Detroit hybrid-rapper Danny Brown packed the Showbox to near capacity Saturday night with an all-ages crowd of party-ready revelers who all seemed like they had seen him perform at least once before.
After extremely thorough pat-downs and bag-checks from venue security and sets from local openers Raz Simone and Brown’s 20-year-old Motor City protégé ZelooperZ, Brown’s set started just after 10 p.m. Brown entered with tongue sticking out and pinky-and-forefinger “metal horns” thrown, sporting eyeglasses and a fresh, close-cropped fauxhawk flat-top, complete with bleached tips. (The image was artistically rendered on a Troll doll caricature adorning his merch booth T-shirts.)
As much as Brown tours around the world, and no matter how many times he’s performed in Seattle, he still seems to put maximal effort into every show. Saturday night’s set started with the Rustie-produced banger “Break It (Go),” from his album, “Old,” and never let up.
The show was an energetic assault of 808 bass thumps and skittering hi-hats (all the rage with today’s youth, if their constant hands-in-the-air jumping in place was any indication), save for a few selections from his breakout 2011 release “XXX.” Those included the whomping, hardcore-ish call-and-response of “Bruiser Brigade,” the rapid-fire “Cool Ranch Doritos” quote from “Monopoly,” the shout-along “Blunt After Blunt” and the unflinchingly explicit “I Will.”
But the newer, more grime/trap-oriented selections seemed to be the favorite of the clearly inebriated audience. The set ended on an especially high note with a triple stack of “Kush Coma,” featuring ZelooperZ, the Purity Ring-produced “25 Bucks” and the Kanye West-quoting molly anthem “Dip.”
Brown’s touring DJ (and producer of many of his songs), Skywlkr, closed the night with a short outro tribute set to recently-deceased Chicago club-music innovator DJ Rashad, to whom he, Brown and everyone else combining elements of electronic and rap music is indebted.
Mike Ramos: on Twitter: @RAMOS206