Run the Jewels’ El-P and Killer Mike rage in the capital city

Run the Jewels paid Columbus’ Express LIVE! a visit Monday night with a sold out show.


Minus the mediocre performances of the opening acts, Run the Jewels put on a show that you’d be hard pressed to forget. Much to the delight of the crowd, the majority of the songs Killer Mike and El-P performed were off of the new RTJ3 album, which dropped on Christmas Eve as a surprise to their fans.

Rolling Stone called Run The Jewels “the best punk show disguised by a rap show” after their 2015 performance at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. This statement was quickly proven to me by the introduction of the first note in the sinister beat of the set’s opening track, “Talk to Me.”

PC: Pitchfork

It was hard to ignore with the increasing intensity of the moshing that ensued once the mind-numbing bass dropped in. This all ending with a live scratch track solo, I was sold.

They went right into song number two of the night, “Legend Has It.” Just like the studio version of this track, the audience chanted “R-T-J” and must’ve chanted it between (almost) every song.

The backdrop for the set featured a massive inflatable pistol and fist, the universal symbol for Run The Jewels.

Before things got too out of hand, the pair made an announcement regarding all the female guests in attendance. They were essentially promoting a safe concert environment for women, by saying that all the men should be respectful and keep their hands off of the ladies that are just here to rage with everyone else.

The moshing didn’t end for the duration of the show, depending on where you were standing.

This is contrary to what happened at the show two nights prior at The House of Blues in Cleveland, and probably due to the fact that Express LIVE! has about a thousand people on HOB Cleveland’s capacity.

The largeness of Express LIVE!’s pit fosters a raucous environment. To quote my brother following the show, “it is advantageous to truly enjoy moshing if you’re going to go to a show like this.” Fair warning.

Without naming any names, Run the Jewels got political preceding their track “Lie, Cheat, Steal.” El-P proudly shouted “F–k everyone trying to run our country into the ground” before getting the entire audience to chant the mantra, “lie, cheat, steal, kill, win … everybody’s doin’ it.”

Finally, the beat cut it and the place went nuts.

Not only did Killer Mike and El-P murder their verses, but the strong bond that they share was made apparent to the audience and gave them that much more of an entertaining edge. It is obvious the duo loves what they’re doing when they’re up on stage together.

The set, of course, ended with popular tracks like “Close Your Eyes (And Count To F—k)” and “Run The Jewels.”

I highly recommend catching these guys on the remainder of their Run the World Tour, if you haven’t already. Punk rock and hip-hop make a fine musical combination, and Run The Jewels are here to show you the way.

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