One of the reasons the members of Doomtree said they were declaring this week’s eight-day marathon the Last Blowout Ever is because, 10 years in, they’re worried about keeping things fresh. They didn’t have much problem accomplishing that over the weekend.
On Saturday, the Twin Cities’ most popular and best-haired hip-hop crew (P.O.S. aside) kicked things off at the Turf Club, which itself has been freshened up and better equipped to handle such a packed, high-energy show. Or at least the summer renovations there had us worrying a little less about the floor caving in under the weight of the buoyant dancing during “Get Down.”
Saturday was also the first chance for the public to sample the new Doomtree beer by Surly, which is about to open its new, $30-million-plus Minneapolis brewery in two weekends. It looked as if nine out of 10 drinkers at the Turf Blowout were drinking the malty IPA (tastes like: Bell’s Two Hearted), which was surprisingly conventional and easy to swallow compared to the more typically edgy, acquired-taste of both Surly and Doomtree.
The beer -- moderate in alcohol content (5.7 percent) -- wasn’t too heavy to slow fans down through what proved to be a fast-paced, 2-1/4-hour, 30-song performance, which was split into two sets with about a 10-minute break in the middle.
The first of those sets was stacked with familiar favorites, including the openers “Slow Burn” and “No Way.” However, the crew wasted no time dropping in new material, starting with third song “.38 Airweight,” the first track off the all-crew album “All Hands” (due out Jan. 27). Then came Mike Mictlan’s wicked howler “Clapp’d,” from his month-old “Hella Frreal” album, followed by a frantically paced “L’Audace,” the kick-off track from Sims’ new “Field Notes” EP.
Set Two kicked off with another new all-crew song that was truly all-hands-on-deck, followed by “Punch Out” and a couple oldies, “Traveling Drunktank” and “Kid Gloves.” They saved the best of the “All Hands” tunes for last: the newly issued “Gray Duck,” which sounded way more intense live and turned into a classic case of all five rappers seemingly to want to outdo each other. The encore ended after just two songs, though, with “Bangarang” for a finale.
“You all know we have to do this for another week?” P.O.S. asked the crowd, having earlier accused beatmakers Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak of “trying to kill us” as they segued one song into another almost nonstop for much of the night.
Sunday’s Doomtree pub crawl – another fun twist on the Blowout concept – probably didn’t help the musicians’ stamina. The half-day event involved two different buses shuttling fans and band members to six different bars, including the Depot, Muddy Waters, Red Stag and Grumpy’s Roseville. Both buses eventually pulled up to a warehouse-space gallery in northeast Minneapolis for a not-so-surprising surprise performance. Here are some of the rare in-focus photos from the crawl posted via Twitter and Instagram.
The Blowout continues Monday at Icehouse with what should be another unique event, featuring some of the crew members’ various other musical acts.