Brother Ali at Cervantes', 2/2/13

Categories: Concert Reviews

Eric Gruneisen
Danny Brown on stage at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver.

The surreal, vulgar aura of Danny Brown is intoxicating, and the dude can pack as much catharsis into a single word as anybody. Plus, he's got an intangible star quality that he's still only learning to unpack. Brown's debut Fool's Gold album, XXX, one of 2011's best albums and the one that launched his career to the national level also left a lot of room for improvement in terms of consumability. As naturally magnetic a personality as Brown has, he should have no trouble connecting with an eager audience, a fact that he reinforced with his performance at Cervantes:

Eric Gruneisen
Danny Brown on stage at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver.

Live, Brown's tongue extends after a nasty rhyme like Jordan's did during a vicious dunk. His eyes squint as if he were taking hits from a powerful bong. He snarls like there is a foul and odious scent crossing the stage. During "Blunt After Blunt," his voice ranges from an ODB bark to an oompah-loompah-esque squeal as he begs with the audience his favorite rhetorical question, "Can I smoke?" The lights on the stage frame like a camera or an old cartoon the thousand faces of Danny Brown. Alive with enthusiasm, the personality in his facial expressions capture the hunger in his delivery and the attitude of his lyrics. Hopefully Brown can replicate his live charisma on his upcoming album, Old.

Eric Gruneisen
Danny Brown on stage at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver.

Recently, Brown has ventured into some more rhythm and bass-fueled dance music, a transition which suits his Adderall-fueled intensity and which he had shown a penchant for on XXX. At Cervantes', Brown got into his grimey, electric collaborations with predominantly non-hip-hop producers Darq E Freaker, A-Trak and Evil Nine, "Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)," "Piss Test" and "Black Brad Pitt," all to rousing response. This may be the avenue through which Danny Brown reaches even wider audiences. Brown had his audience completely under his influence during his set. Like an EDM artist, he had moments during certain songs where the beat would drop or crank up, and he would be right there with the energy to carry the show to another level.


Personal Bias: In my personal, biased mind, "Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)" was the best song of 2012.

Random Note: The crowd was so thick, sweat was literally dripping from the ceiling.

By the Way: Brother Ali doesn't smoke weed, and it apparently was fucking his voice up.

Location Info


Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom

2637 Welton St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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