Boston Calling has officially closed its doors on day two in preparation of their grand Sunday finale. Luckily, Saturday was much better than Friday. Not only did the sun decide to show up (for a hot second), all the artists seemed to have an energy to them that excited the crowd and made it a festival to start talking about. Not only did we get to enjoy Hannibal Buress’ A+ comedy set, but we were able to catch some great acts like Boston native Cousin Stizz, indie rap-god Danny Brown, and supergroup The xx. The 1975 also delivered a lively set, but they ended about 15 minutes early and rushed into a sprinter van before they could even be summoned for an encore.
3 Reasons Why Danny Brown’s Set was 3 Times Better than Migos (Even though there were 3x less rappers)
1) He started on time.
Waiting for his set to start his DJ didn’t assault the audience every 3 seconds saying “ARE YOU READY FOR [insert artist]”. It was unnecessary, the crowd WAS ready for [insert artist]. He dove right into his set without any fluff or any DJ posturing. He started exactly as scheduled and didn’t need any other rapper’s hits to hype the crowd up. As soon as he screeched out his signature “CHEEECKKK” that was it. He had everyone ecstatic.
2) He didn’t rap over a vocal track.
While not necessarily a bad thing in every case, often a criticism of hip-hop live shows is that the artists often don’t give fully autonomous performances. They simply play their songs and in the worst cases (i.e. Riff Raff) kind of vibe out to their own music on stage and just hop in every once in awhile to say the last few words of a line then just go back to dancing around. It feels a bit dis-ingenuine, and when done poorly can rob a set of its’ authenticity. In Migos’ performance, a combination of poor microphone technique coupled with a bad case of the Riff-Raff’s led to the very antithesis of the Danny Brown show. Danny Brown was passionate, rapping fluidly without any vocals behind him, sounding crisp and clean. The only time Brown used any backing vocals was for a chorus here or there. The thing was though you could barely tell because his preceding lines blended seamlessly with the recorded vocals. He wasn’t simply an entertainer on that stage, he was an artist.
3) He had a superior DJ.
While the Migos’ DJ did a fair job of hyping the crowd up and would interject with silly things like “MIIIGOOOSS” every once in a while, Danny Brown’s SKYWLKR, Bruiser Brigade’s resident in-house producer, did a better job at getting the crowd going while remaining totally mute. Rather than speak into a mic, he spoke by using his laptop, keeping things interesting by changing up the beats on songs, seamlessly transitioning from the instrumentals that we know and love, to playing a modified or totally unheard instrumental for a couple lines before going back to the original backing track. At times his presence was equally as felt as the artist he was supporting, and his productional touch on every song he was involved with was exceedingly clear.
We’re looking forward to Sunday with performances like Mitski, Cage the Elephant, and Weezer on the lineup.
Check out our Snapchat @wrbb1049 for some #sick updates on Day 3.
-Kenny and Brooke, MD