Yelawolf - Culture Room - April 25 (Video)
Photo by Alex Markow
After having to stand through an hour long DJ set -- which had me wondering why nobody dances to make the waiting experience more enjoyable -- the extremely anxious and drunk crowd began to chant the Southern rapper's name. Despite their failed efforts, the tension built up for another 20 minutes before the lanky, heavily tattooed Yelawolf finally made his way to the stage.
Wearing a black motorcycle jacket, multi-colored wayfarers, and a fedora, he flew out onto the stage like a bat out of hell. The crowd pretty much lost their shit and went bananas at the sheer sight of him. Jumping right into "Daddy's Lambo", the energy in the room went from 0-60 in a matter of seconds.
Going right into Trunk Muzik's title track, followed by "No Hands" and "I Wish" at no point did Yelawolf lose the crowd's energy or attention. Hands up, jumping in the air to the beat, the crowd was more than pleased to yell the lyrics back in a call and response style. They even attempted to keep up with his spitfire rhymes, but were no match for his machine gun pacing.
"Does anyone have a light?" Yelawolf asked the crowd.
He lit his cigarette, took a puff and gazed out into the crowd with a wide-eyed smile. He looked like a little kid in the candy store. It's then that you realize this growing fame has had no effect on his ego. He's still just a Southern skater boy from Alabama who happens to get paid to do what he loves.
"You'll have to excuse me. I'm just soaking this all in. I'm real humble about all this. I appreciate it all."
I figured after 30 minutes of releasing so much excitement the audience -- and the rapper -- had to grow tired. But, no. The energy in the room continued to build, especially after Yelawolf whipped out a bottle of Jack Daniels in which the crowd responded by chanting "chug chug chug".
"What the f--k do I look like? Will Ferrell??"
While some rappers heavily rely on bringing their "posse" out on stage, Yelawolf does not. Aside from the blue and white lights, the show was about the music. No gimmicks. No BS. In between tracks he entertained the audience with bits and pieces about his life, including a hysterical recollection of his mother's pot smoking habits before performing the anthemic "Marijuana". Before the set, I wondered why the stage hands brought out so many water bottles. How much could a person really drink during a set? I soon found out that it wasn't for drinking after the rapper continually threw water on the audience during his set. Fact: People love having water thrown on them.
The Doors, Johnny Cash, Metallica, and the Beastie Boys were just a few of the artists Yelawolf included during a mid-set medley. He bounced around stage, singing along and headbanging to the various song clips. It was as though we were watching him dance around in his bedroom to his favorite mix tape.
Towards the end of the hour long set, Yelawolf performed such hits like "I Just Want to Party", "Pop the Trunk", and the melodic track about heartbreak, "Love is Not Enough". Ending the night with "Let's Roll" was predictable, but left the crowd amped up and wanting more.
Before last week, I didn't know much about Yelawolf or his music. My only knowledge of his existence was due to internet hype and random conversations amongst friends. So, going to his show blindly and without judgment was an experience. Needless to say, he's got a new fan.
The Crowd: Lots of guys, girls with ICP tattoos, a guy wearing a giant green squid on his head
Personal Bias: Yelawolf gives me a lady boner.
Pet Peeve: Having to suffer through an hour long DJ set.
Random Thought: Why doesn't the crowd dance during the DJ sets?
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