It's never easy to gauge the scene at a hip hop show, especially lately. Even though Aesop Rock has just dropped the incredible Skelethon LP, and has been having a successful tour thus far, for some reason we weren't exactly expecting a packed house at the Mod Club last night. We were of course mistaken, as the venue was wall to wall before we even got there. Selling out on the day of, there were handfuls of people who unfortunately left it to the last minute stranded outside.
We managed to catch the last few tracks from Edison, who was amazing. Rocking beats out on a little controller that you likely know the name of, but we don't. The place was too packed for us to edge to the front without upsetting diehards who had obviously been there a while before us, so we set up shop somewhere in the middle, and without much of a wait between acts, we were blessed with the presence of DJ Big Wiz, Rob Sonic, and Aesop Rock.
The three of them as a group are known as Hail Mary Mallon, however this performance was reserved mostly, but of course not entirely of Aesop's new material from Skelethon. We of course were also treated to tunes from the crew, as well as some of Rob Sonic's incredible forthcoming project titled Alice In Thunderdome.
Always an engaging performer, Aesop Rock took time to make sure we knew how much he appreciates our love and support, as well as letting the DJ, Big Wiz, have some shine, letting us in on what he can do with two turntables and foot pedal sampler. His solo segment played like a battle set from which he wouldv'e surely emerged the victor. And of course as we expected, he brought up one lucky fan so Edison could give him the haircut of a lifetime. From start to finish, the whole crowd was all in. Focused.
After a final tune from Skelethon, as promised, Aesop Rock let the crowd vote on a couple classics to round out the evening, and as long time fans, we were not at all disappointed by their choices of Big Bang and Daylight/Nightlight. It was a memorable way to finish up a rock solid set, including letting the crowd sing the Daylight hook without the instrumental, warning the crowd to ease up on kicking eachother in the face and telling the lone crowdsurfer the reason people keep dropping him is likely because they are sick of carrying him. We do applaud his endurance however.
All in all, Aesop Rock proved to us that hip hop is alive and well, especially in Toronto. The crowd was fully engaged and couldn't have been more supportive to a seasoned pro who is obviously someone they've all been excited to see for a long time. Thanks to everyone there and everyone involved. That, friends, was a dope rap show.