You go to one too many venues bearing the attributes "collective," "community," "youth," "DIY" and you think you know exactly how it's gonna be. You're so confident in your assumptions you put off going to Meow Wolf another week and then another week. Then you finally go, get your mind blown and realize what a jerk you've been.
Saturday's rap show at Meow Wolf was not what I thought it'd be; it was much, much better.
The crowd at this stop of The Outsiders Tour looked paltry until just about showtime—which began one or two hours late depending on which of Meow Wolf's posters you got your information from—when approximately 50 people assembled in the garage-esque performance/art space on Hopewell Street (just off Second Street). The space was dingy and cold, like Warehouse 21's tougher, less suburban cousin; the art that came to envelop the walls was pretty cool when it wasn't inspiring; and the T-shirts and arty wears hocked on the side of the room made me covetous of some extra bills.
I was disarmed by the charm of the place and then by the acts. Sure Sole and AWOL One were great, clearly refined and comfortable doing what they do. But it was the opening acts that really surprised me. DJ Dildo and friend (sorry, don't remember the other's name) started it off sans the PC rapping I've come to expect (incorrectly) of indie white rappers.
Ceschi's folk/hip-hop hybrid seemed perfectly placed amid the other acts' repertoires. I couldn't help but think some art galleries around town could take advice from this tour's impeccable sense of sequence.
Icon the Mic King played a fun little game I've seen before, but a game by which I'm still continually impressed. He had his assistant collect random items from audience members' pockets. Blindfolded, he'd decipher each item handed to him, then add it to his freestyle. He did admirably except for a little glitch when he thought the free sample of muscle cream I'd nabbed earlier from Whole Foods was ketchup, then lube.
The acts moved quickly between sets to make up for lost time—one or all of them had showed up late. The performers could be found amid the crowd before or after their sets, mingling, talking, making it hard to tell they were just (or were about to be) performing.
Last Saturday was an impressive show at an impressive venue, showcasing a really wonderful slice of Santa Fe I hadn't seen before. I suggest you not be jaded, go see Zion I this Sunday at 9 pm and try out this little venue for yourself. Put your assumptions aside and go have some fun.