This past week, Washington, D.C.-native and eccentric emcee GoldLink returned to his stomping grounds to deliver a high-energy, packed performance at the iconic U Street Music Hall. Hosted by the 930 club in association with Closed Sessions DC, the event went off with no issues or problems. Joined by fellow natives Chaz French and new group Abhi//Dijon as well as DJ Kidd Marvel and producer/DJ Louie Lastic, the independent artists welcomed each other home and gave fans the true welcome-back performance that they have been missing since Broccoli Fest. Complete with some new music, throwback tunes and a great set from both DJs, the show was definitely a success.
U Street Music Hall has been the venue for many of the up-and-coming premiere acts of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. It only makes sense that the buzz-worthy rapper GoldLink returned to the same venue that housed his The God Complex-release performance. Although still an independent, the young emcee has already been making waves throughout blogs and music editorials. His unique mix of 90’s-vibe production from Kaytrananada and DJ Kidd Marvel and some quick-tongued bars have easily made him a rap star in the making. With only seven months since his debut release, he returned to U Street with fellow artist Chaz French as more than just a performer, but a headliner.
On a chilly Sunday night, the doors of U Street opened around seven at night to a bass-knocking dance set from Washington D.C.-native Louie Lastic. The set featured mixes from old school tunes with some of the top hits that plague the radio today. The tunes made for a very relaxed, laid-back vibe as more patrons began to pour into the basement club to see GoldLink perform. As the set closed out, newcomers Abhi//Dijon took the stage. The duo was accompanied by a full group comprised of a bass guitarist, drummer, keyboardist and lead singer. Their set continued the same chill, smooth and sexual vibe with a unique brand of futuristic R&B, but it was clear that this was their first performance, as a lack of harmony during a few of the tracks made it hard to fully get into the mood. Their highlight moments came when they slowed it down and got into the more sensual and bedroom-playlist-worthy tracks, like Honest.
As they closed out their set, a brief intermission followed until Chaz French took the stage to get the crowd hyped up. The high-energy rapper sported a new haircut and was in good spirits as he began his set. Fresh off the release of his dope mixtape, Happy Belated, French came through with nothing but high energy hits. Performing favorites Came Down, The Vent, and The Sh*t, it was clear that the rapper was elated and the crowd was hanging off every word and movement. The highlights came when fellow rapper/hypeman Eddie Vanz joined French to perform the cha-cha-influenced Primavera and Errday Stuntn. There was a point when viewers could have mistaken it for a rock concert as moshpits started to break out and French even was bold enough to crowd-surf twice, without being dropped. His set lasted for about 15-20 minutes and the crowd was alive and dancing the entire time.
After sweating out any alcohol the viewers had taken in, it was time for the headliner GoldLink to take the stage. Giving people a minute to cool down, the Washington, D.C., rapper quickly came through to deliver what the crowd was waiting for. Fans rushed to get close to the stage as they heard the instrumentals play and GoldLink soon appeared. Opening with Fingalick-produced lead single Ay Ay, the rapper kept the energy up, his rhymes precise, and the set filled with good music. Performing some singles (Bedtime Story, F*ck Being Polite, How It’s Done) from his The God Complex, GoldLink also treated concertgoers to some new material that followed his signature bounce, dance and synth instrumental. Though it was supposed to be his show, he had no problem sharing the stage with Chaz French to keep the crowd lit. One of the highlight moments of his set was when he took it back to the early days of his career with the sampled Kaytranada-produced track On&On.
The night was nothing short of a success for GoldLink, Chaz French, and Abhi//Dijon. The small venue was filled with positive-energy concertgoers and great sets. For just 15 dollars, each musician made sure to give viewers every single dollars worth and leave the building having at least broken a sweat and a smile. GoldLink and Chaz French even stayed about 30 minutes after to entertain fans with a small, freestyle-rap battle. The venue and event was definitely a good experience, and was a dope “welcome home” gift to fans.
Opinion by Tyler Cole