Middle of The Map: Friday at The Midland

 

Last night at The Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland was spectacular. BLKFLANL kicked things off by setting the bar almost impossibly high. Between Barrel Makers’ taut lyrics and Conductor Williams’ beats (which he made exclusively from records he picked up at Mills Record Company), BLKFLANL proved this show had no warm-up, that it hit on all cylinders.

MOTM 2016 - BLK FLANL - 4 MOTM 2016 - BLK FLANL - 6 MOTM 2016 - BLK FLANL - 9

After BLKFLANL, Ebony Tusks took the stage. The trio’s energy was palpable from the instant their set started. Marty Hillard (formally of Cowboy Indian Bear) whipped the crowd into a frenzy by leading chant after chant. Spending about a third of their set off stage in the center of the crowd, Ebony Tusks created an experience with their audience–a feat unlike anything I’ve been apart of.

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After these local acts, Gallant shook the rafters with his soaring falsetto. The young singer bounced from one side of the stage to the other and never missed a note. Backed by a trio of solid musicians, Gallant’s stage show was as polished as his recorded material but with far more energy.

MOTM 2016 - Gallant - 2 MOTM 2016 - Gallant - 4MOTM 2016 - Gallant - 9

Vince Staples ended the RnB and hip hop portion of the night. With a boundless amount of energy, the Long Beach rapper played through Summertime 06 and some cuts from Hell Can Wait. The way Staples interacted with the crowd made it feel as though he knew everyone personally. Truly, one of the best performances I’ve seen in a minute.

 

MOTM 2016 - Vince Staples - 3MOTM 2016 - Vince Staples - 5MOTM 2016 - Vince Staples - 8 MOTM 2016 - Vince Staples - 1

 

Zhu ended the night. The EDM three piece mixed grimy dubby beats with live saxophone and guitar to create a sound that was taught and beautiful. With a stage show that included video work, Zhu was a multi-sensory experience. Their music dragged the crowd into a dancing frenzy–the perfect way to end Middle of The Map.

MOTM 2016 - Zhu - 1 MOTM 2016 - Zhu - 4 MOTM 2016 - Zhu - 5

 

Check out our photo recap of tonight’s shows as well as our favorite performances from Middle of The Map.

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