At this point I feel sorry for any fans of Run the Jewels that don’t get to see them live in Los Angeles. The duo may have roots in Brooklyn and Atlanta, but they play LA like it’s their hometown. For their show at the Shrine Auditorium last week they brought out Danny Brown for “Hey Kids,” BOOTS for “Early,” Eboni Joi for “Down,” Travis Barker for “All Due Respect,” Gangsta Boo for “Love Again,” and Zach De La Rocha for “Kill Your Masters” and “Close Your Eyes.”
This collection of rotating talent made a show that was dynamic and mirrored the intensity of Run the Jewels. Tracks like “Close Your Eyes” necessitate bodies on stage moving and creating energy; I can’t imagine the song being played without De La Rocha’s high-octane personality up there.
Unlike during their festival performances, it seemed as though RTJ had greater control over their lighting and sound setup. The bass boomed, but each rapper was still heard loud and clear without being drowned out. In terms of color scheme, I preferred their RTJ 2 concert tour which bathed the audience constantly in red light. Their current tour matches RTJ 3’s album art and had a variety of light colors including blue, white and gold. Although this created a variety of tones and hues for photography, the older red color schemes intensified RTJ’s show into feeling like a full-blown riot.
Overall the music was tight, the features were tighter and the show was the tightest. If you ever get a chance, make an effort to see these two killer MC’s live and in the flesh.
RAMIRO MOSQUERA, ASSISTANT MUSIC DIRECTOR
REEL FRIENDS, 9-10 PM