My Favorite Sets of 2018 – Kelly O’Donnell


As December begins to close out 2018 we asked all of our staff members to tell us about their favorite sets they saw this year. Let’s kick it off with Kelly O’Donnell

It’s been a year full of talented artists and badass shows. It’s a hard to narrow it down but I think my top 5 favorite sets of this year in no specific order would be, Denzel Curry at First Ave, The Acacia Strain at Skyway Theatre, Hobo Johnson at Varsity Theater, Lil B “The Based God” at The Cabooze and Rezz on Halloween at The Armory. These are all very different artists, but man did they all slam.

1. Denzel Curry, one of my all time favorite hiphop artists had such emotion, such energy and incredible lyricsm. When I go to a hip-hop show there is always one thing that separates an artist for me, rapping without the lyrics of the song playing in the background. Denzel delivered with a thought out performance and left the set on a high note with high energy bangers.

2. The Acacia strain performed at Skyway theatre with such a fun and light vibe. I found myself bobbing my head with every slow, gritty, metal riff. They also opened up on stage to talk about depression, mental health and just life in general. I felt like everyone in the room was on the same page. And of course, all of their songs ripped as they delivered a kickass performance. 

3. Hobo Johnson & The LoveMakers was exactly how i’d imagined them to be, animated, funny and lyrical. The set was so welcoming with a giant couch right in the center. The light show was pleasantly surprising and was almost theatrical. It added a lot of atmosphere and character. The band had great energy and overall lived up to all of the internet hype.

4. When I heard Lil B was going to be at Prof Outdoors 5 my senior self in highschool was so excited. Lil B is one of the members of The Pack, a hiphop group most famously known for the song, Vans. Lil B had such a good vibe on stage. I don’t think one person in that parking lot was having a bad time. Glad I can check that one off of the list. 

5. Lastly, Rezz on Halloween at the Armory. Admittedly, I have recently started to dive into more EDM music. There are a handful of artist that i’ve always followed in the scene but now i’ve started to explore this genre more. The light show for Rezz was absolutely insane. I was almost hypnotised by her somewhat dark but psychedelic graphics. The music was just as intriguing and interesting! I love how Rezz uses these industrial and experimental samples that give her music a dark but chill vibe. Deff one of those shows I am glad I decided to go to as I requested it last minute on a whim!