A full house was in order this Saturday night at Minneapolis’s own Armory. Let’s just take in the idea of a packed out Armory, it’s a sight to behold in itself. However tonight Juice WRLD and Co. we’re here to steal the show and the youth were ready. If the line that stretched around a downtown block wasn’t enough of a testament to the presence some of these new age rockstars have within the current culture, their following performance certainly would be.
The crowd grew by the minute as the performance time drew closer and closer and it seemed an unusually large sum of people had already been pulled from the front of the crowd due to overheating. The security team did their best to distribute water to those in the front few rows and before they had finished someone was ready to take the stage. Yung Bans was first out representing for the Lyrical Lemonade Allstars. Energy from the get go as bound from back stage. Bans did his best to get the crowd going and it worked. As the crowed bounced to his chant the floor shook. His performance also included a shout out and dedication to Bans friend and fellow artist YNW Melly who was recently incarcerated. Pacing from one side of the pit to the other Bans made sure to get the whole crowd involved as he climbed various points of the barricade. The whole crowd was singing along at that point and the energy in the crowd was growing, a trend that would continue throughout the evening. Finishing a modest but strong set Yung Bans made his exit and the Lyrical Lemonade cartons deflated.
The transition between sets was quick and somewhat surprisingly the next act on was Juice WRLD. The stage had been covered in huge LCD screens and derby cars inspired by what I’m assuming is Death Race, given the title of the tour and his latest album being ‘Death Race for Love.’ His DJ of course did the classic crowd warm ups running though Sicko Mode, Mo Bamba and the like just to get the energy up. And when the Nero was right Juice WRLD hit the stage. Juice had been what we were waiting for and he didn’t disappoint. He sang his heart out and so did the crowd in front of him. He disappeared shortly thereafter, maybe 25 minutes, leaving me still wanting a bit more Juice.
A reversion to the basics took place as the LCDs were clicked off and the house lights were turned on. A DJ again set up center stage and let everyone know it was now time for Ski Mask the Slump God himself. He’s spent a bit of time spinning, throwing out tribute to the recently deceased XXX Tentacion before the Slump God showed up. He showed up and it went off. Kids were pulled out left and right as Ski Mask was consistent with his reminders to “open up as many mosh pits as out can.” It had turned into a Ski Mask show at the drop of a hat it seemed. The chants grew louder and the floor shook now more than before. Faucet Failure was a highlight of the set as it really made things happen and just like that Juice WRLD was back on stage. Juice and Ski Mask shared some stage time over the course of a handful of tracks. They congratulated each other by way of crowd participation and attempted to get the crowd to participate in a good old fashioned wall of death style mosh. The crowd was parted down the middle and the audience was given instructions to wait for the command. The beat dropped and the mosh happened as the two sides became one again.
Ski Mask eventually left Juice WRLD to do his own thing, something like finishing his set from earlier except that time is was actually better. Still riding the energy of that last epic mosh, Juice descended in to his catalogue of hit tracks from old school to new school he played it all and everyone lost their mind while he did. A highlight of his performance had to be his tribute to everyone before performing his track Legends. Giving a should out to the many young artists who the culture has lost recently, the song is Juice dead set on not being dubbed a ‘Legend’ himself. He dedicated the song to XXX Tentacion, to Nipsey Hussle, Mac Miller and many more before ending with a final dedication to the one and only Purple One. The familiar hits he was playing seemed to be accompanied by live percussion and due to that they felt very much alive. This show did a lot for those in attendance from pretty much every stand point and it most certainly further established to me and everyone else that rappers are just the rockstars of the present day.