5 PM seems a curiously early start to a rap show, even if it was just doors. The Shoreline Mafia show and the fans it drew in last night had the floor of First Avenue completely occupied just just minutes after doors opened. The fans, who skew younger hence the need for an all ages show, we’re ravenous and ready to let go of reality for an evening. And I’m here to tell you there’s not better place to do just that than at Shorelines sold out Paid in Full show. The host if you will and resident DJ for the evening Cypress set thing off shortly after 6, first and foremost with an introduction.
Cypress spent most of the evening on stage and by 7:30 I was wondering if it was in fact his show. Post introductions Cypress got the crowd going immediately when he realized he forgot to play a certain track, Pop Out – Polo G, at last nights show in Chicago. The fervor that spewed from the crowd I’m response to the first few notes would have you believe you’re here to see Polo G in the flesh. The energy went up to and past 11 from that moment on.
In a brief address to the crowd post the intro track, Cypress let everyone know that the Paid in Full tour was more that just a concert experience, it was a party and everyone was there to get a little crazy. Encouragement to take the drugs your brought in with you or sip on what you purchased at the bar was given, but not without a word of caution as it’s always important to be responsible when indulging. His mention of this being a party was in the end an incredibly accurate statement. The bill for last night featured more performers that I’ve seen at the last three shows I’ve attended combined.
While only half of Shoreline was present there was definitely a mafia of rappers at First Avenue last night. The rappers would have to wait however as the first man up was a b-boy of sorts, and an aptly timed dance break was what really got the crowd excited to see some more performances. Popping, locking, dropping and back flipping we’re all in the arsenal and it looked like quite the work out. It was a treat to see other elements of hip hop culture in play and celebrated.
First to the stage we’re Ohio natives, still very much in their element, The Midwest Playboys. Fast raps and heavy bass soon replaced the air in the audience lungs as it was what they’d been waiting for, their life’s essence from the sound of the cheers. They were on the stage, in the pit and in the crowd feeding off the hype that began with Pop Out. The energy was so peak they groups decoded to shoot yet another video from the stage as the crowd went manic. To say this show was a whirlwind would be an understatement. By the time The Playboys had finished their set they were replace by DeeGoodz who was followed by another group Peso Peso. The back to back to back performances really amped up the party vibe of the evening reminding me of an event you might see at a house party fortunate enough to have an amp and a microphone.
It was relentless and I much like everyone else in attendance love every minute of our Tuesday night party. I’m n true Drake fashion the club definitely went up on a Tuesday. Minnesota’s own TWoods and the only other name I personally recognized aside from the headliner was on deck. Taking to the stage in a Prince themed denim jacket there was no mistaking where his loyalties lay. If that wasn’t proof enough his dialogue between tracks would put any lingering doubt to rest. “I’ve been waiting my whole life to play First Avenue.” TWoods remarked. I can’t help but feel pride when watching a local self made live out a dream. I’m not even a performer and that stage is iconic to me so I can only imagine. He kept the energy high and the local flare was much appreciated in a sea of performers from across the country.
By the time Cypress came to the front of the stage to announce that Shoreline would be in next the anticipation was palpable. The crowd was ready but after a small customary DJ set Cypress came back out. He informed the crowd that he was the bearer of both good and bad news and asked what the crowd wanted first. The good new was that Shoreline was on the way to the venue and the bad news was that we as a group would have to collectively rock with him for a bit longer. It wasn’t so much bad news, more a minor set back as he confessed he’d been trying to stall. A move I’m sure everyone accustomed to hip hop live is aware of. Rockstar time moves different to a regular clock.
About ten minutes after that announcement Shoreline had arrived and they made their way directly from the back door to the stage. It was explosive. The crowd moved with the fluidity of ocean waves as half of the Mafia tore up the stage. While they may have been late they made up for it by bringing the up and coming Warhol.SS with them. Rowdy doesn’t do the energy, shared between Ohgeesy and Fenix Flexin, justice. Given that touring in today’s age is a must for any artist who wants to make it, it’s not a surprise their live show was so well executed. Despite only having been in the game for a brief few years they performed with the skills of veteran playing off the energy of each other as much as that of the audience. The fact that two of the four members were not present did not stop, slow, or impede Shorelines performance it was a non stop onslaught of booming west coast vibes and sharp witty lyricism. They were able to make their way through their hits and then some before their audio was cut by the house and the show was forced to come to a close. 9:30pm seems an early close for a rap show and while it could have been related to the fact that this was an all ages event, my suspicion is they were a little to wild for First Avenue on a Tuesday. All in all the show really a stands true to the testament that Shoreline (do in fact) Do That Shit.