Been a little quiet on the front row around these parts, but not for lack of hitting shows. Aesop Rock and co. at the Fillmore and Astronautalis (who opened for the abysmal Flobots) at Bottom of the Hill were both very noteworthy recent shows that I attended, but there are so many shows to cover in the Bay and so little time. Rather than covering one of the larger tours that I peeped, I figure that a new local performer write-up is long overdue, and Z-Man's recent "album release" show at Elbo Room featured a nice line-up of Bay Area rap talent to cover on this blog.
I put "album release" in quotations since, while billed as an album release party for Z-Man, there is yet to be a new Z-Man album birthed unto the world to my knowledge. Elbo Room filled up a little slowly at first for this event, but the crowd made up for the initial low turn-out with a pretty great showing of Bay Area rap heads. Kirby Dominant was in attendance, supporting his gals Toast as well as Z, and one of the performers mentioned that Myka 9 was chilling somewhere in the spot as well. There were a lot of really hardcore Bay Area hip hop fans in attendance, including some dudes who'd been listening to Gurp City since middle school, and these fools were going extra hard with the support at this show.
Rey Resurreccion followed after Toast with a solid performance that had a lot of folks in the crowd blazing up some major blunts. See that haze of smoke surrounding Rey in the pic of him rocking the mic? That ain't no Elbo Room smoke machine! Rey Resurreccion put a lot of passion and ferocity into his verses that had dudes who hadn't made their way to the front take a couple steps forward and start bobbing their heads. His beat selection seemed to bounce back and forth between traditional jazzy hip hop shit and more club-oriented jams, and he handled both styles well. As someone who is not well-versed in Rey's music, I thought he was very good live. I hear he's gonna be touring with Bambu in the near future, which will hopefully offer him some new exposure to potential fans.
great form with her rapping this evening, and flowed effortlessly through her tracks, with highlights including the charming upbeat ode to Cali herb "Higher, Higher" and the bouncy synth sounds of "Space Case." Hopie may have gotten the best crowd response of any performer at the show, which is a testament to her ability to connect and have fun with folks during her sets. She also played an impressive new song from her upcoming "Sugar Water" album as an encore, and I was digging the chill West coast vibes of the track. Dope set.
No "album release," but it was definitely a party up in Elbo Room that night. Super good show.