Live Review: Danny Brown at The Grog Shop
By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor
Saturday I went to see Danny Brown at the Grog Shop for what promised to be an amazing show, with Maxo Kream and Zeelooperz headlining. I didn’t get to see Zelooperz, however by that horrendous name I probably wouldn’t want to.
Maxo Kream was in the middle of his set by the time I arrived, and he clearly commanded the attention of the crowd. It always impresses me when a performer can find charisma on stage, even more so if you’re drawn in having never heard of them. He and his hype man found the crowd’s itch of jumping up and down and piping it up like a motherfucker, and it was fun, albeit repetitive at times. Kream’s music could leave something to be desired, low-key aping Lil Uzi Vert, Curren$y, and T.I., but if you can rock a crowd, there’s not much to dissatisfied by.
That being said, Danny Brown predictably blew the house down with his performance. There isn’t a rapper alive that revels in the mosh pit-enthused atmosphere more than him, and it was in spades at the Grog Shop. From the moment “Die Like A Rockstar” came on, bodies were flung across like venue as the energy levels exploded from Brown’s cataclysmic bars. It’s a testament to the kind of fanaticism that accompanies the Detroit native’s music; the same attitude reflected in his struggle rapper turned experimental artiste mindset he so deftly provides. It was mental, sweat and beer and dehydration mixing into fervor not enjoyed by regular musicians.
The hits i.e. “Dip” and “I Will” were mixed in with some choice cuts such as “Monopoly” and Lie4” to maintain an excellent cocktail of Danny Brown’s finest moments. He didn’t talk much, occasionally shouting out Cleveland or remarking on how turnt the Grog Shop was, but besides that, he marathoned an hour and a half of high-octane frequency waves designed to melt your feeble mind. Old, XXX, and Atrocity Exhibition were all given fair time in the setlist, showcasing the different alleys Brown has explored over his major-label career. Old, while bro EDM-esque, has a signature flair as translated by Danny Brown’s inventive flows and magnetic lyrics, which worked well in the audience. Atrocity Exhibition, however short during the show (only 4 songs from it), set the standard for Brown and his brand of insanity.
It was the XXX portion at the beginning which truly inspired the raucous crowd, though. When the sweat hits your clothing and coats a large portion of your skin, it is definitively a euphoric concert moment. That's when all parties involved are in agreement, “this is awesome,” “I’m going to die,” “how can I get onto the rafters,” and it’s truly a magical experience to be a part of. Whether you were breathing down Danny’s neck or at the bar, one could tell electricity was in the air.
I was in Columbus before the show, and it was gameday. The legions of OSU fans were kind of awe-inspiring but also terrifying, one could tell if you ran down High Street with a Michigan flag you’d probably get shot. That being said, it made me think about how a lot of those same people who would maim a Michigan fan would flinch in horror at the sight of a black dude yelling about eating pussy. We all enjoy primality and debauchery in very special ways, and for some people (and me), it’s sports, but for others, Danny Brown perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a messed-up human being.