February 26 was a night I'll remember for a long, long time. Actually, that entire week I was on hip hop overload (in a good way of course). This was to be my second shoot of a truly iconic figure in hip hop in two days. By week's end it would be the second of three major shows but the 3rd show is another post.
The previous night I had the pleasure of photographing one of if not the original lyricist Rakim (formerly of Eric B & Rakim). That show was awesome with a capital awesome!!! check out the post here.
This one also had the makings to be a truly epic event, I was sure of it.
The previous night the doorman told me to come early so I didn't have to deal with the lines as I did with the Rakim show so I obliged. I arrived at about 8pm (the doors where supposed to open a 9pm) and I was surprised to see that there was no line, none at all. I was told that the show was sold out. How could this be? Did the rainy, cold, Seattle weather in February dissolve people's love for hip hop in this town? Wow!!! So I proceeded to speak with the doorman that I met the previous night as well as some of the other security.
I then decided to grab a bite at the mostly seafood restaurant next door called Moebar. When I walked in I recognized a few familiar faces. It was the "Sneaker Warz" crew Aquino, Neema (the MC of the night), Alize' and Adrianna. All true hip hop heads. I looked over the menu and decided on the field roasted sausage sandwich (totally vegan fare) and I was quite satisfied. To be honest when I ordered I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I'd definitely have it again. I know I digress. Anyone who has read my posts for any length of time know's this is a constant trend (People at work hate my emails btw).
Anyway back to the concert.
The first act that I was able to catch was my man "Leezy Soprano." I've shot Leezy at a couple events before and this guy just keeps stepping his game up. He would have to be one of the artists from the Northwest to keep an eye on. Check out the official video for "Burial" here
The second opener was our old friend "Ra Scion" as I said in the previous post he performed a couple songs the night before. This time we had the pleasure of hearing him do a full set and of course we weren't disappointed.
With "Leezy" and "Ra" on board these guys alone would have been well worth the price of admission. Check out "Ra Scions" 3 song EP short film BEGXBORROWXSTEAL here.
Finally, it was time to see the man, "Method Man" that is. One of the front men for one of the most beloved hip hop groups of all time "Wu Tang Clan."
By this time I had started to see the venue not only fill in a bit but it actually started to get downright crowded. So much so that I surmised that it would be easier and faster to exit through the side door, go around the building, through the front door and through the barricade on the opposite side of the stage than to try to make my way through the crowd just to go 100 or so feet from my current position. I'd do this several times by the end of the evening.
When it was time for the headliner "Mef" still kept us waiting, in a good way though. Other Wu members swarmed the stage and got the crowd even more hype. Among these hip hop giants were "Hannibal the Great", "Cartlton Fisk" and last but not least "Streetlife"
This show was like few hip hop performances that I've seen in Seattle. With mosh pits and crowd surfing this show reminded me of one of the "Beastie Boys" first concerts (aging myself I know). The crowd was electric and it was evident that the performers fed off of it. So much so that Mef eve n closed the show and once half of the people were gone he basically said "Syke" and started back up. Honestly he could have played for three more hours if not days and the energy would have been the same.
I have this to say, Method man is a great performer and a brilliant showman. Thank you to Neumos for hosting another fabulous event.
Here are links to some of the videos from the night: