What’s Left: 179 Days. 53 Bands.
Band #47: Anthem
When/Where: February 24th, Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC
Expectations: [Like I said with Eddy B & Tim Gunter and I’ll say for Hoodie Allen, I put on this show, so of course I am biased and had high expectations. That being said, though, I’m going to give my best shot at an honest critique.]
Perhaps more than any other, I had incredibly high expectations for Anthem. I have known him personally for over a year now and have become familiar with his work ethic and dedication. It’s unlike any I’ve ever seen before from an artist. My expectations were through the roof.
Concert: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a hip hop showing as strong as Anthem’s was on February 24th. Let’s begin by saying that he was performing in front of a crowd of people who mainly came to see Hoodie Allen, the headliner. But Anthem started his set strong and heavy and immediately dropped the jaws of the entire audience with his incredibly quick flow, his unmatched wit, and his confident demeanor. After performing a couple of his own written songs, he asked the DJ (RJF, Hoodie Allen’s producer) to put on a beat and started freestyling. I tell you, Anthem is NOT messing around when it comes to off-the-dome rapping. There are a lot of rappers, some of whom qualify as my favorite recorded artists, who just can’t freestyle, or when they do, it consists of simply 1-syllable rhymes. Anthem exhibits his higher education and quick-on-his-toes thinking by freestyling using big words and multi-syllabic rhymes. Other than Chidera from Chiddy Bang, I’ve never seen such talented freestyling.
The set got a bit slower after the freestyling, and I think that Anthem could have benefited from keeping his set a bit more upbeat given the demographics in the venue, but either way, he killed it. I had several people tell me by the end of the night that they absolutely LOVED Anthem’s performance. I’d say every ounce of my expectations were fulfilled and that Anthem definitely gained himself a heap of new fans by the end of the night.
Concert Afterglow: To this day, I cannot get the image out of my head of Anthem before the show, headphones on, getting in the zone for his performance. This young man’s dedication to success is unparalleled.
Recommendation: Do yourself a favor. Download Anthem’s music and find out when you can see a live show. Do not challenge him to a freestyle battle; you WILL lose.
Song: “Inception” – Anthem
*Apologies for the poor photography. I had to ensure that nothing went wrong behind the scenes, so I could not photograph the show.
Did you know that Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.