July 5, 2016
Despite a half-full Metropolis, the young crowd at Detroit rapper Danny Brown’s Jazz Fest show last night more than made up for their lack of numbers with a near-manic intensity. Moshing to the DJ’s intro set before Brown even hit the stage, the few hundred fans, all jammed on the floor (the balcony was basically empty), shouted along to Brown’s party anthems so loudly that they often eclipsed him entirely.
Just before 10:00 pm, Brown unceremoniously strolled out in a black leather jacket and a Wu-Tang Clan shirt, flashing the 2nd most recognizable tongue to Millennials, before kicking off with “Side B (Dope Song),” while strobe lights assaulted the crowd.
Brown kept things streamlined for his hour-long set, offering little banter as he ran through a steady stream of druggy, strip-club anthems. The stage setup was as minimal as it gets, consisting solely of Brown and a DJ, which meant the night relied on Brown’s hyperkinetic delivery, along with his wacky, slightly-unhinged persona.
The bulk of Brown’s set was culled from his 2013 breakout LP, Old, including “Smoking and Drinking,” and set-closer “Dip,” both of which featured the loudest crowd sing-alongs of the night. Promising to get into some “throwback shit,” Brown’s “Grow Up” was a welcome reprieve from the occasionally monotonous series of bangers, with the track’s Jazz Fest-friendly, laid-back beat.
Those hoping for a taste of Brown’s long-promised forthcoming LP, however, left empty-handed, as Brown stuck to the tried-and-true instead of offering up any new tracks. With that minor caveat aside, you can’t argue with a tight, hit-filled set before a raucous crowd, that still managed to wrap up before the very un-party hour of 11:00 pm.