Then I get the text from my son some time later letting me know that Hopsin was going to be in Austin, Texas on the Funk Volume Tour. He would be performing at EMOS with DJ Hoppa, Dizzy Wright, and Jarren Benton. My thought is - 'Let's do this!'
Emos (http://www.emosaustin.com/) is located on Riverside Dr, just south of downtown and the popular entertainment district. It is not far enough outside the area to make it inconvenient if you want to be downtown before or after a show here. The parking sucks, but the venue is worth it.
As you walk in the entrance there are a row of ticket windows in front of you. If you have already got your paper, then simply proceed to your right into the venue. The stage stands against the wall to your right. It is a very large stage. This set up could house just about any touring act from small to large. The sound board is in the middle of the floor and there are bleacher style seats against the back wall, to the left as you stand there, to your back if you are looking at the stage.
There are 3 bars, two to the left and right side at the back of the venue, and one to the left of the stage as you look at the stage. The bathrooms are next to the back left bar and there is an outdoor smoking area. In all, it is set up perfectly for any general admission show that would roll through town. In this night there was a large black curtain that cut the venue in half. Hanging from the high ceiling to the floor directly behind the sound booth. I later found out this is done when a show does not sell past a certain number of tickets.
There was a local DJ on stage doing his thing and two local acts performed prior to the touring part of the show made it out onstage. I couldn't tell you about the first group, but the second guy was
Kenny G (also referred to as KG). This guy was legit for a local. Don't know how he got on this tour, but his originals were good, you could understand him (he wasn't trying to deep throat the mic) and the music was definitely the perfect set of beats to hype the crowd.
Each of the main acts all had some very amusing video to introduce them as they came out onstage. It was hilarious, but it was also brilliant. Not just the introduction for the act and entertainment for 5 minutes, it built the anticipation and made the crowd go crazy when each performer stepped out.
Jarren Benton (https://www.facebook.com/JarrenBenton/) from the FUNK Volume Tour, was the first act up. There is no doubt the crowd loved this man and his performance. It was energetic. He had a live drummer that was every bit a part of the performance as Jarren's rhymes. Jarren Benton did more than his part in pumping up the crowd, he turned up the heat and left or ears pounding. I can't say anything about Jarren Benton before this night or performance, but I can tell you after the fact...he was smart, funny, and wicked cool for all his weight in weed. Jarren Benton is the cement foundation for FUNK Volume like an 808.
Next out was DJ Hoppa (https://www.facebook.com/deejayhoppa/) as an intro for Dizzy Wright. My son spoke very highly of DJ Hoppa and it seemed like the reaction from the crowd, when he came out after his video, they all agreed. DJ Hoppa did some mixing and scratching for just a couple of minutes before Dizzy Wright had his intro and came out.
Dizzy Wright (https://www.facebook.com/DizzyWright) came out onstage with his partner in rhyme and carried on, and took us even farther than Jarren did. As a true MC, Dizzy commanded the crowd with his hands and his words. The audience jumped, bounced, and moved at his words and commands. At one point in the middle of his set the crowd seemed to lull, but Dizzy had everyone break out their lighters, and within moments he set off the crowd once again. Dizzy knew his spot on the roster. He was the hype man in the 'get the crowd going' spot for Hopsin. Dizzy Wright could've ended the performance there (memories of Fort Collins) and the crowd would've left breathless and excited.
But it didn't end there...
Hopsin (https://www.facebook.com/hellohopsin/) made his appearance after a hysterical video, of which words can not describe the gross hilarity that was the intro for Hopsin. With the crowd screaming at my back (as I was in the photo pit) it was not hard to tell all of the build up and hype had just paid off. Hopsin smiled and glared into the crowd as he tore into his first two songs...and then he spotted "HER" in the crowd. After calling out the young man for his beautiful date being a fake, Hopsin launched into 'Ramona'. Not even skipping a beat, Hopsin just rolled through his set, with little talk, but lots of performing, he moved across the stage. Edge to edge he made everyone in the crowd feel like it was their performance.
I like Hopsin. I can appreciate what he does. The tongue in cheek manner at which he educates the masses. The smile on his face as he knows and understands...he is an entertainer.
special thanks to scoremoreshows.com and C3