2/20/15 - Abbey Pub - Chicago

Joel Frieders | February 23, 2015

As a recovering musician who never really broke and never really played much outside of the Chicago and its suburbs bubble, I've played a half dozen venues around the area more than a dozen times. The Abbey Pub is one of those venues.

Amazing fish and chips. Tiny ass fucking stage.

So when you make the decision to go see Doomtree and after you've already acquired the ticket you realize it says Abbey Pub, and there's seven fucking people in Doomtree, and that means nuts to butts, well, you have this internal struggle to tend to. On the one hand, small stage means small show means tight quarters means holy shit maybe I get to collect Sims-sweat and Cecil Otter bellybutton lint. On the other, small shows mean sold out mean "oh noes, there will be so much energy in the building the floors will fucking cave".

OK, so the only thing one can really complain about at a sold out Doomtree show at small stage ass Abbey is that the bathroom attendant guy won't see you when you tip him for merely being fucking awesome (ain't no one warsh their hands at a hip hop show bro, this is street knowledge).

Knowing this show was sold out meant I got to see Doomtree in their natural environment. If you aren't familly with the tree of doom, I will tell you they make rap music to bounce and sweat to. Nearly every single one of their albums is good on its own at home or in the car, but holy fucking jesus balls on an aftermarket geo metro spoiler, in concert their albums are fucking DRIPPING IN SWEAT, HANDS IN THE AIR, FEET POISED TAUT THRUSTING YOUR ENTIRE BODY WEIGHT INTO THE AIR ALONG TO THE BPM OF THE MOMENT.

I appreciated Doomtree for their hustle before seeing them live, but (insert the previous mention of jesus balls) if you haven't seen this mob action in action, quit being a fucking cooze and make the plans, spend the money, and wear two pairs of socks.

Each asshole in Doomtree holds their own on their own, but as a live and on time police line up on stage, they're larger than fucking life.

You have Mike Mictlan pushing invisible assholes offstage and growling like a tattooed gargoyle. Cecil Otter taking attendance and yelling for you not to run in the hallway as rap's junior high school principal. Dessa is slightly overdressed, but if anyone brings it up there's six other guys on stage willing to kick their middle toe in your mons pubis. POS is stationary-shoulder throwing and singlehandedly making denim fashionable again. Paper Tiger is playing angry birds with my ear drums (also: if his music was available behind an app I could use on the shitter I would already have purchased it using my Christmas iTunes gift card). Lazerbeak looks like a dad with too many unexpected kids and it's his first time out in weeks and he's having more fucking fun than anyone you've ever fucking seen. And then there's Sims. Sims has always been my personal favorite Doomtreeper. Watching this dude enjoy the music he had a direct hand in making is fucking inspiring as shit. He knows the lyrics to everyone else's solo shit, is the first to give up his mic when someone else's goes out, and he's giving shine to every one else around him throughout every fucking song. I could spend the entire show watching Sims move around the stage.

Thankfully for me, at the Abbey, there's no fucking room for anyone to fucking go so you can simultaneously watch every Treeper at the same fucking time.

The latest Doomtree album is All Hands, and while I've only listened to it in the car maybe twice (because Father John Misty), seeing it live now I've put it back into the brotation after learning how fucking massive the shit sounds in front of you.

When "Gray Duck" starts up you can literally feel the entire crowd jumping at once, even before the beat drops, and then when the beat drops, you're positive a structural engineer is going to burst onto the stage and wave his hands and tell everyone to leave. THE GROUND, SHE IS SHAKING. SHE IS PLIABLE. SHE IS DAMAGED.

Seriously, hearing "Final Boss" is disgusting. It doesn't sound like you'd be jumping in the fucking air when its dull thud starts setting the meter, but fuck me with five fingers on a friday, I was six inches off the fucking ground twice every bar for the duration of that fucking song.

Leave it to Doomtree to drop a beat slow enough to head nod in the car to, but hard enough to double palm the sky's titties to.

I should stop now. I just wrote "double palm the sky's tittles".

#flipstable #doesmikemictlanface #smoothsbackinvisibleSIMShair #getsyelledatbyprincipalOtterforpalmingskytitties

Also, right quick, four sentence 'Open Mike Eagle as the opener' review: Having been a huge Open Mike Eagle as a person fan for over ten years, finally being able to see him live was one of the highlights of my white life. Dude is wearing a wool knit bulldog sweater and is basically reciting his poetry to a room full of friends the shit sounds so fucking intimate. If I could listen to, while watching other people watch Open Mike Eagle, I would be as proudly happy as I ever have been. Dude is fucking unfuckwitable balls, and if he was my English teacher in real lifes I'd totally graduate on time bro.