In December of 2013, I drove 1,200 miles from Philadelphia to Minneapolis to see the Doomtree Blowout. I had never even really thought about Minneapolis before, let alone entertained the idea of someday living here. The car broke down because of extreme cold, I slept on the floor of a stranger’s studio apartment, and somehow I still had the time of my life. Fast forward to 2015, I made my third trip to the Twin Cities for the Doomtree Zoo (sensing a pattern here?) and looked at dozens of apartments during that short weekend. Here I am now, nearly four years a Minnesotan. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Doomtree’s music, so in some very roundabout way, walking in to the Parkway Theater last night for “An Evening with Lazerbeak” felt like coming home.
The smell of fresh popcorn was flooding the lobby, there was a cute little merch table set up, and there were familiar faces everywhere. Within three minutes of walking in, I saw almost every member of Doomtree, and local legend Har Mar Superstar. Drinks were $12 each but included locally made liquors so I obviously had to indulge. After exploring the lobby for a few moments, I made my way into the actual theater and picked a seat towards the middle.
Lazerbeak took the stage right at 8:15, as promised, and immediately dove in to playing “Take Time,” the first track off of “Luther,” the whole reason for the evening’s celebrations. Once the song ended, he took one of two seats towards the left of the stage and welcomed Jeyca Maldonado to the stage. Jeyca is the co-host of the “Tuesdays with Lazerbeak” podcast, and was the perfect facilitator for an event like this. She begun the night asking about how it felt to finally have this album, that Beak had sat on for over a year, out in the world for all to hear. All of the interview portions of the evening were amazing and enlightening, but the special guests blew me away.
First up was the most unique of all the special appearances by far- Lazerbeak’s three kids. Penny, Cam, and Lou took the stage to sing “Get Back Up Again” off of the Trolls movie’s soundtrack. It was goofy, adorable, and super heartwarming. I just might have teared up… and then it was chit-chat time again! We learned about The Plastic Constellations, Beak’s indie band from high school (and beyond!) and then got to hear three newer songs that he had been cooking up with former bandmate and current best friend Jeff Allen. This was one of my favorite parts of the evening- my little emo soul felt very satisfied.
Next up it was time to talk Doomtree, and after learning the origin story of POS and Lazerbeak’s friendship (shoutout to Beak’s mom for lending him the money for that first MPC!) each member of Doomtree came up to perform a solo song. I was personally so pumped to see both Mike Mictlan and Cecil Otter perform, since I feel like that’s something I don’t get to see as often.
After a brief intermission everyone filed back to their seats and it was time to meditate. Yes- you read that correctly. We spent the last hour listening to some of Minnesota’s finest rappers and then we all sat down together and were lead by Lazerbeak himself for a few minutes of guided meditation.
He explained how at one of the hardest times in his life, he found a great doctor, some low dosage anti-anxiety meds, and meditation. The plan was for us to all use the app that he uses together, but when it ended up glitching out he lead us himself- which was amazing. I didn’t open my eyes during those few minutes, so I don’t know for sure, but I’d be willing to bet that everyone was pretty damn in to it.
The rest of the night was so overwhelmingly pleasant. We learned about the first time Doomtree ever made any real money and how Beak lost it all for a few days, until it was finally brought back home via a soda-soaked bank receipt. We heard other amazing guests like Longshot, Sophia Eris, and Mixed Blood Majority perform live. We even saw the world premiere of the “Valley Low” music video directed by another MN legend- Mercies May.
The evening was appropriately brought to a close with a full-crew Doomtree song and lots of hugs and kind words for the man of the evening, Lazerbeak. I left feeling more content and grounded than I ever have at any show before, full of secret hopes that his next album is just a bunch of guided meditation prompts.
If you haven’t checked out “Luther,” Lazerbeak’s third and most recent solo album- do yourself a favor and give it a listen. There’s no way it will do anything but improve your day.