Sean Anonymous at First Avenue, 1/11/14

Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
Make Some Noise!: Sean Anonymous 7" Release and Birthday Party
with Dreamcrusher, Toki Wright and Big Cats, and Dem Atlas
First Avenue Mainroom, Minneapolis
Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rapper Sean Anonymous' seventh annual birthday show proved his biggest show to date. A strong draw of excited fans got quite a show from the all-local lineup: Toki Wright and Big Cats followed Dem Atlas, and Dreamcrusher played behind Sean Anonymous' headlining set. Celebrating the release of a brand new 7-inch vinyl, featuring new songs and guest appearances from Lizzo and Phillip Morris, it was a big night for Sean Anon and he paid it forward.

When the curtain drew, Bloomer stepped onstage to introduce Dem Atlas, but first began his trademark EDM-influenced beatboxing and effectively hyped the audience. Bursting forth to "Charlie Brown," Atlas immediately displayed his unique energy on a stage he had yet to touch and was comfortable with the venue's size.

Photos by Anna Gulbrandsen
Bringing the right playful intensity to a tight set filled with impressive material seemed to come easy. Lydia Liza of Bomba de Luz joined on vocals for their recent collaboration "Who Loves Snow?" and Bloomer returned to do beatbox backups. Closing on the triumphant "Wat About," Atlas led a large audience in singing the chorus and left them a hell of a performance.

Toki Wright approached the stage with producer Big Cats to perform their unreleased material with the help of Lydia Liza and keyboardist Eric Mayson. The new songs find Toki taking different directions sonically and lyrically, with moments both downtempo and turned up, often simultaneously. "For Amiri Baraka," the recently-released tribute to the late author and poet, played remarkably well thanks to Toki's stirring lyrics and a command of the audience. Further building excitement for the album Big Cats is calling "the best album of 2014," the performance clearly captured the audience's attention. 
Photos by Anna Gulbrandsen
Finally, Barb Abney announced the arrival of Sean Anonymous, with DJ Snuggles and Lizzo helping with backing vocals and DJ Name providing the beats. Sean put his athletic flow to work and owned the crowd with a dynamic presence. He played a well-chosen set that included great hooks and a classic Midwest chop sensibility, and was joined onstage with guests Phillip Morris (who made $4 after fans threw their money onstage) and Wide Eyes' Tony Phantom.

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