On Saturday night I went with a couple of friends to see Zion I perform at The Independent.
Let me first say that I've only recently begun listening to Zion I, but from the moment I first heard the seductive and catchy tones of "The Bay" I was hooked.
I was incredibly surprised that one of my friends was able to buy a ticket to the show at the door at 9:00 the evening of the show. I'd purchased my ticket in advance thinking that the show would almost certainly sell out. I thought that $20 was a pretty reasonable price to pay but perhaps Zion I doesn't yet have the name recognition to demand that sort of price.
I thought that the show would be especially popular because Zion I is himself from the Yay Area (Oakland).
The Independent is a pretty great little venue. I've seen a couple of shows there now and have not yet been disappointed. I've always been able to enjoy the show without worrying about it being too crowded, loud, dirty, etc. My first of only two complaints about the venue is that the men's room was pretty poorly kept.
The other complaint - which is more of a comment, anyways - is that there was a group of four young gentlemen who stood in the middle of the floor for the entire show smoking joint after joint. It was like Jesus' miracle with the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish... only with weed!
Each time they'd finish smoking one joint, one of the guys would pull another one out from his pocket, light it and start passing it around.
Moreso than by the veritable cornucopia of marijuana that was contained in their hoodies I was amazed at their brazen consumption of an illegal psychoactive drug.
Nobody seemed to mind particularly and it may even have added to the authenticity of the event.
The opening acts were both pretty good with my personal preference being the first performer whose name I've forgotten. He had a line that was something akin to: "Fools think they can step to this but I've been kicking these rhymes since I come out the you-ter-iss"
The second opener - who was by no means bad - was a group called Honor Roll. These guys were better performers than the first act but not as talented rappers.
Zion I was amazing.
I was going to write more about Zion I's performance but I'd rather just encourage everyone reading this to attend one of his upcoming shows. He is smart, funny, and puts an incredible amount of thought and energy into giving his audience the best show that he can.
My next trip to the Independent? The Simpsons Movie on Monday night. Free with purchase of two drinks.
It doesn't get much better than that...