Live in Los Angeles:
Saturday, December 12, 2016
The Glass House
Words and shitty cell phone pics by Dan Sinclair
Promotional photos of Aesop Rock by Ben Colen
DECEMBER 3, 2016-- The first thing that shall be known is even though Nicolas Bates was in attendance with all of his gear, BeerMoviesMusic was denied a photo pass to the event by the tour manager, even though we were promised one prior to trekking an hour east to the outskirts of Los Angeles County to cover this show. This, of course, sucked buttholes, but alas, ain't nothin' gonna get me down. There was still a hip-hop show to enjoy, so onward damn it, shitty cell phone pics and all! So these photos of Aesop Rock were provided by the publicist. We did not take any of them... except the shitty cell phone pics. Trust me, you'll be able to tell which are which.
Aesop Rock grew up a bit over the years. Shit, literally he's 40 now-- which only makes me feel older even though I am actually younger than him-- but the aging I'm referring to here is lyrically. The Impossible Kid was released back in April, and the songs were much less abstract than Aesop's previous work, honing his mad storytelling skills into rhymes that he's already mastered. The result is one of 2016's best albums and the reason for this tour-- in other words, the reason that Nick and I are not throwing a fit outside the Glass House over a photo pass.
Before we get to Aesop's performance, let's a take a quick look at another one of 2016's best, Homeboy Sandman. He also put out a fantastic album this year in Kindness for Weakness. As a matter of fact, BeerMoviesMusic did a little mini review on it, and you can check that out right here. Sandman opened up for Aesop Rock all over America for this Impossible Kid Tour, and no doubt picked up thousands of new fans along the way. He warmed up the young Pomonans (I guess that's what you call them?), mixing songs off the new album like "Eyes," "Real New York" and "Seam by Seam," with a few of his older tracks "America the Beautiful" and "Not Really," before the closing the set out with his spiritual side in "God."
Here's a terrible, terrible pic from my cell phone of Homeboy Sandman.
And there were loud cheers for Homeboy Sandman, but the Glass House suddenly got louder and even fuller after he left the stage. It seemed many knew the set times and were arriving fashionably late in order to step in just in time to see Ian Matthias Bavitz do his thing. Oh, you didn't know Aesop Rock's full name? Me, neither. I just looked it up on Wikipedia. Did you also know he was born in Syosset, New York and raised in Long Island by his mother Jameija and his father Paul? Now you do.
And here's a shitty pic of Aesop Rock.
But Aesop wasn't alone, joined by former Sonic Sum frontman Rob Sonic and DJ Zone. Very little was said before "Mystery Fish" started. It's the first song off of The Impossible Kid and was followed by the rest of the album in order with "Rings," "Lotta Years" and my personal favorite off the album "Dorks." Crowd went nuts, waving hands in the air, side to side, some like they just didn't care... some cared, though, so they must not have been doing it right.
Shitty, shitty pic of Rob Sonic and Aesop together.
Then it was time for Rob Sonic to do something other than give Aesop a breath in-between lines and make funny poses on stage. He performed his own song "Alice in Thunderdome." Though it's a pretty good track, it didn't get quite the same response the next two Impossible Kid songs did in "Rabies" and "Super Cell." Then it was finally time for another great episode in storytelling in "Blood Sandwich," a tribute to the Bavitz brothers. Everyone put a single finger up in the air at the performer's request.
And one last shitty cell phone pic... but at least he's got the finger up, right?
And that's how the set played out with Aesop performing the entire Impossible Kid album from front to back intermixed with a few Rob Sonic songs, including a few Hail Mary Mallon classics in "Jonathan" and "Whales," and a nice two-minute DJ Krush solo scratch session to give the fellas a quick break. But Aesop Rock was going to leave without giving the crowd a taste of his roots with "Catacomb Kids," a "Daylight/Nightlight" mashup and, of course, the most classic-est of classics "None Shall Pass," before ending the set with "Get Out of the Car." He would return shortly thereafter joined this time by Homeboy Sandman as the duo performed three songs off their joint EP Lice.
Nick did shoot this.
I don't know how the night ended for the rest of crowd, but for Nick and I, it ended perfectly two doors down from the Glass House at Homage Brewing. Aesop Rock and delicious, delicious beer? Photo pass or not, I can't think of a better way to spend the last BeerMoviesMusic show of 2016. Till next year!
For more on AESOP ROCK, go here.
For more of Nicolas Bates' Photography, check out BatesImaging.com