Flatbush Zombies @ Williamsburg Hall of Music NYC April 24th, 2014

This was one of the more interesting performances I’ve attended this year and it’s actually a pretty good story.  I definitely learned something from this show.  I had so much anticipation for this event. Everyone has bad days but…

So, I’m heading up to New York to visit with my family.  My mother decided that she wanted to take my 14 year old nephew from Burlington North Carolina to New York City for his first ever trip to The Big Apple.  A few days before my adventure I decided to see what shows were occurring while I was in the city.  Doing some searching online I come across tickets to see the Flatbush Zombies my first night in town!  I’m super excited at this point.  Every time that they’ve come to Washington DC up to this point I’ve missed.  I was either on vacation or just caught the announcement too late.  For whatever reason, I’d not been able to see them to date.  However, to catch them on their home turf, in Brooklyn NY would be amazing!  This was personally worth the $70 I paid for my ticket to the already sold out show.  Ok, so everything is just coming together at this point.  I’m planning to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in 10 years that has recently moved from San Francisco to New York (I was able to get him a ticket for $20 as opposed to my $70, but hey at this point I’m on vacation and we’re going to the show so I wasn’t going to be salty).  I’m super excited all of this is happening the first night I’m in town!  What could possibly go wrong?

Flatbush Zombies @ Williamsburg Hall of Music April 24, 2014

Flatbush Zombies @ Williamsburg Hall of Music

I catch a Uber to my friends spot in Ridgewood where we take the L train to the venue.  We walk into The Williamsburg Hall of Music having just missed Grande Marshall.  There was a dj (I later find out was Fools Gold co owner Nick Catchdubs) is just burning the dance floor with all the turn up anthems.  Kids are going crazy, moshing, crowd surfing, throwing ice off the balcony’s.  The energy in the room was definitely noted.  After about 45 minutes the first performance steps on stage.  We later find out that the 100’s who were also on the bill was unable to make the flight to the east coast, or got stuck at Cochella, something.  So A$AP mob stepped in to fill the void.  This wasn’t A$AP Rocky or A$AP Ferg though.  This was like the 4th stringers.  Maybe I should be paying attention more to their crew, but I don’t know A$AP members Nast and Twelvy are.  Twelvy performed a new song potentially titled “I got hoes” with about 100 dudes from his posse and 0 women on stage.  I thought that was kind of hysterical.  If you got hoes, where are they?  They however ripped through a 45 minute set that consisted of a mixture of NYC boom bap and southern trap styled tracks before diving into the crowd disappearing almost as quickly as they arrived.

Nick Catchdubs then hops back on stage for another DJ set.  This time it felt much longer.  With the majority of the crowd there to see Flatbush Zombies the energy was felt like it was disapating with all of the anticipation.  It was almost as if Catchdubs burnt the crowd out, whom at this point just wanted to see the headliners.  Stagehands set up the stage with skulls, dry ice, and passed a substance that created a spider web from the front of the stage to the back of the concert hall.   Fans began to chant “Zombie, Zombie, Zombie”!  Right on cue, Zombie Juice sprinted out from backstage with so much energy I felt the room immediately lift back up. With his hair tied back, and hands and wrists taped, it was as if he was coming out to a fist fight.  Introducing his comrades, Erick “Arc” Elliott and Meechy Darko.  Wearing a ski mask and guzzling a 40 of Olde English, Meech slammed his drink down on the DJ’s table and then…silence.

With his laptop drenched in malt liquor, the group’s DJ had no other options to play music forcing the trio to spit acapella as they searched for a solution. Meech, taking full responsibility, hopped into the crowd and performed his verse from “Thug Waffle”.  The Zombies were left with an iPod acting as the only alternative, the music kicked back in and the mosh pit resumed.

Clearly, I was bummed out.  All that build up to see a performance that definitely wasn’t rehearsed.  Although the group did pull it together.  I can’t say I left not wondering what they had in store for us with the set that they practiced.  Also, I was reminded of that old adage “the show must go wrong”.  Whenever there is a performance, something always happens.  That’s why you always have to be prepared as much as humanly possible for something to go haywire.  I’m not saying bring a 2nd laptop (although if I was elected to  be the tour dj for Flatbush I’d definitely have a back up machine) but, maybe even just a thumb drive with the set on it that in case someone spills a beer on your gear, you can borrow a machine and perform the set.

All in all it was a fun night.  I just had a heavy reminder that being professional always requires a few extra steps.  Also, that even if you have a catastrophe on stage, keep going…

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