Action Bronson played his 1st of 2 T5 shows, threw a fan off stage (pics, review, video), made a song w/ Earl Sweatshirt
by Sean O'Connell
It's safe to say Action Bronson's image has reached a hyperbolic magnitude. From a humble beginning of playground raps and obscure chef references, Action has grown over the past few years into a king-size connoisseur of all things absurd. While his lyrics have morphed from hard-nosed Queens-centric wordplay purism to impossible fantasy, Action's live performances have remained crowd-pleasing spectacles from the jump. The Flushing rapper's on-stage antics have been well documented on social media, and through the marketing maelstrom that Vice has orchestrated since signing Action back in 2012. Whether it be throwing televisions into the crowd or running out of the venue with fans, Action has continuously raised his own bar on noteworthy performances.
Last night's (3/24) show at Terminal 5 featured many of these same stunts, with Bronson throwing packages and stage rushers into the crowd (video of the latter below), unsuccessfully attempting to crowd surf, and finding his way to the bar at the back of the venue. Yet Bronson, who was celebrating the release of his major label debut Mr.Wonderful, seemed to have more interest in slowing things down. Action came out with his entire crew in tow: producers Party Supplies, longtime collaborator Meyhem Lauren, producer Alchemist as DJ, and fan favorite hypeman Big Body Bes. Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg provided a DJ set before Meyhem Lauren warmed the crowd up with a few of his cuts. Action's short set featured almost exclusively tracks off of Mr.Wonderful with the only exception being "Amadu Diablo" from his last mixtape Blue Chips 2.
After an energetic entrance featuring some of his album's well-known singles, Action slowed things down to an almost sluggish pace, singing the chorus to his latest single "Baby Blue" totally out-of-key (to the crowd's amusement). Still, when his genius one-liners weren't being shouted back at him Action seemed less a maturing rapper and more a slightly disinterested veteran, even saying at one point "I'm too old for this". The remainder of the set found Bronson singing on some of the slower Mr. Wonderful tracks taking a cue from Billy Joel and the grandeur of 80s New York. The crossover appeal that can be found on the album was slipshod on the stage. Whether it be the common record release show vanity or the side-effect of a bigger, less intimate venue that Terminal 5 is, Action seems he is finding the balance between his polished bravado and his hungry Queens hip hop roots.
Action Bronson and The Alchemist also both teamed up with Earl Sweatshirt for the new song, "Warlord Leather," which is a bonus track to Bronson's new album, as well as Earl's just-released I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside. Listen to that, with a few more pictures from T5, below...