January 24, 2017 Aesop Rock Dazzles In Homecoming The Paramount Huntington, NY 1-21-17
Emerging from the underground Hip Hop scene in the late ’90s, Aesop Rock has risen to great heights in the past two decades. Well known by fans of the scene, Aesop Rock is not just good at what he does, he is considered a top MC in Alternative Hip Hop. When not busy on tour, Aesop Rock is busy dropping classics like 2001’s Labor Days, 2007’s None Shall Pass, 2012’s Skelethon, as well as his latest, 2016’s The Impossible Kid. His seventh overall studio record, The Impossible Kid dropped back in April of last year while critics and fans agreed Aesop Rock took his sound to new heights.
Now, at age forty, with one of the largest vocabularies in Hip Hop, Aesop Rock continues to bust out quality lyrics, beats with a distinct atmosphere, while continuing to tour in support of his latest music. Initially beginning in May of 2016, then dubbed The Impossible Kid Tour, Rock traveled coast to coast across the USA through July. Launching the second leg in November of last year, this time naming it the Hey Kirby Tour, the fun continues into 2017 with dates running through January 29th when visiting Toronto, Ontario.
Visiting spots not hit during 2016’s leg of shows, on Saturday, January 21st, Aesop Rock returned home to Long Island, New York to host what would be an amazing show at The Paramount down in Huntington village. Born in Syosset, raised on the North Shore up in Northport, Ian Bavitz, better known by his stage name Aesop Rock, was ready to wow his hometown with a killer performance. That in mind, anything can happen when returning to the place you grew up, and there was no doubt this crowd was ready for whatever came their way.
While Aesop Rock was scheduled to hit the stage at 10:00PM, warming up the room was none other than Homeboy Sandman. Hailing from the borough of Queens, New York, Homeboy Sandman’s latest album, Kindness for Weakness, came out a month after Aesop Rock’s The Impossible Kid, and since, the two have teamed up on tour.
Considered by many in the know a sleeper on the scene, Homeboy Sandman came out performing his classics such as “Watchu Want From Me” and “God.” On stage for a good 35 to 40 minutes, he prepped the crowd with a even-flowed set of songs. Doing such a great job, by the time Aesop Rock came on, there was a clear excitement in the air.
Though many of his classic tracks were written some fifteen years ago, fans did not seem to mind any of his new stuff as they continued to feed off Aesop Rock’s energy. Moving about the stage, working the crowd, and busting out lyrics with ease, after performances such as these, people will be praising The Impossible Kid as classic as well. Working with sidekick, the aforementioned MC Rob Sonic, Aesop Rock and Sonic are well known for their collaboration in side group called Hail Mary Mallon. To everyone’s delight, a few songs from the group’s two records were sprinkled into the set, including “Krill” and “Jonathan.” Absorbed with complete crowd satisfaction, after the Hail Mary Mallon cuts, Aesop Rock dug deeper with such hits as “Shrunk” and “Molecules.” Loving the direction of the set, again, everyone voluntarily sang along.
Taking a little breather after the midpoint of the show, the audience were treated to a lightning-fast scratching set by none other than DJ Zone. An accomplished DJ out of Portland, Oregon, Zone has been with Aesop Rock for years now. Absolutely wowing the crowd with his skills on the turntables, his time in the spotlight did not go unnoticed. As if everything witnessed to this point was not enough, Aesop Rock dug even deeper into his treasure chest of hits with some pleasant surprises. Catching everyone off guard, Aesop Rock dished out “No Regrets,” off Labor Days. An amazing song about an introverted woman who sees life in a very different way than most, it chronicles her life from start to finish. An absolute gem of a song and many fan’s personal favorite, Aesop Rock could have dropped the mic and left off here, but there was still more to come.
Rounding out the night, “None Shall Pass,” from the album of the same name, came before Labor Days’ “Daylight.” The interesting thing about the live version of “Daylight” at The Paramount was that Aesop Rock mixed up the verses with another great track, “Nightlight.” Flawless in his efforts, not a single person stood still in the closing minutes of the performance.
Dare it be said, Aesop Rock’s show at The Paramount was one of the best Hip Hop shows his fans have ever seen. It had everything a Hip Hop fan would want; one of the best MC’s to ever touch a mic rhyming for over an hour and a half, an amazing DJ cutting and scratching, an incredibly talented Rob Sonic, room shaking bass, and a fever-pitched crowd who were going berserk all night.
With only a few dates left of the Hey Kirby Tour, this is a must-have experience for Hip Hop lovers. Even those who are not, they will quickly realize they are watching one of the best rappers of the last twenty years delivering tongue-tied rhymes and detailed lyrical schemes. All this said, attending an Aesop Rock show is attending a Hip Hop spectacle of the highest order.