced composition moment was as interesting as it was initially awkward with the baby steps required to set up the fans on their gear slowing things down a bit.
When The Gaslamp Killer opened his set on a single from the new Childish Gambino record, the crowd knew they were in for a joyous second set. Moving in tune with his set (moving his fingers to the smallest detail), he managed to make a visually light DJ set amazingly epic and enjoyable. His set even crossed into unexpected territory with a dash of Syrian dance music and some 8bit remixes of hip hop classics. Proving the right mix of insanity and genius can make a DJ set just as engaging as a live group, Gaslamp Killer gave a set that was, puns aside, all killer, no filler.
Run The Jewels filled the room with a sense of pride…
Coming to the stage introduced by their openers as not just great musicians but important in the face of our current political climate, Run The Jewels filled the room with a sense of pride, for not just gathering music fans but progressively minded people alike.
Opening on their new single “Talk To Me,” one could believe the ground was literally shaking as their first bass line dropped in, keeping crowds moving almost uncomfortable throughout the night. This didn’t stop the moshpits and jumping that came with their RTJ2 hit “Blockbuster Night Pt. 1” and “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry,” with the crowd chanting each word with endless passion.
The night was filled with memories as the band bought the crowd beers to help out an otherwise doomed beer server, people audibly mimicking the glitched-out vocals on “Call Ticketron” and even a guest moment from Gangsta Boo on “Love Again.” With their powerful and political preamble, Killer Mike and El-P gave an even more heavy hitting performance of “Lie, Cheat, Steal” than they have on previous tours, with the song’s poignancy growing thanks to a Trump presidency.
Before closing their set the duo managed the sometimes awkward feat of getting the crowd to space out and make room for each other and even reminded the men in the crowd “If you see a girl in the crowd you like….give her some room, if she’s interested, she’ll talk to you,” receiving cheers from both sides of the crowd. Ending on brutal tracks like “Run The Jewels,” “Early” and “Close Your Eyes (And Count To F***), the crowd kicked back to life, bouncing and chanting until the lights came back on for a night that was as much about bringing people together as it was great music.