Run the Jewels sold out the Observatory North Park, but that was no surprise.
I traced the contour of people on the sidewalk. The vehicle’s that rested along the curb bore 91x’s namesake. Anxious dialogue and daily stories echoed against the Observatory’s walls. MTS busses buzzing down the avenue carrying curious passengers that surveyed their usually mundane route. The genesis of North Park’s Monday night seemingly unfolded before me. Security frisked and searched every pocket, nick, and shoe. Despite the constant routine, the feeling of foreign hands making way down your body never settles into normality. As the monstrous doors open, lights, lasers, and smoked peeped out to the street. The beautifully decorated interior reminiscent of Paris’s Belle Époque era set the atmosphere.
The evening began with various talented DJ’s spinning a wide catalogue of music. The crowd’s pre-show soundtrack included 90’s hip-hop and obscure Latin-dance tunes. The sticky floor from spilt beer was an indicator of the rowdiness to come.
Above the stage hung the massive “pistol and fist” logo. Interrupting the sold out venue’s dialogue, ran out the highly anticipated Run the Jewels. Immediately the crowd went into an uproar, dancing, crowd swaying, and singing along to every song .
Beneath my feet, the old wooden floored rumbled from the heavy sub bass. Overhead, the chandeliers cast shadows that danced on the ceiling in sync with the stage lights . Throughout the show, Killer Mike had bits where he elegantly spoke to the crowd regarding current events. Whereas El-P carried himself in a light hearted tone, reciting mock poetry.
Their cleverly composed songs, engaging live performance, and tasteful political insight definitely make Run the Jewels the pinnacle of mainstream alternative hip-hop. Do yourself a favor and catch them live the next opportunity you get, you won’t regret it.
Review by: Pepe Gonzalez
Photos by: Lilay Cai