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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Doomtree makes Madison their own nation during All Hands Tour

Doomtree is an indie hip hop collective with a Minneapolis base and a massive following of dedicated fans. The band consists of seven members, five emcees, each with successful solo careers, disc jockey Paper Tiger and producer Lazerbeak. Doomtree sold out the Majestic Theater Saturday night with an electrifying performance, which had almost every crowd member on their feet and jumping. 

Saturday night’s performance was a part of the band’s All Hands Tour, which has been building anticipation since their December performance. According to the Doomtree website, the December performance was their “last blowout ever." Considering the album had only been released less than a month ago, the crowd’s familiarity with the new songs was impressive and most likely the result of severe binge-listening prior to the show. 

The opener was rapper Greg Grease from Minneapolis with an incredibly energized set. Grease left his mark on the audience by closing his set with a song with a title I couldn’t catch but started off with a slow, melodic tune that exploded into a loud, bass-filled rap sequence. The lyrics were difficult to follow with screaming fans, but it was the perfect song to leave the crowd pumped. 

Open Mike Eagle took the stage after Grease and straight up killed it. Eagle played his set with nothing but a microphone and D.J. equipment hooked up to his computer, which he used while rapping simultaneously. 

The songs Eagle performed had profound, truly honest and passionate lyrics that make you wonder about the careers of rappers like Wiz Khalifa. Mike got the crowd to scream along to one of his hit songs, “Nightmares,” that portrays his criticisms of today’s rap music, saying, “Rap’s all post-modern/ A bunch of style authors but no fathers/ I stay familiar with my lineage/ And spend a lot of time defending it.” Unfortunately, the album version does not come close to the passion he expresses during the live performance. 

Eagle took a moment during his set to host his segment of “The Advice Show,” where he answered one question from a crowd member asking how to become a famous rapper, to which Mike replied, “play on the Internet all day.” Whether he was being sarcastic or not, Eagle asked for one dollar from every crowd member during his final song “Very Much Money (Ice King Dream),” and ended up with a decent amount of cash before he finished his set. 

Despite two incredible opening sets, Doomtree fans had yet to unleash their full excitement when P.O.S., Dessa, Sims, Mike Mictlan and Cecil Otter took the stage, opening with their hit song, “Gray Duck” from All Hands. It felt like the entire venue was shaking from excited fans jumping and singing the lyrics, word-for-word. Doomtree played a few songs from both All Hands and No Kings, including “Bolt Cutter” and “My Own Nation” before the emcees performed individual songs. 

Mike Mictlan had a powerful solo performance with his hit song “CLAPP’D” about drugs, police brutality and disenfranchised citizens in today’s society. The sounds that went along with the lyrics gave me goose bumps with gunshots and Mictlan screaming, “Don’t shoot!” 

Dessa played a song from her solo work, “Call Off Your Ghost,” which gave her a chance to demonstrate how powerful her voice really is. She pulled an unexpected stunt during her performance and jumped into the crowd singing shoulder-to-shoulder with fans without missing a note. Most people took pictures, but I did hear one girl yell, “I touched her hair!” 

All of the members had a chance to perform individually before P.O.S. played his hit song, “Get Down” and it seemed like everyone on the first floor was jumping to the kidney-rattling beat. Doomtree welcomed Open Mike Eagle and Greg Grease on stage for a dance party. Some members of the crowd ended up on stage as well, which the band members didn’t seem to mind, for the final song of their set. 

Naturally, the crowd demanded an encore and Doomtree did not disappoint with two additional songs, “Low Light Low Life” and “Bangarang.” The band members were pleased to announce that after Saturday, they would be heading home to Minneapolis for one more show before a small break in the All Hands Tour. 

The mad rush for the exit was painful, but all I could hear from crowd members were discussions about their favorite parts of the show and how they couldn’t decide on favorites. One total stranger grabbed my arm before I left and said, “This was so worth the ten hour drive from Kansas.” 

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