By Ross Ketschke:
Sunday night, Emerson College alumni and former WERS DJ George Watsky packed the Boston House of Blues with thousands of fans eager to idi rapper’s homecoming. Before Watsky could take the stage, locals in the audience were surprised with a performance from Emerson College student Cab Elllis. The young rapper’s excitement to be on the House of Blues stage electrified the early bird crowd who had lined up hours before doors to be first inside. Cab Eillis, or Connor Abeles as he is known on Emerson’s campus, blended heavy backbeats with fun and dynamic lyrics and got the party started early diving into the crowd during his final song. Backed by DJ and hype man Byron Rodriguez, the young duo prepared the crowd for a night of non-stop energy.
Following the local opener was Atlanta Georgia’s Daye Jack. Born in Nigeria, the 20 year old rapper was ecstatic to be on his first national tour only two years after releasing his first mixtape Hello World. Riding a wave of success off his new single “Hands Up”, Daye Jack’s old school style was reminiscent of classic 90’s East Coast rap. Despite his young age, Jack held the packed House of Blues in the palm of his hands. Daye Jack signed to Warner Brothers Music last year, and performed many song’s off his debut EP Soul Glitch. Playing the role of both DJ and MC, Jack was able to make his one man show look sound and feel like a full band performance.
Next to take the stage Witt Lowry, a 25 year old artist from Connecticut. Bringing emotional lyrics and high energy backbeats to stage, Lowry fed off the excitement of the crowd. He used the entire stage to his advantage, jumping and dancing between verses. He performed popular songs like “Kindest Regards” and “Dreaming With OUr Eyes Open”. Lowry even took the time to briefly slow down his set, sitting alone under the spotlight captivating the audience. He set the stage for the night’s headliner George Watsky.
Finally it was time for Watsky’s homecoming show. The 30 year old rapper graduated Emerson College in 2010, an even served as a DJ here on WERS for the classic program 88.9 At Night. His alma mater was well represented in the crowd. Performing with a full band behind him, Watsky’s unique fast-rap style treads a fine line between energy and awe. The talented lyricist managed to make his songs blend humor, emotion, and empowerment into a wall of sound that had the entire House of Blues off it’s feet. In the spirit of sharing the spotlight, Watsky passed off the microphone to back up vocalist Camila Recchio, who performed a powerful ballad. Fresh off his fifth studio album X Ininity Watsky treated the crowd to new song like “Midnight Heart”, but also hit on old favorites like 2013’s “Sloppy Seconds”. Following a demanding cry for an encore, Watsky and his band returned to the stage for one final song. Before playing, the MC gave a shout out to all of his Boston fans, saying that each member of the band on stage has called Boston home at some point in their life. Watsky closed out the night with his hit single “Woah Woah Woah”, ending a truly unique night of hip hop in Boston that featured three of the most talented rising artists in the country. The tour set out for their next show in Portland Maine, and are traveling across North America over the next month. They will end their tour in Honolulu Hawaii this December.