Denzel Curry was the best workout I’ve had in months. The Florida-born rapper gave Lawrence a hell of a show Friday, April 20th, and it’s one that left my legs sore, back bruised, and with a slight ringing in my ear. I had only heard of Denzel Curry through “Ultimate,” his hit song. The song had been turned into a slight meme so it was hard to avoid, but it was still a great banger. And honestly, I didn’t have any expectations of this show except I knew for certain that would be a killer song to mosh to. And it was, as with literally every other song he played that night.
At no point in the show did the tempo slow down. There didn’t seem to be any pause in between songs and no song slowed the pacing down. The show was hosted in the Granada, and as anybody knows the pit down there can get crazy. Denzel and his fans brought the crazy. I could only compare it to the Death Grips concert in terms of how sweaty and active it was. Every trap beat did its job perfectly, and from the first to the last song, the crowd was jumping and moving like a raging sea. Certain points when it seemed the crowd was all jumping and vibing in unison, I could really see the appeal of Denzel Curry. His hard-hitting delivery of the even harder trap beats really made for an amazing concert in the Granada. Towards the middle of the concert, his anthem “ULT” was performed, and it ignited the crowd into another gear. The screaming and shouting between all 8 people around me showed that Denzel knows how to work a crowd and that his fans love his music. As the crowd in the pit continued to mosh and sing, Denzel did what any person packed between a few hundred people would want: threw water into the crowd. Personally, I love when a venue provides the artist with a supply of water bottles that he or she can then throw or spray into the crowd.
From there I got a heavy surprise. As he asked the audience if they were ready to “Rock Out” over and over, a very familiar guitar riff started playing. It only took a few seconds for everybody in the crowd to be on the same page and realize Denzel Curry was covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which worked the crowd up into a frenzy. By this time I was front row, only 1 person behind the metal barrier. Standing under Denzel I could see him hunched over screaming the chorus into the microphone and honestly looking like he was having a blast; flashing a few smiles in between breaths. I would never have expected a Nirvana song to be played at such an event. However, I did thoroughly enjoy and cringe every time he tried to put the mic into the crowd and in somebody’s face so they could sing the chorus, only to see the person move back because they clearly didn’t know the words.
The concert continued with more of his fast-paced songs. I have to emphasize how much the concert did not slow down. One song bled into the next in terms of how hyped it made the crowd. I need to mention, “Sumo,” his new song. In preparation for his concert and this review, I listened to his singles and this one stood out so well as yet another hype track. And one line got to me that made me really wish I could interview Denzel: “Curry get the flame, call a n**** Prince Zuko.” As an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan, I really want to know if Denzel is also a fan of the series, or, he just knew that it’d be a killer line to include. Regardless, it all lead to “Ultimate,” the song that put him on the map. The crowd shouted and cheered as the opening keys played with the slow build up to “I am the one, don’t weigh a ton. don’t need a gun to get respect up on the street!” and the crowd blew the roof of the venue. His wild body movements and mic control set the stage for a ground rumbling set. At this point, I was crowd surfing in the center of the crowd and could see everybody in the pit jumping in unison and others moshing around and rocking out to the song. It’s what the fans know and love and, from what I saw, everybody was in love with that song.
By the time the concert was over, the floor was noticeably wet, either from water bottles or the cumulative sweat of the participants. Denzel Curry had come into Lawrence and put on a killer show with stunning visuals behind him, which lead the concert goers like me into an amazing time. To make the concert even better, somebody dropped a twenty dollar bill on the ground, I assume at the beginning of the show, as it was covered in filth and grime, but it allowed me and my friends that night to buy drinks and talk very favorably about what we just saw.
Thank you Denzel Curry, SUA and KJHK for bringing that fantastic set into little ole’ Lawrence.