Experimental hip-hop group serves up a crowd-pleasing show at Rock Island
In a world saturated with materialistic, “blinged-out” rap music, experimental hip-hop god Doseone and his most recent project, Subtle, have come to save the day.
Straying away from the mainstream rap conventions, this six-man outfit utilizes everything from drum machines and samplers to less traditional instruments like the flute, cello and saxophone to produce their distinctly original sound.
Last night, Denver’s Rock Island played host to Subtle as part of their tour promoting the album “For Hero: For Fool,” which is scheduled for release on Oct. 3, but was already being sold for $12 at Subtle’s merch counter.
As the band took the stage, frontman Adam “Doseone” Drucker appeared with plenty of plastic “bling” adorning his neck as if to poke fun at mainstream rappers who take their money a little too seriously.
Without a word the band exploded into a track from their upcoming album and the crowd was immediately engrossed in the multiple layers of sound coming from the stage.
After one more song without speaking to the crowd, Drucker broke the silence with his eccentric and extremely enjoyable stage presence. He proceeded to inform Denver that last time the band came through, they suffered an accident and, feigning nervousness, he almost fooled the crowd into thinking he was uneasy.
This uneasy front was immediately discarded as Drucker dropped to the ground and began to scream the beginning of “The Long Vein of the Law” into a fan’s face.
As the show went on, the crowd’s curiosity as to what was covered by a sheet in the middle of the stage was soon appeased when Doseone ripped the sheet away to expose a bust with a black and white striped skull atop the neck. He proceeded to mimic Hamlet’s famous soliloquy by singing to the skull with a perplexed expression on his face.
“I came up with a really good way to die,” said Drucker to the crowd, “but I’m not going to tell you what it is.”
The crowd screamed is protest, but the request for indulgence was denied when Drucker’s distorted voice came through the microphone saying, “six million ways to die, choose one.” Immediately after, Subtle launched into their most nightmarish song, “By Hook,” from their recent EP “Wishingbone.”
The song concluded to overwhelming cries for more, and Doseone began to pass out plastic forks to fans in the front row.
“There are exactly nine kinds of people in the world,” Drucker said. “I know two of them.”
After this cryptic message, the crowd got what they had been waiting for all night as Subtle performed “Swanmeat,” which showcases Drucker’s ability to rap obscure lyrics at lightning speed.
Immediately after the song finished, the band left the stage, but the crowd wanted more and demanded an encore.
Only minutes later, Subtle returned and performed “Eyewash,” which fans had been screaming to hear all night.
As the set came to a close, Doseone bowed deeply, formally thanked the crowd and left the stage to a roar of approval from a satisfied crowd that would have stayed for hours more.
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