GETO BOYS @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | 6/14/13 Stepping on stage with an eager swagger, lead by Donny Hathaway's "Little Ghetto Boy," Scarface was the first of the Geto Boys to greet the crowd. The rapper, who visited Denver on his own last fall, announced that all three member of the outfit were in the building as advertised, igniting the crowd. Scarface pumped up the crowd with two songs before the crowd essentially demanded that Willie D and Bushwick Bill join him. Scarface has always been a popular member of the Houston-based act, but the crowd was clearly just as hyped to see his cohorts, Willie D, even chanting his name, and Bushwick Bill.
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When the two rappers appeared on stage, the trio performed "Die Motherfucker," and followed that up with an entertaining version of "Gangster of Love," with Scarface accompanying the DJ on guitar, rocking along with the Steve Miller Band "Joker" sample before Willie D stopped the track and addressed the crowd.
"Scarface is the only one who plays an instrument in the group, so you know he has got to show off," noted Willie D. "He always wants to turn the show into his show, but let me tell you, the Geto Boys are not a rock group or a country group, we are a hardcore rap group," he clarified. "You do it by yourself then," Willie D said, passing off the show to Scarface, who then played an acoustic version to Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here." Face wasn't too sharp at hitting the right notes for the vocals, but the crowd's chimed in and their enthusiasm more than made up for any missteps.
Over the course of its set, the group showed why it is one of the greatest rap groups to ever grace the mic, and this night, the Geto Boys were as crisp and bodacious as ever. Willie D maintained his gritty, street attitude, while Bushwick, who was apparently sick with the flu, showed no signs of fatigue, spitting his lyrics and verses with an energy that engaged the crowd.
The outfit took a brief moment to pay tribute to the recent passage of certain local legislation. "Thank you, Colorado, for making it legal," said Scarface. "Thank you," he repeated and then lead the crowd in a chant of "Say fuck yeah. Say shit yeah."
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Willie D, meanwhile, continued to own the night, clearly playing to the crowd. After performing hits like "The Last of a Dying Breed," "When it Gets Gangsta," and "The World is a Ghetto," Willie riled the crowd. "We have to stop to pay respect to the most important word in the dictionary," he proclaimed. "Wait," he clarified, "the most important word in history. You know what the most important word ever is?... Pussy!"
The group showed a genuine appreciation for fans. Willie D stepped to the front of the barrier to slap hands with fans during "My Mind's Playing Tricks on Me," and each member took turns signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans. The group capped the night by praising Peyton Manning ("He might be the greatest," said Scarface, before adding, "Let me stop. Don't get me talking about football") and then ending with "We love you, Denver," exiting with the trademark Tony Montana album intro, "All I have in this world is my balls and my word."
Of the openers, Little Ambition Make A lot (L.A.M.A. Squad) was the highlight of the evening. The New York natives brought a much welcomed live hip-hop element to the show. Namm, the crew's leader, exuded charisma that drew the crowd in as he did a song called, "NY Kid," before getting into a soulful single, "Concrete Jungle."
Obae led the way during Dope City's set with two introspective joints, "The Hitz," and "Revenge," and the energy in the room turned up significantly when Raw-B came out to perform his bass-heavy car anthem, "Mr. Cool Whip." Raw-B's jazzy single "I'm Gone" and "Living in the City," also went over well. Tommy Brown came out on stage to join his group, jumping into a Southern-style song, "Gold," followed by cuts like "Magic" and "You'll Never Be Like Me."
Earlier, Jazz2Kool delivered the least well received set of the night. Driven by mostly redundant trap style beats, all of his songs sounded very similar. The theme of the songs were also monotonous, and the crowd did not respond too favorably.
Personal Bias: The Geto Boys were my childhood soundtrack while spray painting train cars and running from the police. They served as a great backdrop for my juvenile trouble making.
Random Detail: Scarface has seemed to find second home with locals Kevin Pistols and Boozilla, chilling with him in the green room after the show.
By the Way: The crowd was distinctly diverse, mixed with the gangster element as expected, but unexpectedly heavy with hipsters, middle aged guys and rockers, one of whom said he disliked hip-hop but "couldn't miss the Geto Boys. I grew up to them."
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