As we get ready for the Spring 2014 Teen Reviewers and Critics Program, we’re taking a look back at some of the fall’s most interesting reviews and events. Here’s Pedro on Mellow High at the Gramercy Theatre. Don’t forget to check out the TRaC website for more information on this spring’s upcoming program!
Mellow High. The name alone might give you some indication of what this hip-hop trio is known for. Waiting in line for this concert, I really didn’t know what to expect. Considering it was my first time viewing a live hip-hop performance, I was filled with skeptical interest. Skeptical because I’ve never heard of this group before, which is composed of Odd Future member rappers Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats and producer Left Brain. Yet, I was enticed by the promise of a weird and fun experience.
The line was heavily populated by young adults. In fact, I doubt anyone present was older than twenty-five. Speaking of demographics, the females in this concert were definitely a minority. With the vast majority of these fans being adolescent males (most of whom probably had school the next day), the levels of testosterone during the performance was at times too much for some to handle (one girl even fainted).
Upon entering the theater, I found the initial half hour to be dull as we had to wait for Mellow High to actually arrive. I noticed it wasn’t very crowded which, again, probably had to do with the fact it was a school night. After thirty minutes of just standing around, the opening act began. Opening for Mellow High was just a DJ who wasn’t particularly entertaining, however, before leaving and taking his equipment, he did manage to warm up the crowd somewhat.
Finally the real show began as Left Brain got on stage and began fidgeting with his equipment. In response to this, the entire crowd came alive as people began to move closer and closer to the stage. Then Domo and Hodgy got on stage and were met with the roar of this relatively small crowd. They began to perform. In the beginning the fans were responsibly enthusiastic, however, somewhere between the second and third song a few of them seemed to have lost their minds.
I was shoved to the side as a bunch of teenage kids started to stampede their way into the crowd. This quickly turned into the notorious mosh pit. In a fit of emotional outbursts and mania they began prancing around in circles punching and kicking in all directions while reciting the lyrics to the songs being performed. For several reasons, the reaction of the crowd was more entertaining than the actual musical performance. Over time, listening to Mellow High became boring as, not being familiar with the songs, the music started to feel repetitive. The crowd, however was pretty crazy.
There was one guy who definitely deserves a notable mention. This kid for some strange reason felt it appropriate to run through the crowd, get on stage, sprint behind Domo Genesis as he was in the middle of spitting his verse and then leap into the crowd only to be carried by the fans. Oh, and he did all of this while wearing a panda mask. He actually attempted this same stunt several times; however, security would push him to the floor whenever the crowd carried him towards the stage again.
The abundant energy of some of the people in the crowd was indeed fun to watch. It’s like they had these bottled up, suppressed urges inside of them and released it at the sound of their favorite songs. Now, the performance its self was kind of uneventful. I could only loosely make out what they were saying as they rapped, and I didn’t know any of the songs in their lineup, which made it even harder to understand. Ironically, the parts I enjoyed the most were when they weren’t rapping at all.
Between songs they would sort of just engage the crowd in small talk, which was cool because you got to see their sense of humor and their personalities. However, this didn’t compensate for the largely boring two hours of bland music. So while the experience as a whole was fun, the music itself was less than great.