2 High 2 Die: Action Bronson + Danny Brown @ The Wilbur
The last time Action Bronson came to town, he body slammed some punk that tried to steal his shine onstage. Usually, that would be a tough act to follow. But then again, there wasn’t much that was usual about the 2 High 2 Die tour on Thursday night at the Wilbur. While there were no onstage melees, there were more than enough weird hijinks.
For starters, Action was posted up outside of the venue, snapping pictures with fans as he roamed around in a weeded haze. Part of Action’s schtick is a kind of performance art where he knocks down the barrier between performer and audience—the pre-show photo-op was a taste of things to come.
Held up at Canada’s border patrol, the Sacramento hardcore punk group Trash Talk couldn’t open up. As a result, Action took the stage first, after singing along offstage to arena rock classics like “Running With the Devil.”
Wearing an all-black hoodie and black shorts, Bronsolini incited the crowd from the jump. “It’s kind of weird to see motherfuckers sitting down,” he said. Being up in the mezzanine, these were welcomed words. I didn’t sit again, despite an earlier evil eye I received from the people behind me.
After a few songs, Bronsolini ditched the hoodie and leaped down into the crowd. He didn’t crowdsurf—he’s a large man, and that would pose some practical concerns. He jumped offstage, and made his way through the throng. At points, you could hear his voice but not see him. My buddy, who had never been to a hip-hop show, asked me, “Where’s Action?” Moments later, he was literally in our laps. He had wandered up to the mezz, and was rocking the mic, flanked by five security guards. A few seconds later, he plopped into a seat in the upper deck, and continued to flow, feet up as if he were in a living room. That’s some G shit—rocking from the audience at your own show.
He ran through “The Symbol” from Rare Chandeliers, and a medley of joints from Blue Chips and his most recent project, Saaab Stories. He also touched on early bangers. “If you’ve been fucking with me from the jump, you know this,” he said, before launching into “Shiraz.”
Always a fan of sports references, Action, a New Yorker from Queens, added a little local love: “In Boston I’m like Papi, I’m like Teddy Ballgame.” Before finishing his set, he spit a freestyle to a loop of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason,” dropping lines like “you can catch me in the trees like the shit for the pancakes.” He slayed.
While Action is live, Danny’s style is more clubby and frenetic. Rocking a tight black leather jacket, his style was “hipster hood,” according to the “turnt up” girl next to me. He ripped through his verse on “The Black Brad Pitt” and “Radio Song,” a standout track from XXX. Having just dropped Old, one of the best rap albums of the past few months, Danny also had a lot of new material to draw on.
Throughout the night, Danny kept going back to his signature move: the heavy metal hand-sign combined with him sticking out his tongue. From this move, it was a natural segue into “Dip,” a hyped-out party jam from the new album.
It was obvious that the college crowd took to Danny’s spazzed out swag. He took notice too: “Everytime I come through y’all motherfuckers are turnt up,” he said.
There wasn’t too much piff lit up at the Wilbur for the 2 High 2 Die tour, but that didn’t stop the show from getting mad wavy.