Review – Mick Jenkins and the Mirrorland Tour at House of Blues
On Friday, January 31st, Atlanta’s EARTHGANG performed at the House of Blues as part of their “Mirrorland” tour. The hip-hop duo consists of Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot, who are also members of the musical collective Spillage Village along with Jordan Bryant, the first opener of Friday’s show. Bryant hails from Toledo, OH, and opened the show with a quick 15-minute set. Bryant’s set was followed by a performance from Wynne, a young woman from the suburbs of Portland. The unapologetic 20-year-old performed songs from her project titled “If I May,” including in her set the song “Ego Check” which features JID, another member of Spillage Village.
The third and last opener was Chicago’s own Mick Jenkins. The South Side native opened his set with the song “Jazz” from his 2014 mixtape “The Water(s).” The rest of his set included performances of “Reginald” and “Gwendolynn’s Apprehension” from his 2018 album “Pieces of a Man,” “Spread Love” from his 2016 debut “The Healing Component” and “Piano” from his 2015 EP “Wave[s].” As he performed, Jenkins embraced the love from his city, smiling and joking with audience members who cheered as he drank water in-between songs. He also referenced his 2014 project and water throughout the set, at one point outright saying that water represents truth: “now more than ever it’s important to have all the information,” said Jenkins.
At 11:30 EARTHGANG took the stage, Johnny Venus in a furry jacket with funky glasses, and Doctur Dot in black industrial overalls. Known for their “playful delivery and biting lyricism” (vice.com), the rap duo commanded the crowd from the moment they stepped onto the stage, the vibrant, abstract visuals behind them complementing the earthy ambience of their conscious bars and soulful singing. From dividing the crowd in half to see which side could be louder to encouraging the audience to turn on their phone lights to bringing volunteers up to the stage to dance in the spotlight, EARTHGANG showed a true enthusiasm for performing and a genuine excitement for interacting with audience members.
The “Mirrorland” tour began in October and continues until mid-summer. Mick Jenkins will perform with them in various cities throughout February.
Photos © 2020 by: Julia Hale
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