Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017

Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017Run the Jewels + Danny Brown @ O2 Academy, 14th November, 2017

If you are familiar with both of these artists you will understand why I was so excited to attend this gig tonight. Their sets are deemed to be the stuff of legends and with three albums (not bad considering originally it was a one off project), I needed to see them in person. I’ve been to many gigs in my years but tonight truly cemented the fact that hip-hop is unequivocally the new punk rock; I know that this is a tremendously brave statement but if you’d like to debate that with me then you clearly were not here. Both Danny Brown and Run The Jewels turned the venue into an emotive, mosh pit laden, barrel of laughs and I can quite honestly say that I haven’t been to a gig like this for a long time.

Danny Brown entered to “Iron Man” from Birmingham’s own Black Sabbath; at the time I thought that this was truly genius and he was playing on the hearts of the locals, but it turns out that he is just a massive fan of the band. If you could think up a perfect warm-up artist for Run the Jewels this would probably be one of the main contenders on your list. Brown, with his very unique vocal, together with his beat maker and DJ, helped to get the crowd moving and participating in a way that I haven’t seen from a supporting act for quite some time. It was almost like the crowd had the same passion for his material, as they did for Run the Jewels. I only started listening to him as a result of this gig, but it is hard to escape the infectious beats and sing-along vibes of tracks like ‘Ain’t it Funny’, ‘Smokin’ and Drinkin’ as well as ‘Dip’ which I recall turned virtually the whole of the stalls area into a mosh pit. His 45-minute set was that packed he couldn’t speak between tracks and I am definitely now a fan.

Run the Jewels came to the stage at 9:15 and as Killer Mike promised they definitely brought their “dancing rage to the fucking stage” with their 18 track set. One thing that set this apart from your usual gig was how they made a 3000+ venue feel like it was the most intimate gig that you had ever been to. The duo worked the crowd in such a way that you personally felt you were the most important person in the venue tonight. I knew that by the end of the night I was going to officially be a “Jewel Runner” especially after the number of times I (and the 3000 others in the venue) had thrown up “the pistol and fist”.

The 18 track set was mainly tracks from their latest release but there was a nice blend of some of their “classics” thrown in for good measure to keep the “older” fans satisfied. They wanted the crowd to start happy and leave the venue feeling truly satisfied and that is exactly what they did. “Talk to Me” blended really nicely with “Legend Has It” sent the venue into hysteric, rabid, punk-rock style pogoing, so much so that they needed to issue a health and safety warning to the crowd to protect the people at the front.

When I say we all went mental to “Nobody Speak” and “Close Your Eyes”; I do mean that every single person in the venue was hands in the air, pogoing, moshing, or doing all three at the same time. I was kind of hoping that Danny Brown would join them for “Hey Kids” but this was not meant to be, and I’ve still got “Stay Gold” as an earworm. It was nice to see how many different generations were in this together tonight – some were there because they’d been dragged to it by their kids, but there was a lot of old-skool hip-hop fans that (like me) knew that RTJ craft rap music that draws on the influences that they love. Both Killer Mike and El-P deliver heartfelt mind-blowing lyrics in a way that when you mix this with bass and beats it creates an energy that literally hits you like a can of Red Bull (other energy drinks are available).

Before the main set closed with “Down”, there was a hint of beautiful vulnerability shown when Mike talked about his depression after losing his mother. He gave the crowd some wonderful advice and everything he said hit home to the point that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about mental health and we should help each other out. Even though it is over a month away until Christmas I think it was justified for them to close the show and encore with “A Christmas Fucking Miracle” – I think this was the first “Christmas song” I’ve heard in 2017!

Killer Mike and El-P delivered the set with a superb blend of humour and infectious likeability. There was a fabulous ‘living room party’ atmosphere throughout the entire gig and they definitely delivered on their promise that tonight was going to be “a mutha-fucking blockbuster of a night!” RTJ MF!

Set List

Talk to Me (RTJ 3)

Legend Has It (RTJ 3)

Call Tickerton (RTJ 3)

Blockbuster Night Part 1 (RTJ 2)

Oh My Darling Don’t Cry (RTJ 2)

36” Chain (RTJ)

Stay Gold (RTJ 3)

Don’t Get Captured (RTJ 3)

Panther Like a Panther (RTJ 3)

Nobody Speak (DJ Shadow Cover)

Pew Pew Pew Intro

Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck) (RTJ 2)

Hey Kids (Bumaye) (RTJ 3)

Sea Legs (RTJ)

A Report to the Shareholders (RTJ 3)

Thursday in the Danger Room (RTJ 3)

Down (RTJ 3)

Encore

A Christmas Fucking Miracle (RTJ)

 

Reviewer: Imran Khan

Photographer: Marc Osborne

Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply


LANY @ o2 Insitute, 9th December 2017

The Ancient Greek aphorism “knows thyself” has been the seat of conceptual knowledge that has driven humans to contemplative realms […]

JP Cooper @ o2 Institute, 8 December, 2017

JP Cooper has had a smashing year; hit singles “September Song” and “Perfect Strangers” were the standout songs of the […]

Nothing More @ o2 Institute 8 December, 2017

In a mad rush with really bad traffic outside, on a cold winter night I enter a warm, steamy, crowded […]

Happy Mondays @ o2 Institute 6 December, 2017

It’s been a very long time since I last saw the Happy Mondays I think we are probably going back […]

Marilyn Manson @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton 6 December, 2017

Having not been to see Marilyn Manson for over a decade, I was quite excited and anticipated a great theatrical […]

JAWS + Marsicans @ 02 Institute, 2nd December, 2017

  Our team went to see JAWS hometown gig with Marsicans supporting. The first time I heard Marsicans I was […]