I’m always one for hop-hop shows. The energy is high with heavy bass and a sea of people who know how to get down and dirty. And I mean, if nothing else, it’s a great place to people watch. Thursday night’s show of The Cool Kids at the Granada Theater in Lawrence did not let me down with the large crowd and not to mention the killer performance. Kansas City – based publication Ink Magazine hosted The Cool Kids concert and brought in local rap artists Gee Watts, Atilla, Ebony Tusks, and Greg Enemy to open for the nationally known group.
Earlier in the evening I stopped by White Chocolate Skateboards (933 Mass St. Lawrence, KS) for a meet and greet with The Cool Kids. Surprisingly there weren’t very many people there, but I had no problem meeting Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish. They were both very friendly and seemed to enjoy talking to their fans. To promote their first full-length album When Fish Ride Bicycles, which released July 12th of this summer, signed posters, stickers, fish gummy candies, and key chains were in abundance to give away. The Cool Kids also hosted a raffle for a skateboard deck with their album artwork on the underside.
Several hours later, I was ready to get to The Granada and get my dance on. When I arrived the line was out the door to get in, which is never fun. To my surprise the line went by fast with nice, helpful door-guys. Everyone inside was decked out in fresh kicks, crisp hats, and the latest designer tees the repped their favorite labels. The bars were backed up with people, so I figured it wasn’t worth the wait for a gin and tonic. The venue’s energy was high while everyone waited for Gee Watts to open the night.
Gee Watts did a great job setting the mood for the rest of the night with catchy bass lines and several friends rapping alongside him. Based out of Kansas City, MO Gee Watts had a decent following that showed up to the Granada to show the love. Kansas City hip-hop/funk artist Atilla performed afterwards with a good sized following as well. His soul/funk infused beats got the crowd swaying and moving during his set.
Lawrence-based rapper Ebony Tusks involved the crowd in his set with callbacks and hand swaying, which was a sight to see. Hyped on the crowd’s energy, Ebony Tusks was all over the stage engaging with his fans. He definitely held a presence on stage that was a force to be reckoned with.
Capping off the set of openers was Kansas City rapper Greg Enemy. Known for his hit song Fly Ass Glasses Greg has a decent following throughout the Lawrence and Kansas City area. Greg sat poised and relaxed on a stool for half of his set, then engaged with the crowd for the rest. At the end of his set, fellow rappers and supporters stormed the stage while Greg Enemy crowd surfed, making a great end to the opening artists.
By the time The Cool Kids stormed the stage, the venue was nearly packed to the brim with a crowd that was clearly excited in anticipation of the headlining set. Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish had great chemistry feeding off of each other’s energy, which reflected in the crowd’s energy. Hands were swaying, bodies were moving, and everyone seemed to have a good time. Even the VIP lounge on the balcony was getting down. The Cool Kids performed a good variety of old popular hits, and newer songs off of their new album. Ink Magazine did a fantastic job with the lineup of this show. I think it’s safe to say that from beginning to end, the show was a hit.
This post was written by Rebecca Dreyfus.