Heiruspecs at Amsterdam, 4/26/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Steve Cohen
with Dem Atlas and Allan Kingdom
Amsterdam, St. Paul
Saturday, April 26, 2014

After six years since their last record, Heiruspecs have returned in a big way for the release of their latest Night Falls. With the help from openers Dem Atlas and Allan Kingdom, the exemplar St. Paul hip-hop band powered through new material for a packed Amsterdam this past Saturday.

The warm-up acts were perfectly chosen, as Dem Atlas and Allan Kingdom each represent different burgeoning rap sounds emanating from the current St. Paul scene. They've each got a youthful energy that finds its way into the performances and the songwriting, and their inclusion was a sign to the mostly older crowd that the spark Heiruspecs first brought to local rap some 16 years ago is still alive and well.
Photo by Steve Cohen
Allan Kingdom has been growing with every new track he drops, and he translated his progression onstage with a spritely stage presence and loose sonic weirdness. His set captured hip-hop's core sense of fun and he was able to engage with the audience with aplomb. Seeing new local MCs in context with the longtime heavyweights gave an idea of where they could develop from here. 

Photos by Steve Cohen
Heiruspecs took the stage to big cheers from the excited audience, which essentially filled the whole of Amsterdam. Opening with "On The Ground," Midway Felix and Muad'dib immediately proved their newly developed skills with harmonizing vocals by filling in for Chastity Brown, who tackles the song's hook on the record. Night Falls incorporates a number of big sung choruses and melodic verses into the mix, and it was impressive to see the vocalists handle that end in addition to rapping and beatboxing. "I can't tell you how weird that is onstage," Felix said after "Been Around," presumably talking about the melodies permeating through the song, both in the hook and the rapped verses. If any of the songs were outside the band's comfort zone, it was impossible to tell, as they confidently rolled through a long, solid set. 

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