Friday Night: Slim Thug, Z-Ro, Devin & Friends At Warehouse Live
Slim Thug, Z-Ro, Devin the Dude, Afroman, Fat Tony, Killa Kyleon, Jack Freeman, UZOY, Mezou
Photos by Marco Torres Mouths of the South (L-R): Z-Ro, Slim Thug, Devin the Dude
August 5, 2011
9:08 p.m.: Oh my. So, the show tonight - Slim, Ro, Devin, Afroman and openers - is mostly guys you can see in Houston just about anytime. Also, it's only a little after 9 p.m.; they're barely starting to let people in. Still, there is a line, thick and strong, that wraps around the venue. There have to be at least 700 people already. Shit. Excellent. Kudos to Layne Schmerin et al.
9:22: Because it bears mentioning: The crowd tonight is almost entirely young and white. The DJ, Matt Murdock, also young and white, is burning through a heavy Houston set, and the crowd is keeping pace. He hits Ke, Moe, UGK, Screw and more, and there is no misstep.
And these kids are not listening to this or singing along in an ironic sense; they appear to genuinely feel it and appreciate what they've interpreted it as. Crazy. Who knew they were mobbin' so hard in Bellaire*?
*We're aware that that jokey ending undercuts the premise of that timestamp. Whatevs. Don't think so hard, bro.
9:28: UZOY, the 2DBZ-backed femmebot (above), is opening. She's an energetic little something. Neat. Like her. Did you listen to her The [Def]inition tape from earlier this year? It was thorough. She's smart to talk to about rap. The crowd whoops a tad, though it almost feels dutiful. Strange.
9:30: She's doing this song.
9:34: Says the DJ: "Remember, after the show you can get your picture taken with Z-Ro in the back after the show tonight!" Eh, pictures with Z-Ro? Not sure about that one. Is there any way that that doesn't end like that Zoo Bear Attack video from Ebaum's World? A picture with Z-Ro is cool. Not getting mauled to death is cooler, though. Probably gonna go ahead and skip that one.
9:38: Poking around a bit, talking to folks about things. If you've never just started a conversation with someone at a concert, you are absolutely missing out; it is almost always a good idea. At any rate, we happen to accidentally meet the DJ's dad. He's here to support, snapping pictures of his son in action, just generally looking very proud. Love that.
9:41: A young man named Mezou is out there now. He's a senior in high school or something (some kids behind us are talking about him). He's serviceable enough, but he plays too much of his songs. We've been to a ton of rap shows. Unless you know them personally, openers almost always stink. They just seem to be in the way. But, we have seen some really good ones. There's a formula to giving a great show when no one knows your music. When you're an unknown and are performing, you should structure your set like this:
1. Start with something punchy, your heaviest, biggest, most intimidating sound. Do that song for, at most, one verse. As much as you love it, nobody else knows it. They'll zone out after too long. And if that happens, you've lost them for good. Think on it like watching a video on YouTube: If there's not something interesting happening, nobody watches more than 30 seconds of a video that they don't know anything about. You have to keep it moving.
2. Follow that up with something that people recognize; a famous beat, preferably.
3. Do another snippet of one of your songs. Never stop to talk or explain anything. Nobody cares that you wrote this next song with your friend in the car while you were getting high or whatever.
4. Go back to something people know. Try to pick a song that people can play along with, like an old Houston song (in this case, "Barre Baby" would've killed). Again, keep it short.
5. Back to your music.
6. Finish with something fun and maybe even silly. There's no way anybody wakes up the day after a show and says, "Hey, what was the name of that one opener? The one that did zero songs that I knew?" Likewise, there's no way anybody wakes up the day after a show and doesn't mention the guy that played the theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to end his set.
Bam. You just gained a whole bunch of new fans in seven minutes. You're welcome.