Dom Kennedy Warehouse Live February 14, 2014
Mad love, among other things, was in the air Valentine's Day for Dom Kennedy's "Get Home Safely" tour. The bass of the Ballroom's speakers pushed the aromatic cannabis scent out the front doors of Warehouse Live onto St. Emanuel Street, while couples and loners alike lined the outside of the building dressed in their swaggy-est, most weather-appropriate street wear.
On the inside, loyal fans pressed up against the guardrails separating the general area from the stage, while Houston's hip-hop elite perched atop the elevated platform to the left of the venue nearest the V.I.P. area.
After openers ShoStoppa, hailing from Austin, and Houston's own WhyJae, concertgoers were introduced to the headliner's co-signee, Skeme. Mostly performing songs from his recent Ingleworld album, Skeme left the stage with adequate energy for his later return during Kennedy's performance.
Following a brief intermission, DJ Mr. Rogers stepped up to the DJ booth and proceeded to spin an incredibly wired-up and interactive set. He even took the time during his mix to shout out all the people at the concert who were replying to him via Twitter -- very dope.
After a mere three opening acts (yes only three) Dom Kennedy surfaced. The L.A. rapper brought the crowd right into his Get Home Safely album by performing "Let's Be Friends," the very first song on the project. As previously mentioned, Skeme returned to the stage to join Dom for "If It Don't Make Money" followed by "Honey Buns."
"How many of y'all got that Yellow Album?", Kennedy asked. After the crowd cheered approvingly, he inquired, "So would y'all mind if I did some songs off the Yellow Album?"
A faint blue spotlight set over Kennedy as the Don Cornelius-featuring intro to "My Type of Party" blared through the speakers. Resembling Jackie Chan's drunken-monkey fighting style, Dom melodically staggered across the stage as he rapped "Girls On Stage."
The mixed vibe of the audience suited the content of the concert; some were hype while others were extremely mellow, but they were all enjoying the showcase. The room was filled with raised joints and cameraphones alike, all snapping away in search of that perfect Instagram shot.
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A shoutout to DJ Mr. Rogers and one short verse led us to the most delightful surprise of the evening, special guest Devin The Dude. Kennedy turned the stage over to Devin for a complete rendition of "Doobie Ashtray."
As soon as Devin signaled the end of his song with his beat-box technique, Kennedy asserted that Devin The Dude would be on his next album.
Next, Dom briefly compared the car cultures of Houston and Los Angeles, then got back heavily into Get Home Safely with "Still Callin," "Erica Part 2" and "After School." By the time he got around to performing "Black Bentleys," the chill vibe had set in and Kennedy had complete control over the audience.
But just before ending the show, he delivered one last energy surge to his fans.
"We gone get into some old Dom Kennedy shit before I go," he stated.
Following the announcement, Dom broke into "1997" and fan favorite "Grind'n," just before concluding the night with an a cappella version of "The 5 Year Theory."
Personal Bias: ...Drawing blanks on this one.
The Crowd: Hip-hop Hipsters.
Overheard In the Crowd: "If he [Kennedy] looks at me, I'll just die right here."
Random Notebook Dump: Three opening acts is the perfect number. The fact that I had actually heard of them made it that much more enjoyable. It was comforting to be in bed by 2 a.m. and not waiting for the headliner. Major score for Scoremore Shows -- good work.
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