Sometimes when you go to a concert or show, the atmosphere and crowd can really take over and take away from what is going on stage. Halloween 2012 was one of those nights. It was going to be my first concert that I was going to that I actually was looking forward to seeing every single act. Normally a show will have some shit warm up band that honestly is there to kill time and build anticipation. But from the moment that Danny Brown’s crazy mug appeared on stage to the instant that ASAP Rocky turned his back on the crowd for the last time, I was there and I was enjoying myself. I know a lot of people there that complained about the drunk bastards that were attempting to make everyone have a bad night or the fact that it was so hot and sweaty in there it felt like a hot summer day in Chicago. Instead of getting upset, I embraced the uncomfortable seconds and realized this was not something that I was going to experience everyday. I was just so thoroughly impressed with Albuquerque and the fact that I showed up 30 minutes early to a show for the first time in my life and I was at least 200 people deep in the line. That alone let me know people are either finally realizing what real music is or there was nothing to do in Albuquerque that night. People who I know who know very, very little about music in general were there, singing along to the vulgarity of Danny Brown and the hilarity of ASAP Rocky. Personally, I felt like it was a party thrown for the group of kids I had grown up with and just met and basically just anyone I had ever met. It was a party for us that some crazy drunks just happened to be invited to.
Danny Brown started the whole show off after we stood in line for about an hour and inside Sunshine for another 30 minutes. It was unexpected and immediate. He leaped onto stage and before I even realized who was up there, his biting voice hit my eardrums. People started jumping, I started getting crushed from all angles and the show had started. I didn’t recognize his first couple of songs which led to my only real annoyance of the night because I knew he wasn’t going to get a very big set due to the face there were three more acts yet to come. But then he threw down “Radio Song” and all my happiness erupted that had been building since I first saw Danny Brown in Chicago and thought how cool it would be to see with my crew. Easily one of the most memorable parts of the night was singing “I Will” with David. Danny Brown represents David so much to me and seeing him so happy and singing along with such energy made me that much more hyped to be there. No one else in the whole place seemed to know the lyrics as well as our group and that made the concert that much more special. The only real problem with the set was the fact that Danny got a whole whopping 20 minutes. It felt like 5. It was kind of disheartening to see Danny so disrespected but my feelings were the last thing that I was going to let get in my way that night.
School Boy Q came on next and this was where I really started to become interested. I only saw about 10 or 15 minutes of his set at Pitchfork and I was curious if he was going to be able to wow me a little better than he did in Chicago. He started with “Oxy” which is the same thing that he did in Chicago. This intrigued me that he would keep the same set list for such a long time. But then he began to vary from it; playing songs I had never heard. Again, I did not let this affect my mood because I expected to know only about two songs from his whole set. “There He Go” and “Hands On the Wheel.” He played those but weirdly they weren’t even my favorite. I enjoyed the songs that the crowd got most hyped for and because of the sketchy sound equipment, neither “There He Go” nor “Hands on the Wheel” sounded particularly good. The hands down best part of School Boy’s set and possibly a top three moment of the night was when Ab- Soul came out. The whole night I had been cheering Black Hippy and throwing up my three’s for Hiiipower so to see Ab-Soul come out and rep the Black Hippy was awesome. We had gotten a heads up that he would be there, but to actually see another member of Black Hippy was too great.
As School Boy Q left the stage, he was quickly followed by a hype man of sorts, asking us “Don’t you remember when Kendrick Lamar canceled on you?” I assumed that this was an intro into some Kendrick hating and I began to get furious. But then we were given the wondrous news that Lamar had rescheduled and would be coming back December 6th. The crowd started cheering and jumping up and down and perfectly timed, “Mercy” came on. Hands down, hearing that song was the best part of the night. I was with Daniel and two sweet British guys I vaguely knew from seeing around UNM. We were cooking and dancing and jumping and I have never seen someone so excited to hear music as one of the British guys. He would grab me or Daniel’s head and scream the lyrics into our faces as we screamed back, getting just as excited as him. Easily that was the peak of the night mostly because “Mercy” is one of my favorite songs of all time and being able to dance and sing along with people that were having just as good as a time as me was amazing.
But once “Mercy” was over the waiting continued and continued for a long time. I had to fend off a chick with a Mohawk grinding on me and various other drunken people attempting to bring me down. I stayed calm and as the lights dimmed and ASAP Rocky came on stage with two members of the mob in gas masks, I pushed through the crowd and rejoined my crew.
I’ll admit, the sound was rough, the crowd was rowdy and seeing the performers was sometimes difficult because of the ruckus that was happening down in the pit. Not to mention everyone there seemed to be at least six feet tall. I just wasn’t going to let that bother me. It was Halloween and I was there to have a good time. So I focused on battling the drunkards and I slowly but surely worked my way up to the front of the crowd so I had a better spot. What drove me to do that mainly was the fact that ASAP Rocky jumped into the crowd quite unexpectedly and I wasn’t close enough to be able to touch him. Some how I knew he would jump again and when I made my way to the front, around the time School Boy Q came back out to perform “Hands on the Wheel” ASAP Rocky jumped again and this time I grabbed his ankle and was one of the main people holding him up as he crowd surfed around. It was the third concert in a row I had been able to touch the artist and I was quite pleased with myself. So pleased that I wasn’t even that mad when the concert stopped and Rocky started trying to find hot chicks to come on stage. He rejected quite a few and when he finally got one on stage and brought up an accompanying dude, he got mad at them when her twerking and lap dance wasn’t up to par. Or maybe it was something the guy did. To be honest, I had no idea but Rocky was disappointed in them. I spent most of this time just trying to get Jordank up on stage but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. We tried out best.
Music wise, ASAP Rocky and the whole mob really were entertaining. I anticipated a lot of jumping around and acting crazy and I was not disappointed. The mob was very impressive and I think they are really underrated. I love how the rap game really caters to guys that are just fucking crazy and full of swag, even when the talent isn’t really there. Because ASAP Rocky covers the talent part, that’s for sure. “Goldie,” “Peso” and “Wassup” all were on par and he even gave Clams Casino a shout out which I was impressed with. It was fun to hear all of those songs live but honestly, sound wise it is better to listen at home. But if there is one thing I want to prove with this review is that sometimes concerts are truly about the atmosphere and viewing your idols as the music fades to the background. Because in all honesty, you can listen to the music at home with good speakers any day. Seeing an idol though. That’s reason enough to rejoice.