Run The Jewels at The Garage, 10/12/14

While Glasgow’s weather takes a flakey, a sold out crowd crush into what would not be a general hang out for most in attendance, The Garage.

While the location is noted for student club nights and up and coming rock shows it’s not got the most kudos as a venue, tonight sees one of the world’s hottest hip-hop duos, who’re enjoying potentially their most popular spell in their career while approaching 40, and The Garage may surprise many in its suitability.

El-P and Killer Mike, collectively Run The Jewels, have been doused with critical acclaim throughout their individual careers, in both performing and producing molds, but this project is certainly seeing them play to bigger crowds they would have expected singularly at any time previously.

‘We Are The Champions’ blasts over PA as the duo jump onto the stage, Mike singing-along, arms spread, with a smile plastered on his face.

El-P, sporting shades and a cheeky grin, announced they’re gonna “burn this motherfucka down” before his huge sounding beat from their self-titled track kicks in and the duo control the crowd with their irresistible presence.

Recent single, ‘Oh My Darling Don’t Cry’ keeps this flow as the floor literally bounces; the duo can’t seam to contain their boundless energy within their flawless lyrical assaults.

El-P apologies for their late arrival and their “garish display of alcoholism”, as a nine-hour drive has robbed them of their pre set drinks, before blasting into the agenda free rap battle brilliance of ‘Blockbuster Night Part 1’.

‘Banana Clipper’ carries on the spellbinding the demonstration of rapport and as Mike drawls “producer gave me a beat, said it’s the beat of the year,” the entire Glasgow crowd shout back “I said “El-P didn’t do it so get the fuck out of here”,” it’s encapsulating stuff and fitting as these massive El-P produced beats sound great coming through The Garage’s PA.

The duo don’t really have much time to banter, but as El-P humorously encourages everyone to save for that “invisible 36-inch chain” and passionately get everyone to take a step back to stop folk getting crushed at the railings, before quipping “we’re not you’re parents”, we’re reminded that when they do chat they’re just as big a characters as they are in their music.

‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’ and ‘Lie, Cheat, Steal’ continue the empowered relevance, as the duo manage to secure a new crowd without alienating fans they’ve had singularly for 10-15 years; they’ve some how managed to make Zach de la Rocha cool, have angry looking teenager shouting along to every word and even had Blink-182 sticks man Travis Barker drum on the recording of ‘All Due Respect’, that’s all without saying they’re trying to reproduce the second album with just cat noises; Buzzfeed as fuck.

‘Early’ proves though, that while Mike and El seem to be enjoying themselves in their RTJ set up, they’ve still got a serious message, and while Mike’s lyrics come across slightly muffled on the night their message, speaking out about police brutality, is one they clearly feel is important.

Still for the majority of the set the two seem to be enjoying their collective experience, Mike dances in entrancing fashion in what El calls his “favourite part of the set” and the former Company Flow man’s on edge delivery is powered up even more Mike’s drawl southern tones.

Hands hang in the air depicting the album artwork before the duo re-emerge to close things off with ‘Angel Duster’; it’s clear tonight that Run The Jewels are guys who are reveling in their current situation and there’s little doubt anyone grudges “braving the apocalypse” to see them tonight.

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Jayjay Robertson

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