It was the kickoff for House of Vans annual concert series in Brooklyn where skaters, bands, and copious amounts of beer meet up into one huge party thrown in a skating rink. This year they started off on a hot note literally; it was a balmy 90 degrees in Brooklyn. You couldn’t tell that from the crowd who were bouncing around in anticipation for the day’s lineup of Joey Purp and Digable Planets.
Joey Purp hit the stage first. The affable Chicago MC had the crowd turned up right from the beginning, bouncing along to his songs. Similar to his friend Chance The Rapper, Joey Purp toes the line between solid MC’ing, modern turnt-up, and a heavy dose of musicality and melody.
The headliners of the night were Digable Planets. A highly influential group who pushed the links between jazz and hip-hop even further than bands like A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr they have been performing sporadically over the years since their original breakup in 1995.
You couldn’t tell that on stage where the three MC’ Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler (one half of Afrofuristic hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces), Mary Ann “Ladybug Mecca” Viera and Craig “Doodlebug” Irving ripped up the stage as if they never stopped playing together. Assisted with a live five piece band (featuring Butler’s Shabazz Palaces partner in crime Tendai Maraire) the crowd rushed the stage when the intro horns from their second album, Blowout Comb, blasted across the rink and the energy never let up from that moment on.
House of Vans will be throwing more free shows in the future both in Brooklyn and Chicago. Check out the lineup below and RSVP at www.houseofvans.com.
House of Vans, Brooklyn
Beach Fossils, Saba, Nyck@Knight
The Drums, Princess Nokia
Royal Headache, Sheer Mag, Downtown Boys
Descendents + Special Guest
House of Vans, Chicago
Denzel Curry, Nyck @ Knight
The Lawrence Arms, Dillinger Four, Toys that Kill
The Internet + Special Guest
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinares, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Cap N’ Jazz, Hop Along