the Abbey Pub – Chicago
By the time Goldie Lookin Chain got on stage, the energy of everyone I had arrived with had flagged. We’d spent nearly our entire booze budget and had the time to sober up. The deceptive 9pm lead into 3 opening acts, with a solid hour for each. I could write an entire review of just the opening acts (a less effective humor-rap group from Michigan called ‘Tha 446,’ a straight-up rockabilly band, and a genuine Chicago-based hardcore rapper), but I’ll stick to the GLC.
A bit after midnight, the bombastic album intro “The Manifesto” came blaring over the speakers and the crew spilled out onto the stage. Everyone perked up a bit and once they had all arrived, the stage at the Abbey Pub looked suddenly small. The mass of Welsh rappers shuffled around, bounding about, attempting to psyche up the exhausted crowd. I brightened up a bit as their energy transferred well. Soon after their set started, two people wandered into the crowd hoisting a Welsh flag up over their heads, which provoked an excited response from a few of the GLC. They kept plowing through tracks off their Greatest Hits album, infusing them with high energy.
I wish I could say that their performance could save the evening, but it wasn’t enough. The sound system of the Abbey Pub was pushed to its limit, causing the lyrics to be somewhat indecipherable (queue Welsh accent joke). Halfway through the set, I looked over to my friend, and he was fast asleep in his chair. Despite the miserable sound quality, his exhaustion won out. It was soon after that, we all collectively decided to cut out before their set ended. I didn’t mind terribly, being tired myself, and they had already played my favorite track off the album, “Self Suicide.”
Had we just timed our arrival to be a few hours later, I think I would have been vastly entertained. As performers, they have their act down pat. They’ve got slogans (“Safe as Fuck” and “You Knows It”), they’re just clever enough (with the song “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do”), just offensive enough (the transsexual themed “Your Mother’s Got a Penis”) and just drug-obsessed enough (hell, most every song) to gain notoriety and break through on these shores. There’s a sly awareness that runs through their whole shtick, which is necessary to accurately satirize an entire genre. A miserable concert experience can sour your relationship with a band, though I can still throw on their album and be genuinely entertained.
Previously published at Loose Record