My Instagram homies have probably heard some of this already, and I hope this isn’t too narrative-based for y’all. I apologize for the length. I kinda got carried away:
My wife and I used the release show as an excuse to have a mini-vacation. We got out of work on Tuesday and drove 6 hours to L.A. Made a quick stop by Thes’ house (NICE place) around midnight to pick up some stuff we’d talked about, I introduced him to Mrs. Sactown, and then my wife and I headed over to our hotel in Anaheim (another 45 mins). On Wednesday, I took the wife to some clothing outlets and tried my best to be cool about it. ("That dress costs WHAT?!?!" ) We had a blast, got some lunch at a little place in the back of a hotel (good Yelp rating), and I stopped by a little record hut in Costa Mesa and picked up some George Duke, Freddie Hubbard, Richard Pryor, etc. Then we shot over to Pomona and went to the Glass House for the show (I didn't really eat dinner, but I was too stoked to care.)
We got to the show about 30-40 minutes before the doors opened, and there was already a line forming. I was about to get my tix when I saw Double K come out to meet up with his brother and the other cats in Villain Park (VP), who had just shown up. Revolutionary Rhythm (R2) were right on their heels too. Double saw me and immediately gave me a pound, surprised my wife with a hug (KK and the ladies, haha), and had us follow him in. VP and R2 were super-amped about the night, and we all hung around backstage and talked for a while. I had met Double's brother at the 1 Up music video shoot, and R2 and I have talked quite a bit before... Predominance is really good at giving homies buzz-cuts, and after I saw a particularly dope Mickey Mouse buzz he gave a cat, he and I made a running joke about him cuttin' a Goofy into my head without my wife's knowledge to p1ss her off, haha. Thes and DJ Day were running around doing soundchecks and things, so I didn't get a chance to talk to them early on. Day told me later on Instagram that he wished I come up and said what up, but he looked like ALL business before the show, so I didn't want to get in the way.
After people started getting let in, Thes & Double tried to get my wife and I all-access passes, so we’d be able to get backstage when we wanted to. The Glass House manager assured Thes we'd get them, but then he gave us regular wristbands anyway (he was kind of an –ss), so basically, after we left the backstage area before the show, we couldn’t get back there again until after the show, when Double escorted us. My experience from club managers is that they want absolutely the SMALLEST amount of people on the guest list and backstage. (At the P show in SF at the Fillmore, PUTS actually had to sneak me and other cats into the green room.)
Anyway, Day started DJing to try to get the early crowd pumped. He played Shimmy Shimmy Y'all, Jackson 5, some Beasties, and a bunch of other stuff. When Jackson 5 came on, I was standing next to Double K, and I just said “Michael, wheeeww” and shook my head, and Double thought I was talking to him, and was like “…what’s up, man??”. I was like, “Naw, man. The OTHER Michael. Jackson!” and he started laughing hella hard. The crowd was a little too disaffected for my liking, and not enough movement was happening. It was all ages, tho, and sometimes the kids only want to see the stars. Nonetheless, Day was at least getting the front of the crowd dancing, and some of his DJing was getting some hooting and such.
During Day’s set, I met JazMak, who showed up to see the show, and “D” from “My Boy D” (I’d met him once at the 1Up video shoot, and the cat remembered me. Really nice guy.) Thes was working HARD at the merch table, and the line was consistently all the way across the club balcony. As far as MERCH: They had a new T-shirt for the tour, two WRLA t-shirts (navy print on white and white print on black), the acid raindrops eye-exam style shirt, a WRLA canvas bag, a P beanie, two new P hats (same logo but it's a tan hat with a blue/orange P and either a tan or a blue bill), copies of 12SP on all formats, copies of the highlighter CD, and probably some other things I forgot.
Villain Park took the stage first, and they had a lot of energy and some good beats. I liked what I heard a lot. One of the guys in the group threw his shoes out in the crowd (after the show, backstage, he was saying that he only found one after the show... someone stole his other shoe, haha). Double K had actually produced the last beat they rhymed over. I talked to Double about that beat after VP’s set, and he said he made it for them only a couple of weeks ago, and they'd flipped some lyrics onto it with the quickness. Again, the crowd was a little lukewarm, but the front rows were waving their hands and bobbing their heads. The club was still only about half full at that point too. Double said that VP was a little about the crowd's lack of enthusiasm, but Mike and I thought they'd given VP a lot of love.
Revolutionary Rhythm was next. I missed the first song or two because Thes wanted me to go grab him a beer and then go get Double from backstage to help him with the ridiculously long line. Thes actually told me "Tell Double K that I said to F*CKIN' get up here. I’m serious: use the word 'F*CKIN'!!" I went to the backstage door and the guard wouldn't let me through 'cause of the whole wrist-band situation, but I finally saw Mike and got him out. I told him that Thes F*CKIN' wanted him up there, and he went up there and stayed for the first part of R2's set. (In Thes' defense: Despite how serious it sounded, Double and I were in pretty good humor, and Thes is a consummate businessman, so he just has to be serious sometimes, and it's understandable, so you just do what's gotta get done, and everyone's fine.)
R2's set was killer as always, and the crew was spitting FIRE. The crowd always goes crazy when Predominance starts rhyming fast. I heard some stuff I recognized and some stuff I didn’t. I was p*ssed though, because after my wife and I left for the night, I realized I didn’t cop one of their CDs, so I’m gonna have to order one (not a problem, but… there were stacks there, you know?). My wife liked them a lot too (background: she listens to pop and musicals, mainly, so her liking anything in the rap realm is pretty amazing in the first place).
Around the end of R2’s set (DJ Million Faces stayed on stage to DJ for awhile afterward), Thes One told me that he had to start getting ready for the show, so he had me be the unfortunate soul that had to cut the merch line short. I got some angry glances when I shouted out “Everyone, Thes has gotta get ready for his show, so the merch table’s closing!!!” As much as I tried to tell them it’d be open again afterward, they looked like I’d crushed their dreams… Ooof. It was all good though; they eventually dispersed, and then Thes had me stand with all the merch behind the table for the rest of the show and watch it so no one would take it. I had a lot of people coming up to me to try and buy things, but I turned them away. (Thes and I briefly talked about me taking cash for stuff, but he and I were both cooler with me just watching everything.)
My wife and I sat behind the merch table and watched the rest of the show from up there in the balcony, and we had a nice spot to watch everything from. Warm Brew was HARDCORE. Straight up gangsta. WB lit up on stage, had a track called “We Loungin’” in which half the crew brought out lounge chairs and just sat down and blazed, and their songs were rude, dissin’ MFers left and right and generally roughneck all around. I liked it. (I also missed out on coppin’ their CD.)
Both R2 & WB got a really good reaction from the crowd, but it still wasn’t what they deserved in my opinion. I hope I don’t come off as too bitter, but I HATE low crowd response when openers are busting their –ss to put on a good show. Some of the merch line people were looking at me like I was weird for head noddin’ and swaying, and I gave them the “no, YOU’RE crazy, son!” look back...
When PUTS took stage, the crowd blew up, and they did a killer set with some stuff I’d never seen before live. Here was the complete set list:
- (Thes thanked the openers and L.A.)
- (Zelda on the wall)
- 1 Up Til Sun Up
- Trippin’ At The Disco
- The Second Track
- Tuxedo Rap
- (Thes freestyle)
- Get Hip
- Beer (with a long pause during “Get the F outta here” where Thes asked how many people were Latino & had immigrant parents that drank, then said NOT drinkin’ was Un-American, hahahaha)
Then they did a medley of pieces of songs, including:
- Kidd Drunkadelic
- Suite For Beaver 1
- We’ll Be There
- Youth Explosion
- Earth Travelers
- Plunken’ Em
- (Double K did that one Will Smith rhyme he used to do all the time back in the day: “Let me have a word with you, I hope I’m not disturbin’ you”, etc.)
- The Double K Show
- (Then he cut up AC/DC’s “Back In Black”, and Thes played the drum machine for a while… even with his chin at one point!! One of the high points of the night. Wish I’d videotaped it for y’all.)
Then they went back to full songs:
- LA Song
- The Breakdown
- (Then they did some Cypress Hill sh*t)
- Montego Slay
- Acid Raindrops
- Umbrellas (just the starting instrumental… kinda bummed me out, ‘cause I love that track.)
- Pictures On My Wall (Thes showed everyone how to do the Rob Ford dance… I seriously hope that sh*t catches on… it was hilarious)
- SF Knights
- Then they had EVERYONE from all the crews onstage, and let everyone go wild with the mic, freestyling all over the place, it was wild… the kids in the crowd were kind confused at that point, but F*** em.
- Hang Loose (with everyone on stage)
- The funner than leather breakdown (“they say that the P is one of a kind, and when we in your town, we gonna rock yo mind!!”)
After the show, Thes jammed back up to the merch table and took over, so my wife and I hung out with R2 and some of VP, and told them that they rocked the house. They seemed like they were feeling the love a lot more after the show from the individual cats that came up to them, which was good to see… kinda made me feel better about the bitterness I felt toward the crowd early on. Double K invited me backstage, and we sat around back there with his sister and his wife for a while. I chatted them up a little bit, but everyone was really tired and not looking forward to the plane flight to Vegas and everything they were going to have to do to get ready for the tour.
After a while, Thes and everyone else came back. We said thanks to the cats for letting us feel like VIPs for the night, and told them what we thought of the new album, and then went back to the hotel.
You don’t really need to hear about all the rest, but my wife and I hit up Disneyland’s California Adventures the entire next day (my feet hurt.) and then drove back up today (my -ss hurts.). It was a blast, though, and I’m glad we had the chance to see the show. I'll post up some pics and things as soon as I can get em up.