For an act that only has two songs to its name, Four Fists sure did a good job coming up with filler Tuesday night at the Triple Rock.
The new-ish duo – Twin Cities indie-rap vet P.O.S. and adopted homeboy Astronautalis – performed for nearly 90 minutes in what was more or less their headlining debut. When the show was announced on short notice last week, tickets didn’t last much longer than the gig did.
Friends since they met as wee little punk rappers on the Warped Tour in 2004, they timed the performance to Tuesday’s release of their first 7-inch. Appropriately, then, they bookended the set list with the songs featured on the new single. “Please Go” opened, peaking with each MC delivering some of their most rapidfire, wild-eyed verses of the night. And “MMMMHMMMM” ended the set on a rowdy note, with fans rhyming along almost as much as they did in the penultimate song “Get Down,” for which P.O.S.’ Doomtree cohort Mike Mictlan showed up.
In between, the show was basically a twofer pairing of a typical P.O.S. and Astronautalis gig, but with plenty of lyrical collaboration and fun twists. DJ Fundo -- the Get Cryphy vet who also regularly spins with Prof -- turned out to be a ringleader of sorts. The rappers often left it up to him to decide what song came next, which lent a freewheeling, improv spirit to the proceedings. Sometimes it looked as if Fundo was outright trying to throw them off their game, too.
After the two MCs worked up a visceral sweat together in “Wanted/Wasted” and it was time for P.O.S. to do a couple tunes on his own, he asked Fundo to play a slow song. Yeah right. The DJ instead launched straight into “Bumper,” the ultra-intense, madcap opener to last year’s album “We Don’t Even Live Here.” He also seemed to catch Astronautalis off guard when he kicked up “Contrails” a few songs later.
Among the surprises for fans was the rarely played “Handmade Handgun,” a hidden track featuring Astronautalis on P.O.S.’ “Never Better” album. They also dusted off another older collaboration, “The Story of My Life,” from Astronautalis’ record “Pomegranate” – this one with muddy results (both rappers botched the lyrics). But even the missteps were cheered by the fanatical crowd.
“Remember like two and a half years ago when I didn’t live here? That sucked,” Astronautalis quipped to P.O.S. after “F- Your Stuff,” which sparked another crazed dance scene three-quarters of the way into the set. Things pretty well remained wild and woozy after that. Astronautalis and Fundo joined the party by passing around a bottle of whiskey – much to P.O.S.’ chagrin, since he wasn’t asked to partake.
“But you got that thing,” Astronautalis said (referring to his widely publicized kidney woes). Before taking a hearty swing, P.O.S. retorted, “I’m not dead yet.” In fact, it appeared he’s just getting started on yet another high-wire adventure.
Here's Tuesday's set list:
Please Go / Handmade Handgun / The River / Dimitri Mendeleev / Wanted/Wasted / Bumper / Drumroll (We’re All Thirsty) / The Story of My Life / Contrails / Midday Moon / Lockpicks, Knives, Bricks & Bats / Terrorish / Two Years Before the Mast / new song (Astronautalis) / F- Your Stuff / Trouble Hunters / Get Down / MMMMHMMMM