If the members of Flatbush Zombies are going to be in hell, it might not be such a bad place to end up.
Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott could assure a plethora of mosh pits, various drugs and hours of meaningful words to help you get through your darkest days.
On Saturday, the East Coast hip-hop group wrapped up its two-month See You in Hell tour, dedicated to its second and most recent studio album, Vacation in Hell.
The gritty rappers went out with a bang and gave nothing short of a grand finale, performing for two hours for a sold-out crowd at The Warfield in San Francisco. Though the artists were probably feeling a bit like the walking dead — Zombie Juice even announced to the crowd that he missed his bed (we feel you, Juice) — they showed no signs of fatigue, jumping onstage and into the crowd and keeping the hype meter at full capacity the entire show. Flatbush Zombies fans could likely tell you they would expect nothing less than a wild night from their beloved trio.
There is something to be said about authentic, raw, unapologetic music — and within this ideal lies the beauty of lesser-known artists. Flatbush Zombies has surely gained more traction and a larger fan base over the years — there was no room for half-assed fans in the nearly completely sold-out tour, only for true fans who use Flatbush Zombies’ music in their day-to-day lives for everything from coping mechanisms to turning up. That said, Flatbush Zombies is not a band most people have heard of.
For the unfamiliar, it is important to note that there is a “Trade-Off” between Flatbush Zombies and their listeners. Sometimes the audience and the fans are the crutches under Zombie Juice, Erick Arc Elliott and Meechy Darko, building them up with their energy. For the last few shows of the tour, though, one member needed a little bit more help than crutches.
Erick Arc Elliott sustained an injury during the last few shows of the tour and thus was wheelchair-ridden. In true decicated Flatbush Zombies fashion, however, he still delivered an energetic performance, often with the help of his bandmates. He even stood up at a mic stand to perform a moving rendition of “Trapped” and gave a short speech about mental health awareness that was well-received by the audience.
During the performance of “Trapped,” the crowd was the calmest it was all night — otherwise, the general admission floor and pit were not for the weak. A rowdy, mosh-heavy crowd demanded that fans be ready to jump, become just-jumped-in-a-pool drenched in sweat and tolerate being squished here and there. Some Flatbush Zombies faithfuls could not handle the intensity and were escorted out of the pit, but this was undoubtedly a show at which being in the balcony section watching could not compare to being on the floor.
During most concerts, there are the more mainstream songs that get the whole crowd rocking and filler songs that a percent of the crowd will enjoy at a given time. Flatbush Zombies gave an anomaly of a show, however, with practically every song going as hard as a No. 1 track. Still, some honorable mention songs that evoked magical chaos included “Headstone,” “Big Shrimp,” “HELL-O,” “Bounce,” “New Phone, Who Dis?,” “Bath Salt” and “Palm Trees.”
Few people can pull off Zombie Juice’s signature look, which involves a long beard and multicolored hair. Similarly, few people can produce work as dark and gritty as that of Flatbush Zombies and shine as brightly as the band does.
Rick James famously said there are kinds of girls “you don’t take home to mother,” and Flatbush Zombies is a group you don’t take home to mother to listen to. But its members produce real feeling and lyrics in their work based on their life experiences — and they certainly gave all they had to their fans on this tour.
So go enjoy the comforts of your beds for a little, Flatbush Zombies. See you in hell.