Corey On: 2 Chainz, Nobunny, and Odd Double Headers
By: Corey C.
Mid-way through “Blow
Dumb,” the tune that lifts the riff directly from the Velvet Underground’s
“Sister Ray”, Nobunny actually starts singing “I’m searching for my mainline”
and, since “Sister Ray” is the greatest song ever, I decide to show my appreciation.I start by pushing a buncha people and
jumping up and down, and then I start throwing my arms sideways like a spazzed
out orangutan, and I’ve just been hollering along with Nobunny the whole time,
and it’s just the greatest two verses of music I’ve heard live all year. I’ve
caused some sort of disruption in the night, I’ve made a couple people ask
themselves “what’s with that guy?”, and that’s what I was aiming for, so as the
song ends I feel satisfied enough to retire to the sidelines and take in the
rest of the Nobunny experience from calmer waters.I’m wearing four layers of clothes cuz it’s
fuckin’ freezing outside, but it’s a packed and sold-out Middle East Upstairs,
so I’m screwed either way, and the sweat is now coming in rapid bursts of
discomfort, and by the end of my spasm for “Blow Dumb” I am completely caked in
my own body liquid.
quite reach the heights of “Blow Dumb” for the rest of the night. The most
enthusiastic reactions from the crowd occurred when he and his band played
tracks from his 2008 release Love Visions.
In my completely subjective opinion, the
main highlight of their 45-minute set was their tribute to Lou Reed, John Cale,
Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker.This was the line-up for the Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat record, where “Sister Ray” appears, and
takes up most of side 2.All fountains
of music that interest me nowadays spray forth from this record.
That same night,
February 4, 2014, 2 Chainz and Pusha T had performed at The Boston House of
Blues, a mere ten minutes from The Middle East Upstairs. I had purchased
tickets to that show months in advance, mostly motivated by my interest in the
new Pusha T record “My Name is My Name”.From that album I had been introduced to 2 Chainz, who would be
I bought tickets to
this show solely because of his standout guest verse on the song “Who I Am”:
“Entrepreneur/Strip club connoisseur/Hot fudge sundae/Poor it on you, hallelujah”.Was this the next ODB? I was certain that my slightly
reckless purchase of three $50 tickets was a good, clear-headed choice.When I heard Nobunny were also playing that
night, I was pissed.Then, I decided I
would go to both.
I was reconsidering
this decision while I was standing in line on Lansdowne Street with my two
friends, waiting to enter The Boston House of Blues.This line was more like an unhappy mob full
of 2 Chainz fans, and the people were starting to get unruly, for we were not
moving, and the concert was starting, and we were maybe missing Pusha T, and we
were starting to get impatient.Yes,
standing near the sacred walls of Fenway Park was charming, and yes, being harassed
by sidewalk vendors to buy their over-priced greasy sausages had its own
strange appeal, but mostly we were starting to get disgruntled by the cold and
lack of movement towards out destination.The Boston House of Blues unintentionally lived up to their name on that
After standing in
line for forty-five minutes, we discovered that the paranoid post-Boston
Marathon security machinery had created this cluster fuck.Before entering their fine establishment, The
Boston House of Blues’ expressionless secret police demanded each and every of
the nearly 2,500 attendees to empty their pockets, undo their belts, pull their
pants down, bend over, cough, and untie their shoes.After passing through this challenge, patrons
had to endure another level of touchy-feely security.At this checkpoint, intimate violation of
each body part was encouraged via the ‘pat-down’ procedure.Hands lingered especially on genitalia.
Cigarette boxes then were studied for any signs of ricin or gunpowder.Hats were pulled off and checked for dead
animals.Underwear was tested for any
traces of fecal matter.
later, I finally entered the House of Blues, extremely traumatized, badly
needing to urinate, and slightly turned on.I wandered around in a daze for a few minutes, reflected on the pointlessness
of existence and the ugly power of fear.I then caught-up with my friends, and entered concert hall as Pusha T
was launching into “Mercy,” the big hip hop hit of the summer that I had been
completely ignorant of until a week before the show.The smell of weed was ubiquitous, impressive
considering the thorough security.
I saw thirty full
minutes of Pusha T.He sounded fiercest
when choosing the best tracks from “My Name is My Name.”I especially enjoyed “King Push”, “Numbers on
the Board,” and “Pain”.His tracks from
Good Music’s “Cruel Summer,” sounded fine, though incomplete without the other
MCs from those songs.The inclusion of
the repetitive R&B track “40 Acres”, another cut from his solo record,
killed some momentum, and though finishing with “Grinding” sounds potentially
good on paper, the beat didn’t hit the speakers hard enough, and its impact
didn’t quite live up to my high expectations.This was the only Clipse song he performed that night, which was
Then, 2 Chainz got
onstage.The first twenty minutes of 2
Chainz was a marvelous, majestic spectacle that could only have been born in
the year 2014.The last twenty-five
started getting repetitive, so I left.
Though the crowd had responded
to Pusha T with great apathy, they freaked the fuck out for 2 Chainz. He has
the stage presence of Busta Rhymes and the vocabulary of Lil’ Jon.He looks and acts exactly like Seattle
Seahawk Richard Sherman.
From what I observed,
there was one absolute truth that I could surmise from the proceedings: 2
Chainz loves strippers.My evidence lies
with the songs “I Luv Dem Stripper” and “Birthday Song”, which features the
chorus “All I want for my birthday/is a big booty ho’.These tunes were accompanied by a digitized
silhouette of two well-endowed strippers dancing on one stripper pole,
performing a sort of battle of the booties, and doing all sorts of contortions
that I was unsure were legal in Puritan New England.
2 Chainz cavorted
around the stage with the confidence of a man in charge of his popular culture
audience.And his ridiculous
over-the-top lyrical choices were funny at times.“2 Chainz, 4 bracelets!” my friend shouted
along at one point.I was starting to appreciate
2 Chainz’s appeal, even if I didn’t know when to shout along.
charm quickly started to wear off, and by the time he had been on stage for
forty-five minutes, I was starting to get a little tired.After being completely flabbergasted at his
choice of visual accompaniment and stripper-heavy content, I started getting
pretty bored.The novelty faded away as
fast as it had come by, a nifty metaphor for ingesting popular culture in the
supposedly getting on stage at 11:15 down the street at The Middle East, and it
was 10:45, and although the Middle East was extremely close, I knew I would get
lost, no matter the GPS, and inevitably, I did.
I got there at 11:25,
and I chatted with the doorman, and he told me that things were running a
little late, and that Nobunny would be getting on in around ten minutes.We chatted about how cool it was that The
Middle East and TT the Bear’s had been hosting more garage shows, and how great
Purling Hiss had been in the fall, and how it was weird and unexpected that
Parquet Courts had been sold out last summer at TT’s, and how I had traveled
all the way from Providence to see them, only to be turned away at the door.At least I had seen them open for The
Breeders and totally blow Kim Deal outta the water.
I explained to this
nice doorman that I had come from 2 Chainz, and he told me I was the only
person he knew of that had accomplished this fairly ridiculous concert
double-dip, and how he had also been offered a ticket to 2 Chainz, and had
chosen Nobunny instead.I whispered to
him that he had made the right choice.