You know the feeling of finally being able to see an artist live that you’ve been listening to for years? You’ve meticulously planned out the ideal set list in your head, go through the artist’s discography just to make sure no loose songs have slipped through the cracks, and you wait excitedly for the big moment when you can finally cross their name off a long list of “artists I’ve seen live.”
That was how I felt when I was finally able to see Danny Brown in concert. Hot off the release of his new album on Warp records, uknowhatimsayin¿, Danny Brown touched down in New Orleans and delivered one of the most off the wall, radical, adrenaline fueled performances I’ve ever seen.
After two dope opening sets by artists Zelooperz and Ashnikko, Danny took the stage, dapping up people in the crowd and smiling wildly, before going into the lead single to his new album, “Dirty Laundry”, and from that moment all bets were off. His energy was infectious, and the room felt electric as audience members around me rapped back every word; it was cult like in the best possible way, and Danny was our goofy, fast talking spiritual guru.
It was when he began playing songs off his first 3 studio albums that things really started to get insane. His sophomore album, Old, prominently featured loud, dubstep influenced trap bangers, and tracks like “Dope Song” and “Dip” translated the best live, with the crowd acting as a gigantic wave of dancing, moshing and bouncing, never once stopping to catch a breath.
Danny’s 2016 album, Atrocity Exhibition, is my personal favorite, and hearing songs from it that I’ve picked apart and analyzed for years played live, with face melting results, was incredible. Abrasive, off kilter songs like “Ain’t it Funny” and “Really Doe” were absolutely captivating, but the highlight of the show for me may have been “When it Rain”, with its schizophrenic production, bass boosted beat switches, and maniacal rapping, it was an absolutely jaw dropping song. The trippy, spastic visuals were a nice touch as well.
By concert’s end, I was drenched in sweat, my body ached, and my vocal chords were practically shot, but it was well worth it. Danny rounded out his set with some of his more slow, fun songs, including his massive single “Grown Up”, the classic “I Will” off his debut album XXX, and his new single “Best Life”, which he closed with, before laughing his trademark laugh, high fiving the crowd and then walking off.
Danny Brown’s set was a tight hour and fifteen minutes, but my head is still spinning almost a week later, and it was one of the most memorable and enjoyable concert experiences I’ve had in a long time.
If you’ve never seen Danny Brown live, I can’t recommend it highly enough. His new album is amazing, so do yourself a favor and check it out. As for me, I’m more than happy to say I’ve finally crossed Danny Brown’s name off my list.