Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Danny Brown at The Sugar Club (17/06/13) - A Review

''This ain't a rap concert. This is a party with all of my friends, and we just listening to some songs we all like.''

Danny Brown makes this welcome announcement to a wildly receptive crowd as he takes to the stage in The Sugar Club around the 10pm mark last night, and the sentiment seems to hold true throughout the night as the eternally eccentric rapper makes a point of using the intimacy of this small Irish venue to his full advantage. The same crowd that remained seated and stationary during Irish rapper Rob Kelly's enjoyable opening set (and his final show before retirement) move quickly to the front and centre when Brown appears, leaving every last seat empty as they clamour around the Detroit star, who responds with a series of high fives for those in the front row and beyond.

Brown opens his set with a number of covers; 'Jealousy' by The Purist, 'Toxic' by Childish Gambino and best of all, 'Black Brad Pitt' by Evil Nine, but in reality if you weren't aware of the original artists you'd never be able to tell these songs weren't written by Brown himself, who delivers them in his trademark gritty style, bouncing around the stage and making the audience jump manically at the same time. The young audience seem near possessed by their artist, who makes a point of directly addressing the crowd in between songs, forming a bond that lasts the entirety of the set by giving us excellent quotes such as: ''I wish I was down there with you instead of up here working. I'm jealous as a motherfucker right now.''

From the early covers Brown phases into his own work, delivering favourites from hit 2011 album XXX  like 'I Will', 'Radio Song', 'Bruiser Brigade' and 'Lie4' that inject excess adrenaline into the already pumping room, and perhaps the biggest element in Brown's success is the fact that he is quite obviously enjoying it himself, feeding off the crowd and transferring his own energy into theirs, nearly to the point that the division between onstage and offstage is non existent. As the set finishes up Brown opts for a series of sing along songs in the form of 'Monopoly' and 'Blunt After Blunt', the latter marking the absolute high point of the night as entire room seems to partake in the delivery of the chorus, defining the interactive style of a Danny Brown concert going experience.

Leaving the stage, Brown still makes sure to reach as many fans as possible as they outstretch arms in attempt to greet him, and there is truly a sense of disappointment that time is up when the lights come on, although the entire crowd have been left exhausted by a speedy hardcore set that couldn't have let a single audience member down. I was aware of Brown's live reputation before the gig (the stories of oral sex onstage and Brown's tendency to join the crowd on the floor), but it's hard not be incredibly impressed by the whole experience which involves fans quite unlike anything I've seen before. The intimacy and romance of The Sugar Club was a blessing and combined with Brown's unique style to perfection, providing Irish fanswith a real treat last night.

If you're any kind of self respecting hip-hop/rap fan, make it your business to see Danny Brown while you still can on such a low-key scale; you will not be disappointed.


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