ASAP gains understanding at Toads Place
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 23:09
The stage lights dimmed into a deep purple haze. I didn’t understand the true popularity of ASAP Rockey and his entire movement until then, standing among hundreds of hipster, urban, mainstream and suburban kids and adults.
“That’s what we’re fighting for, understanding. Because people didn’t get us, they didn’t get me,” ASAP Rocky stated after uncovering his face from the white t-shirt posing as guerilla garb he wore over his face as he came out on stage. There indeed was a room full of fans who understood.
The LongLiveA$AP tour is a showcase not only for ASAP Rocky, but for his colleagues and peers to earn the recognition they deserve. The show started with Detroit rapper Danny Brown, who was the main reason I made the drive down from Storrs that evening. From his permed mohawk to his screeching lyrics about drugs, women and designer sneakers, Danny Brown has developed almost a cult following of fans, who were few and far between at Toad’s Place. However, the few who were there (me included) banded together while Brown rocked his most popular songs like “Monopoly,” “Molly Ringwald,” “Lie4” and “Black Brad Pitt.”
As Brown ended his set, Schoolboy Q was up next. Q is a member of the collective Black Hippy and is almost a household name in the underground rap world at this point. Schoolboy Q’s performance was succinct, which is probably because at this point the crowd was ready for the ASAP Mob. “Nightmare on Figg St.” and “Oxy Music” lifted the fans momentarily. It wasn’t until he brought a girl on stage alongside him to perform “My Hatin’ Joint” when there was audible affirmation from the people around me.
The stage was set with a military-themed background when sounds of helicopters enveloped the venue. An opening interlude came from the speakers with ASAP Rocky running on stage soon after his pre-recorded voice went quiet. Toad’s erupted as Rocky, in full army attire, floated around stage. After his request for the purple lights, he spoke to the crowd and went directly into the Clams Casino-produced “Wassup.” The stage cleared and another interlude introduced the rest of the ASAP Mob. At least nine of them ran on-stage, along with Rocky, to perform Rocky’s “Pretty Flacko.”
The Mob’s energy on stage tangibly transferred into the crowd as mosh pits grew in pockets of fans. A few members of the ASAP Mob performed solo songs, which were a much -needed break from the chaos. Another interlude followed, and it was time for more ASAP Rocky. He went through popular songs like “Palace,” “Thuggin’ Noise” and the viral sensation “Purple Swag.” It was inevitable that Rocky brought Schoolboy Q back out to perform their two collaborative tracks, “Brand New Guy” and “Hand on the Wheel.”
Throughout the show, ASAP Rocky controlled the stage like a polished veteran. Even with the rest of the Mob on stage, it reminded me of the way Method Man takes the leadership role among the rest of the performers during a Wu-tang live performance. The show ended with “Peso,” the song that ASAP Rocky said “introduced me to all of you.”