The Arsonists, Mercury, July 1

Live Shots

The Arsonists
The Arsonists (Photo By John Anderson)

The Arsonists

Mercury, July 1

The Arsonists bring more to their show than just lyrics. Their lyrics and beats have already established the NYC hip-hop MCs as a staple of any crate digger's white-label collection. Their live show brings a blazing energy that ignites the stage brighter than any studio date might capture. The live rhythm, rhymes, and maneuvers accent each line, solo, and beat. At the Mercury, opening for the Beatnuts, the addition of silly theatrics, snake formations, and group movement combined well with the Arsonists' already comical lyrics to create a demonstration on how to get down, and more importantly, how to have fun with hip-hop music. Years of maintaining an authentic Brooklyn hip-hop lifestyle took form live with the trio emphasizing the mischievous nature of their sound. Performing material exactly in its original format, with raw energy reminiscent of small clubs and rooms packed with MCs poised to take their mikes, the Arson squad took "Pyromaniax" as the opportunity to rail against authority. First, bitching about the changes that were forced upon their original beat for legal purposes, they performed the song with the original sample that deliberately denied the cursed rules of copyright. The crowd reciprocated the energy off-stage by chanting in support, reciting many of the hooks as the Arsonists took every chance to involve members of the audience. Swel Boogie, one of the lead MCs, in denial of his bandmates' departure from the stage, remained connected to the vibe and continued to manipulate the participants in a quick lesson on beat boxing. Swel attempted to increase difficulty, but there was no shaking the attentive students, and he abruptly made his departure into the crowd. As the Beatnuts emerged onstage, he continued his excited behavior in the audience by joining in the chanting and frolicking for the remainder of the night. As the show's inevitable end was enforced at the 2am curfew, it was clear that the Arsonists' question, "Was Austin ready for the session?" was undeniably, "Hey yo, no question."

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