Aesop Rock at the Fox Theatre
Kicking the whole night off was the duo Dark Time Sunshine, who were quick to remind us that we may not know who they are, but we should certainly make heaps of noise in any case. The two showman, Frontrunner Onry Ozzborn and his producer, Zavala, were an inspiration for opening acts anywhere, given how seamlessly they elevated the energy of the space.
When Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic took the stage together, the crowd was all ready for a great show. That’s exactly what they got when the whole thing kicked off with “Leisureforce,” the first track off of Rock’s recently released Skelethon. Rock’s DJ, Big Wiz held the room together and then some, which was both impressive and appreciated, because the only other two guys that he could lean on were wielding the mics. Big Wiz eventually got time to do his own thing while Sonic and Rock took a break. Rob Sonic also got to let out some of his new tracks, but the majority of the night was dedicated to Skelethon. The only thing on stage to get in the way of the two wordsmiths was a stack of DJ gear and the vinyl scratcher working them. But looming behind the stage was a screen that put on its own show to accompany the hip hop below. At times it played clips from Aesop Rock music videos, and at others it would draw up Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s likeness, vegetables being tortured, or miles and miles of gauze.
Halfway through the set, Dark Time Sunshine regrouped onstage and the whole crew brought one lucky winner onstage to get his hair chopped by Zavala while Aesop ran through “Racing Stripes,” assuring the fan, “Dude, it grows back.” Whatever the typical Aesop Rock fan seems to be (burnout, biology graduate, etc…) it was clear that every soul in the audience was into the spectacle. Everyone joined in on the refrain for ” Homemade Mummy”: “Take the brain out, leave the heart in.” There was an uproar when Boulder was mentioned in a road game the rappers played during their travels. It was obvious there were long lost fans in the room when the performer asked for requests and settled on “Big Bang” off of Rock’s first album. At the end of the night, the musicians disregarded the usual encore delay and finished the show without hiatus; Aesop Rock just follow the directive tattooed on his arms: “Must not sleep… Must warn others.”
Photos and review by Lukas Gonzales. Show on 10/10/12.