EARTHGANG brings the heat at Come and Take It Live

The night was personal. A perfect mixture of good music, a whole lot of sweat and maybe even a few tears. I’m not talking about your average middle school orchestra concert. No, I’m talking about EARTHGANG and J.I.D. playing Feb. 27 at Come and Take It Live. The show was sold out. In fact, every show in Texas was sold out on the Never Had Sh!T tour, Austin being the most energetic crowd, of course. It’s true — each artist on stage told us so.

The Come and Take It Live venue is set up more like a bar with two-and-a-half floors and a small stage off to the side. The top floor wraps around and overlooks the stage, allowing for a great view, and is topped off with a bar, pool table, foosball table and regular tables accompanied with benches.

The first floor houses the stage and a large bar area. There’s even a VIP area located near the water station which is where I spotted Chaz French waiting to go on stage to perform — a pleasant surprise. There’s something surreal about being able to see an artist up close.

The show started off fashionably late by 10 minutes. Around 8:40 p.m. the floor started to shake, and I could feel the bass bump in my knees. Malik, a young rapper and producer, was joined by a DJ who doubled as a hype man. He introduced himself and explained that he has been working on a project where he writes songs inspired by colors. He ended up performing “Green,” “Black” and “Red,” which coincidentally were the colors of his sweater. His lyrics were washed out by too much bass. It really was a shame because I’m fond of the concept of writing songs after colors, and I would have liked to hear what he had come up with.

The order of who went on was directly related to the quality of the artist, making Lute’s performance my second favorite. Although I’ve never heard his music before, he is great live. However, towards the end of his set Lute made a grave mistake. Only four words, and the crowd was in an uproar.

“I love you Houston.”

He instantly knew what he had done. Lute laughed it off, and the crowd took it lightly. He finished with a few words of advice about never letting The Man get you down and gave a personal anecdote about chasing your dreams as opposed to working a day job. It was pretty touching.

Then came Chaz French accompanied by his three hype men and a bodyguard. Chaz was by far the most energetic, jumping up on the speakers and getting the crowd to repeat things like yelling, “SQUAD!” after him. After what was supposed to be his last song, Chaz decided to do another, but this time he performed it in the crowd atop a random guy’s shoulders. His bodyguard was not happy about that — let’s just say Chaz wasn’t making his life easier.

Chaz was the third opener of the night, so by now the crowd was itching to see EARTHGANG. The DJ in the back knew this, and he got us ready. Finally they appeared at 10 p.m.. Johnny Venus was wearing a headwrap with his iconic ski goggles and motocross gloves while Doctur Dot was wearing a jersey and Cowboy hat. They defiantly matched the energy of the crowd, to the point where they joined the crowd. “Artificial,” “Robots,” “The F Bomb,” “Machete” and “A.W.O.L” were just a few of the songs EARTHGANG played. At one point they asked for some volunteers who knew how to dance and they pulled them on stage. They ended up having a dance battle with the winner receiving Dot’s cowboy hat. During the dance battle a few mosh pits broke out, but they weren’t good. Something about frat boys and mosh pits don’t go well together. They use too much fist. EARTHGANG left after thanking the crowd. Lastly J.I.D. Came on and finished off the show which ended around 11:30 p.m.. A perfect mixture of good music, a whole lot of sweat and definitely some tears, of joy.