Meme Night at Terminal West
One of the more interesting evenings of music Atlanta has witnessed in a while. I know it was for me, and given the lineup of Eli Porter, Riff Raff, and The Black Lips, I can only imagine the same holds true for anybody else in attendance at Terminal West at King Plow.
The evening starting with two rap artists, despite their television appearances, owe most of their success to the virality of their YouTube presence.
For a complete recap of the show as well as more photos and video, check beneath the fold.
Also be sure to check out Creative Loafing’s review of the evening as well
(but don’t tell them it wasn’t a dubstep show!)
The wait leading up to Eli Porter‘s set felt long in part due to audience anticipation; more likely, however, it’s the short length of Eli’s set. This is only an observation and not a complaint; I do not expect a rapper who’s claim to fame is 90 seconds of ad-lib over The Diplomats to have a fully developed set. In the artist’s defense, never let it be claimed that Eli Porter isn’t a performer who knows how to play to his strengths. The lyrical content of Porter’s music is nothing outside the traditional expectations of mainstream rap music, with insightful metaphors on one’s lyrical ability, net worth, and affinity for asset collection. Eli Porter‘s presence alone seems enough to captivate his audience’s attention. Perhaps it is a product of the artists few public performances, or maybe the audience’s seemingly universal low expectations. Given the production quality of the video that debuted Eli Porter to the world, I do not think it is an unfair assumption either.
Following Eli Porter‘s roughly half-dozen song set, Terminal West was graced by the presence of Riff Raff. Gaining notoriety for bizarre YouTube videos, an appearance on an MTV reality show, and signings to Soulja Boy’s SODMG, and Diplo’s Mad Decent record label, expectations seemed higher, albeit still reserved, for Riff Raff’s appearance. The artist’s fans quite literally “Brought The Rice Out” (citing the artists popular single), standing in the crowd quickly felt like being a newlywed as suddenly I found myself surrounded by dozens of people hurling rice by the jarful.
The contrast between the two rapper’s style of performance was quite stark; Eli Porter appearing to me to have a better command of his audience while performing his music however, Riff Raff‘s personality and quick tongue brings a unique sense of audience interaction to his performance. Two totally different approaches to handling crowds, a concept both artists seemed to clearly understand and fortunately work to their advantage.
The evening was capped off by an energetic performance from Atlanta-based punk quartet The Black Lips – whose music I appreciate however, what I took away from their performance was the way the entire venue’s dynamic shifted as soon as they took the stage. There is not much need to explain the differences between obscenely self-referencing rap music and punk rock, nor do I need to elaborate on the differences between the two behaviors of crowds during the two contrasting events.
A number of readers of this site are fans of electronic music with an appreciation for how ‘things can go seriously wrong’ when changing performers results in a jarring change in style and tempo — not the case with The Black Lips following rappers.
It is important to discuss it is likely the only time I will witness them occurring nearly simultaneously, and in an intimate environment such as Terminal West as opposed to a major music festival, where schizophrenic booking seems the expectation.
Shout out to the FOH / monitor engineers at Terminal West last night; they definitely earned their pay keeping everything in-check last night between such unique performers.