On Tuesday Nov 21, L.A.-based artists Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist took the stage at the Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia for the eighth stop of their Voir Dire Tour. With only 11 stops spanning the month of Nov, the duo performed to promote their new collab album “Voir Dire.” Accompanying them on their tour are Black Noi$e and MIKE in select cities.
While doors were slated to open at seven, it wasn’t until 7:30 p.m. that patrons were allowed into the venue in groups, and after more waiting. With so many artists scheduled to perform and such a delay in the entry process, the concert lasted significantly longer than expected. The audience was pleasantly surprised when Black Noi$e was only 30 minutes late to his anticipated 8 p.m. start time.
With no introduction, Black Noi$e began his DJ set with house music before transitioning into remixes of songs like Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” and PinkPantheress’ “Break It Off”. His set was short, and he brought up another unnamed DJ to assist him before turning it over to MIKE at around 8:50 p.m. Though the show started late, there was no wait time between performers and they often joined one another on stage before beginning their own sets. MIKE was extremely high energy, thanking the crowd repeatedly for their attendance, encouraging audience participation, giving props to the technical crew, security and most importantly, his mother. However, MIKE’s set seemed to run almost as long as Earl Sweatshirt’s and longer than the Alchemist’s. On top of this, because of how little time they gave Black Noi$e and the already later start time, it seemed as though MIKE would’ve benefitted from a shorter set.
At 9:40 p.m., the Alchemist took over the DJ booth and began playing a combination of his own produced music, unreleased songs and remixes of other artists. However, there was very little going on visually and other artists were not featured that much. Through no fault of his own, it is very difficult to create a captivating live performance with no performance factor involved. To his credit, the Alchemist was very high energy, encouraging the crowd to dance and moving with his own music.
It seemed as though Earl Sweatshirt was supposed to join the Alchemist once he had got on but had not. The Alchemist made comments throughout his set like “Where is he” and “We’re trying to find him” until he finally joined at around 10 .p.m. Upon his arrival, Earl joked, “Philly, I was fighting for my life trying to get here.” Luckily, he made up for his postponement with an extensive setlist, lively performance, and crowd interaction.
Whether you were a fan of his older music or came solely for the new album, there was something for everyone. Earl performed songs like “Vin Skully” and “Sirius Blac” off of “Voir Dire”, “The Mint” and “Shattered Dreams” off of his most critically acclaimed album “Some Rap Songs” and “2010” and “Vision” from “SICK!”. Along with some of his more popular songs, he covered songs like Playboi Carti’s “JumpOutTheHouse” and Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares”. Earl made sure to use the entire stage, crack jokes with the crowd between songs and deliver a live experience enjoyable for new and old fans alike.
While the show had some issues, each performer brought a unique and memorable experience to the stage that was overall very enjoyable. Earl Sweatshirt and MIKE were both highlights of the night, but every set complimented one another and added something different to the show. Make sure to check out Black Noi$e, MIKE and “Voir Dire” on all streaming platforms.