photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Flying Lotus / Death Grips
"You New Yorkers are lucky," said Flying Lotus last night (10/17) on stage at Le Poisson Rouge pointing at Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest), who had been DJing between sets, "You got a legend right here... I think he lives here or something. It's an honor to be sharing a stage with him."
"Nah, it's an honor to be sharing a stage with you," Ali said in return, "Flying Lotus is a legend in the making."
Then the two producers hugged it out on stage as the crowd cheered and FlyLo got behind the boards to prove Ali's "legend-in-the-making" statement true. He had just sold out Terminal 5 last week, so this LPR show was an intimate one and as soon as he began, the packed crowd went nuts. Blown out textures and rattling bass came flowing out the speakers as FlyLo struck a priestlike pose and took the whole venue into his own warped vision of hip hop's future. He looks like he has as much fun on stage as the crowd on the floor does-- dancing, singing along to the vocal samples he uses, and grinning when crowd reactions agreed with the beat he chose to drop or the hit song he decided to throw in (like "Niggas In Paris"). The set was almost entirely seamless, blending songs from his new album, Until the Quiet Comes, with other memorable tracks from hip hop's recent past, and old favorites (like the obligatory "Do The Astral Plane") too. The best moment of the set came when he mixed Kanye's "Mercy" into his own "Putty Boy Strut," and other standouts came from portions of "Sultan's Request," "Getting There," and a sped up Frank Ocean vocal ("Thinkin Bout You").
Like I said, Flylo's crowd was wild, but not as wild as it was for Death Grips, who filled the venue with their fucked vision of rap rock before Flying Lotus' headlining set. As MC Ride barked rhymes and Zach Hill pounded away at his cymbal-less kit, the angry dude mosh pits broke out (at least in the front of the stage) and never really let up. With three great albums under their belt since 2011, Death Grips have no shortage of solid material and the crowd agreed, shouting every word and pumping their fists along as they did. If you weren't there last night and want to experience the insanity for yourself, check him out at the Pitchfork showcase at Villain on Friday (10/19) or Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 12 (tix) with Mykki Blanco, who was in attendance last night after blowing the roof off Cake Shop earlier in the day.
The always-great Buke & Gase opened the show. It was presented by NPR Music and WNYC and if you missed it, the archive will soon be posted to NPR's website. More pictures of all four artists from lat night are below.
Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Buke and Gase